Category Archives: Trade Show Tactics

Some cost-saving examples of PR and marketing tactics from our latest client project

Simple promotional wristbands can be real attention-getters at a convention

Simple promotional wristbands can be real attention-getters at a convention

We have had such good results in our awareness campaign for the Bahrain Coordinating Committee in such a short time, that I just had to share these preliminary results with you, in case you would like to apply any of these approaches in your own marketing and public relations campaigns.  Their awareness campaign has been mounted with very little investment of funds, just lots of creativity and effort.  Hopefully, we will maintain the momentum we are building!

As you know, only a month ago, we launched the organization’s blog and website, using our favorite, affordable platform,  It’s basically an $18/year website. In only a month, the website and blog has received more than 2500 views. Even their brand new YouTube site is doing well, getting more than a hundred views for its videos less than 48 hours after the first videos were put online.  The cost for that YouTube channel? Zero dollars.

One of our recommendations was that the organization exhibit at the ADC Convention, the largest gathering of Arab Americans in the United States.  The Committee joined forces with Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain who created a wonderful display that received lots of attention.  The organization created folders of information, and distributed 540 of them to convention attendees.  Some of the media who dropped by the booth included BBC Arabic and Voice of America.

Our client making an impact at the ADC Convention

Giveaways are important at conventions, and we particularly wanted to increase awareness of the organization’s Twitter handle (@Connect_Bahrain), since that is such an important medium for communicating a movement like this.  We designed and ordered rubber wristbands that had the organization’s Twitter handle and the slogan, “Freedom in Bahrain.”  The exhibit volunteers gave out all 275 wrist bands (we gave out some to the press before the event), which cost the organization less than $150 including shipping, and 75 bags of  M&Ms tagged with their new logo and  Twitter handle, which cost about $40 to put together.

Well, it worked!  Over that weekend, their Twitter followers shot up from 420 to 641!  Their Facebook Page fans also increased 20%.

We’re very pleased to help this organization with their public relations efforts.  We have put out seven press releases in the past six weeks, some on PR Newswire, and all on Free Press  The paid distribution with PR Newswire ($89 each), of course, gets very good results.  We expected that.  But what we did not expect is that we would receive so many additional views for our online news releases on Free Press  ($1 per press release) — over 1,800 views thus far.

The feedback we are receiving from the client is that there is increased interest in the organization and its work, and that many conference attendees were curious and supportive.  This is all gratifying to hear.

So, I wanted to share with you how these inexpensive approaches can pay off, and perhaps, they might work for your company or nonprofit organization!  Please let us know in the comments if there are free or low-cost public relations and marketing tactics you have tried that worked well for you.

Great PR Tactics for Winning Visibility at Trade Shows

By Robert Deigh

Trade shows can be a real boost not only for finding prospects but for your overall visibility as an organization. Before you go though, you need to be well prepared. Good prep means finding the right audiences, setting realistic budgets, getting high-visibility booth space and determining who and what will be in your booth. Now is the time to think about using good public relations tools to boost your visibility and build your business. Here are a few items you may want to put on your to-do list:

  1. Get the attendees roster in advance. Decide what constitutes a qualified prospect. Make a list of all of the companies you want to communicate with and assign each person on your team a share of the targets to approach. Ask show organizers, current customers and colleagues to make introductions on the floor.
  2. Cultivate press proactively: Get the press list a week in advance if possible. Choose the top 10 reporters (start with trade publications your prospects read most). If you have news – or at least a product or service that is newsworthy – call ahead and try to set up interviews. If you have a news release or a factsheet, put a stack in the press room – a fat press kit is not necessary.
  3. The “Show Daily.” Most big conferences distribute a daily newspaper or newsletter to attendees. If you have news, give the information to editors at least week ahead of time so they can publish it on the day you make the announcement.
  4. Make your booth project professionalism and business. Don’t fall into a comfort zone of constantly chatting with co-workers. Invite interest. Open your booth physically as much as possible; make it easy for people to walk in without feeling trapped. Once they step in, tell and show them quickly what your product or service can do for them. If you have a tangible product, get it into their hands as soon as possible.
  5. Take photos. Invite notables into your booth and snap their pictures surrounded by you and your staff in logo shirts with your booth in the background. These will play well on your Web site with a descriptive caption.
  6. Make follow-up with attendees a fast but formal project for the team. Use contact information while it is fresh and prospects are still interested. Prepare a short template follow-up letter in advance and have it ready to mail-merge with your list of new contacts as soon as you get back. Send follow – up letters within seven days of the event.
  7. Send a follow-up email to all registered reporters – even those who did not attend the show. Call the ones you made contact with, offer additional information and ask whether they plan to write anything. Keep track of potential articles so you will see them when they are published.
  8. If it’s the right show, your competitors will be there. Now is a good time to see them up close. It’s not spying; it’s market research! Pick up their marketing materials and listen to their pitch. Nothing wrong with that — you can be sure they’ll be doing the same at your booth.

Robert Deigh is principal of RDC Communication/PR and author of “How Come No One Knows About Us?” (W Business Books), the PR guide for organizations large and small that want to win big visibility. Deigh helps organizations increase their visibility and build their brands by creating strong and positive relationships with the press and other audiences. He is also a frequent speaker and trainer on media and PR topics. He can be reached via email at, his website at or by phone at 703-503-9321.

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Show off your micro business at the fair

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for affordable and fun ways to promote your micro business or nonprofit organization.  (A micro business is a small business that has ten or fewer employees.) One promotion technique is presenting your business or nonprofit organization at a local fair or festival.  This can be an affordable way to show off your business to thousands of people in your community.

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