Many of us have been enjoying this summer’s heatwave and taking every opportunity to enjoy the cool breeze of the coastline, get out on the water, and take our holidays, so it’s difficult to believe the busy autumn show season will also soon be upon us.

If, like us, you’re about to attend a number of boat shows, these tips for hosting press gatherings at multiple events may help you to get more out of your PR campaign this autumn – or indeed any time of the year. Focusing on traditional face-to-face engagement, they will also work alongside social media.

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1. Think about your audience. Who is the exhibition aimed at? All activity, whether customer or media focused, will need to reflect the interests of the visitor. Will the media you are wishing to engage with be at one or several boat shows? These are key considerations when choosing which event to launch your new product or service at.

2. Decide on the focus of your PR campaign for each show. The Saltwater Stone team can provide case-by-case recommendations on this but to give some insight; if you are launching a new product into several markets or sectors you will be focusing on how it can benefit the varying audiences at respective events. Or perhaps you have different products or services aimed at each of the exhibitions you are attending. You may wish to consider a launch tour or keep each launch as a standalone event. There are many possibilities, and there is no correct way, but make sure every event is tailored to the right audience and provides it with the information it requires.

3. Plan the content for each event. The same journalists will attend several or all the shows you’re exhibiting at so, while a degree of message repetition has been known to help with brand recognition and consistency, it’s important to consider how you will create an engaging campaign across the shows. Every press event you host needs to bring something new and interesting to the reporting journalists. Perhaps a key spokesperson could be made available to provide industry insight and give interviews?

4. Consider a budget for photography. In our experience, there are times when a product is so new it’s just not possible to carry out a photo shoot prior to a press event. As a solution, sometimes it’s feasible to carry out a professional shoot near the show. Not only can this present an exciting new backdrop to photograph your product, the journalists will also be able to receive the pictures quickly. Alternatively, high-resolution images from the stand or pontoon give journalists the opportunity to provide a sneak peak to their readers before the official photos are launched.

To discover how the Saltwater Stone team can help your presence at exhibitions and boat shows, informal meetings with the team are available at SMM, Hamburg (4 – 7 September), Cannes Yachting Festival (11 – 16 September), Southampton Boat Show (14 – 23 September), and Monaco Yacht Show (26 – 29 September). Please contact Izzi Birchall by phoning +(0)1202 669244 or email i.birchall@saltwater-stone.com to book an appointment.