The press office is a key area for journalists to source exhibitor news, schedule interviews and write-up news reports.
Communicating your presence at an exhibition or show is just as important as getting your product and stand ready. A good start for getting your message out to the industry is to speak with the exhibition’s press office team. They will be able to inform you of all the opportunities available and update you on any news or technology that is of interest to their supporting media outlets. Be sure to find out the location of the press office in advance.
Exhibitions and shows often hold a press or preview day for members of the media to attend prior to the official opening. This also gives exhibitors the opportunity to host events dedicated to the press, whether a full press launch or one-to-one appointments. It can prove invaluable for gaining coverage, not only after the event, but for online coverage during the show too, helping you to reach potential visitors to your stand.
Many press offices will keep an event diary for registered media to access ahead of the exhibition or show. If you have any events or launches, log these with the press office team as they will add to any press diary. If your event is by invite-only, be sure to let them know and give a contact for journalists to reach you. You may well be required to book your time slot so that your press event doesn’t conflict with another, thus maximising your opportunities to meet with your key media. Check if there are any other opportunities to get involved in, such as seminars or talks organised by the exhibition or show.
Press launch checklist:
- Press event date – is there an official press day and/or show opening? This may influence your decision when choosing a day and time for any press event you are hosting.
- Location – can you hold events on your stand, or are there dedicated areas for press launches?
- Refreshments – consider what catering you may require (this will need to be booked in advance with the exhibition’s caterer).
- Equipment – do you need AV equipment etc? The exhibitor services should be able to assist here.
- Invites – If the venue is difficult to find, consider including a map or directions. Include an RSVP on your invite. Ask in advance if there are notice boards in the press office to pin up posters of your press event.
- Press information – what press materials will you provide to the journalists? Will the launch press release be available in advance or issued during the press event?
A press kit can be a single press release about your presence at the exhibition or show, or multiple releases about the new products you are launching. Do you have a price list you want to include? Is there a product brochure, or biographies of the personnel available for interview?
Do I go digital or print with my press kits?
Digital-only copies of your press release/kit for the media can be sufficient in some instances. However, press offices are frequently used as a base to file stories, so it can provide another opportunity to get your news in front of journalists, including those who you may not already have reached. It is also a good reminder of what you are launching at the exhibition. Likewise, a hard copy press release can prove useful for journalists to refer back to and make notes on during your product launch. Accompanying product photos (high resolution and Copyright-free) can either be included on a USB or links to high-res versions can be emailed to journalists.
- Keep some press kits on your stand too, for any visiting journalists.
- If you are hosting a press event, consider including some invites in your press kits as reminders for the first journalists to arrive in the press office.
- Intermittently check whether you need to re-stock your press kits (remember, the press office is for members of the media only, so respectfully only enter to drop off releases or to give news to the press office team, who will then pass onto the visiting journalists).
- In addition, or as an alternative to hard copies, you may choose to produce USBs for the press office.
- Respond to media enquiries promptly. Attending journalists will likely have tight deadlines to meet during the exhibition/show. Keep a record of any requests from the media so that you can follow-up to ensure that you have sent them all the information they require.
Daily Show News?
Is there a daily show newsletter? Ask well in advance of the exhibition and find out the editorial requirements and deadlines for stories. Is the press office editing the newsletter or has it been outsourced?
With years of experience working across a broad spectrum of shows and exhibitions, including managing the press office at this year’s Oceanology International, the Saltwater Stone team is proudly sponsoring the Press Office at Seawork International in July for the 5th consecutive year. To schedule a meeting with Saltwater Stone, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)1202 669244.