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Aug 06, 2001

How a British PR Firm Improves Ticket Sales For eBusiness Trade Shows

SUMMARY: If you are investing in a trade show booth, check out this article for great ideas about how you can publicize it for maximum exposure. This is also a useful article for marketers who sell event tickets and booths.
Over the past nine months, ticket sales for e-Business and marketing trade shows in the UK have been sagging as badly as they have across the pond in North America. Here's how Eskenzi PR who handle key British shows, including Reed's eBusiness Expo, have been improving ticket sales through exhibitor-centric PR:

About eight to nine months prior to each event, the team at Eskenzi contacts each exhibitor to start the process. They look for three types of items:

1. Product managers who'll agree to write a truly informative (not salesy) article on ebusiness that Eskenzi can then plant in both vertical and national media. Eskenzi's team then email a list of these "Free original articles" to a hand-picked list of press who, more often than not, will happily pick up an article or two to fill editorial holes.

2. Products or services around which Eskenzi can do an online survey that could produce numbers for a great news story. (For example, how much employee time could companies save by filtering out gambling sites from their Web access?) Survey results are almost always snapped up by the press for coverage.

3. Broad interest, human interest or trend stories Eskenzi can plant about exhibitors. Eskinsi's Justine Pulver explains, "Is their managing director shot, fat or ugly? Can we do something fun with him? Not normal pushy product articles."

After aggressively planting these types of content in both vertical and national press, the team also produce a press guide to the event about two months out. This press packet includes a "potted little review" of each exhibitor. The press loves it, because it makes their job easier and thus they're more likely to cover the show.

All of this work translates into an average of 170-200 media mentions per show, often during the time period potential attendees are making ticket-buying decisions. Pulver says, "Most PR firms would get 20-30 mentions if they're lucky." Plus, exhibitors get enough value from their relationship with the show that they are willing to buy another booth next year ... even if attendance was slow. To reach Eskenzi, email
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