Thousands of companies each year in the housewares market, builders and kitchen/bath design industries take part in critical trade events such as the International Builders’ Show (IBS), The Inspired Home Show, and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). These shows are a great way to launch and demonstrate new products in front of trade press that attend looking for the next great story to tell.
These shows can be an important way to offer direct education of new or even existing products or services to hundreds of thousands of guests. And with many shows now offering a virtual component, this exposure can reach into the millions even for audiences not attending in person. When an attendee enters your booth, you have their complete attention and the opportunity to educate them in a way that is unique to marketing. Done correctly, you have the chance to introduce them to your product or service and showcase how you are different than others in your category – and why they should do business with you.
Aside from booth visits and in-person product demonstrations, PR and marketing today are now working together to amplify awareness and lead-gen strategies for brands at these shows. This is important because for PR specifically, brands have had great challenges in achieving awareness when relying solely on their internal PR teams, and this challenge has grown even more so when internal brand marketers try to leverage PR into their lead-gen strategies.
Consider feedback from a recent Merit Mile Research survey of executives discussing PR and marketing challenges for their brands: Most respondents (76.4%) said their biggest challenge is that they want to get more press coverage but that they don’t know the right strategies to start with. This was followed by 69.4% who said they don’t have the right time/resources to pursue coverage, and another 69.4% who said they feel they don’t have the right media contacts.
When asked about combining PR with lead-gen strategies, more than half (57%) said they are interested in tying their PR efforts to lead-gen strategies, but that they are unsure how to effectively develop those for their company.
Companies exhibiting or trying to get exposure at IBS, KBIS or The Inspired Home Show must first decide what their story is. Will the story revolve around a product or service, or is it more problem/solution-oriented in its message? Do you have compelling data to anchor around the story, or a disruptive thought the industry should hear about?
Once you have the story developed, what format will it take? If you are announcing a new product, or findings to new research, you will want to build out a press release. If there is additional data or insight involved, you may want to have a white paper or infographic developed to help tell the story further.
Setting up press briefings before, during, and after the show are extremely critical to getting the right exposure for your products/services, brand, and disruptive insights for your audiences. Brands used to coordinate on-site press conferences at shows, but these are fewer today. Having the right press kit to help tell the story is also important, this way the media have quotes, background and images/media they need to fill their stories.
Major trade media attend these shows, including Builder, Roofing Contractor, Kitchen and Bath Design News, Qualified Remodeler, Housewares, and Home Furnishings News. The right agency partner with experience in design/build products can help build relationships with these and other targeted outlets.
Brands today are going beyond simply PR awareness by also tying their efforts to lead-gen. What’s working well is when companies work with an integrated PR and marketing agency to develop a research white paper or infographic, brand it and develop a landing page with form submission on the company’s website. When PR articles drive traffic to the landing page and audiences fill out the form to download the asset, sales teams have new leads to follow up on. This isn’t just effective for B2B brands. Consumer-oriented brands can develop lists and tip sheets for consumers to also download on the website.
Having the right agency partner can help immensely since trusted and qualified agencies often have a good understanding of the issues facing certain industries, and they have the right media relationships to connect you for interview and editorial opportunities. Learn how we can help promote your brand’s thought leaders at these and other shows by contacting our expert PR team today.