Industry conferences and trade shows are a great educational and networking resource for your organization, as well as a source of leads for your company. The audiences at these events already have a vested interest in your mission, so it’s a great opportunity to share information about your products or services before, during and after the show. Industry events are also a great opportunity to set up meetings with media in attendance to highlight your organization’s expertise in your field.
At Chartwell Agency, we like to call these meetings, media meet and greets. The meetings are informal conversations with representatives from local, regional, national or industry trade media that attend the event. The purpose of a meet and greet is to showcase your areas of expertise, comment on any industry buzz happening at the conference and learn more about what particular topics the publication or outlet will be covering in the coming year. Most of the time, a story is not produced from this meeting, but the ultimate goal of these engagements is to be recognized as a credible source should that writer need you for future stories.
If you are exhibiting at the event, you usually have access to the media list, so you can reach out to those that will be at the show. If you don’t have access to the media list, reach out to your key media contacts and simply ask if they are attending.
Included below are some pointers for media meet and greet meetings:
Set up your meetings at least a month in advance. Media schedules are extremely tight during trade shows.
- Like any other meeting, be sure to send a calendar notice to the reporter/writer with the date, time and location of the meeting.
- Provide details about your organization to the reporter/writer you are meeting with beforehand. Share links to any stories you have already been featured in from that outlet as well as any other relevant content such as blogs.
- Develop a meeting overview for any team members that will be attending the meet and greet and include:
- Details about the outlet/publication including audience
- Details about the writer including their beat and a sampling of recent articles or stories
- Upcoming editorial topics of interest (for print publications)
- Keep the meeting short, concise and on time and be sure to bring your business cards.
- Follow up after the conference with a thank you email and begin pitching stories to the writer when appropriate and relevant.
Industry events are great for a number of different reasons and building relationships with the media and sharing your organizations expertise should be no exception.