Continuing Education @ MGU: The power of trade show PR

Ann Marie Burke | March 4, 2016

Trade show media relations is a frequently overlooked tool that can provide added show floor and social media visibility. Make this powerful tool a part of your pre-show planning for greatest impact. MG used PR onsite at EXHIBITORLIVE 2016 in Las Vegas to maximum effect generating coverage and kudos from the media and show management.

How’d we do it? Using the MGU university theme, MG’s magnify team reached out to key media with a special pre-show mailing sharing our “MGU: Empowering you to create great experiences” theme and inviting them to stop by the MG exhibit for a special gift.

Onsite at EXHIBITORLIVE 2016, the MGU media materials stood out among the 20+ press kits with a format that mirrored the in-booth experience. A brilliant red folder was topped with a laminated “book mark” note from MG’s Dean of Engagements inviting media members to visit the booth to receive an Amazon gift card they can use to buy books. In addition, for every member of the media that visited the booth, MG made a donation in the same amount to the Spread the Word Nevada book drive being promoted by EXHIBITORLIVE.

In the MGU media kit were:

- Overview press release of the MGU experience at EXHIBITORLIVE (for MG, the booth experience is our “product”)

- Several book recommendations so that editors looking for a good read could put their Amazon gift card to good use. On our must-read list? Titles that reinforced key MG brand attributes and our show messaging.

- A press release announcing MG’s 2016 Exhibit Design Excellence scholarship recipients

- 3 client case studies

The results? Editorial staff from every targeted publication visited MGU at EXHIBITORLIVE (some came multiple times to see each day’s experience). When media arrived, they were warmly greeted and taken on a guided tour. At tour’s end, the editor was presented their Amazon card and we let them know that the book drive charity would be receiving a contribution in the same amount just because they had visited MGU.

The response was tremendous and the show’s PR team used MG as an example of best-in-class PR efforts. We ended the show with a photo opportunity that included EXHIBITORLIVE’s Chief Education Officer, Spread the Word Nevada’s Director of Marketing and MG’s Dean of Engagements that was high visibility social media content for all three organizations.

5 things to remember:

  1. Get a list of the media who have pre-registered for the show. Reach out and invite them to visit your booth making sure to prominently include your booth#.
  2. Deliver your press kits (hard copy, electronic or both depending on the show) to the media room, introduce yourself to the show’s media person and let them know your media pitch.
  3. Provide a reason for the media to visit your booth. Who doesn’t like a little VIP treatment? Give those who visit a special giveaway that ties into your show theme.
  4. If you don’t have a PR team onsite, designate someone as the media contact.
  5. Follow up as soon as possible after the show, as they may be on deadline, with any additional information or photos they may need.

MG’s magnify team offers complete trade show marketing support to our clients from media relations to pre-, at-, post-show marketing to digital media. For more information, contact Ben Olson, VP of Marketing, at