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How to get the most out of your trade show presence: guidance from Infosecurity Magazine, Omdia, Former Cyberwire Editor, and Eskenzi PR

By March 22, 2024No Comments

The Eskenzi PR team recently sat down for a lively, entertaining, and frank discussion with leading journalists and analysts on both sides of the Atlantic to discuss upcoming cybersecurity events, such as RSA and Infosecurity Europe, and how vendors can maximise their press and analyst success at trade shows.  

The conversation, featuring leading Omdia cybersecurity analyst, Rik Turner,  former Cyberwire chief, John Petrik, and Infosecurity Magazine  Editor, Beth Maundrill, (as well as Eskenzi’s own Conor Heslin and Katie Finn), is invaluable listening for cybersecurity teams hoping to use these North Star events to gain traction with the media and analyst community. The webinar is available on demand, and  we have also summarised our top three  takeaways below: 

  • Engage with the media and analysts year-round – not just around trade shows 

A main point of contention for all of our attendees was that building a long-lasting and fruitful relationship is a task that should be done 365 days a year. While many organisations will plan a year’s corporate communications around large trade shows such as RSA, Infosecurity Europe and International Cyber Expo, if a journalist only hears from that organisation on or around the dates of key trade shows, our panel reveals they are much less likely to engage. 

The most successful vendors from a media perspective are the ones who have established direct (or through PR agencies) long-lasting relationships across a year, providing thought leadership insight and 

engagement. This ‘drip-drip’ approach means when the big announcements come,  a journalist is used to hearing from an organisation, knows who they are, and is therefore more likely to cover the news. 

  • Don’t neglect the importance of the booth – and understand who comes onto your booth and what the right follow-up action is. 

Attendees on both sides of the Atlantic made the point that while the primary function of a trade show booth is to sell, they should not be neglected from a media standpoint either. Both Rik Turner of Omdia and John Petrik of CyberWire said that they will try to use a portion of their time at a trade show to walk the floor. As such, it’s important that the booth – and the staff attending your booth – are able to draw in not just potential prospects but potential media and analyst influencers too. 

Rik also noted that he’ll frequently stop by a stand he finds interesting, ask someone on the booth to scan his badge, and make a note that he’d like to speak to the PR or AR teams to arrange a meeting after the event:

 “No more than 30% get back to me. I’m not doing it for my health, I’m not doing it to be sweet, I really do want to hear from them….and I don’t mean to send a salesperson to see whether I want a demo of your product. Get somebody who can tell me about the company, the technology, what it’s doing, who it competes with and how it’s different – in other words, give me a proper briefing because that’s what I’m after and then I’ll write about you.”

This comment prompted our panel to discuss the vital role those on the booth play – and the importance of them taking the time to understand who they’re speaking to and why someone walks onto a booth. If someone isn’t the right persona and isn’t ever going to be in the market for solutions, trying to engage them after the show with sales pitches will be a waste of time, and could result in missing valuable opportunities to engage media and analysts. 

  • Don’t worry if you are not covered at the show – but do engage afterwards! 

There’s a temptation to feel like the show has not been successful if you leave without any media engagement. However, our panel disagreed! While engaging in advance is important, and can increase your chances of coverage, using the show as a jumping-off point for further content and contact with the media and analysts can be just as fruitful. Beth Maundrill of Infosecurity Magazine made the point that she will cover news generated at the show, such as off-the-stand thought leadership surveys – as a way to view trends emerging from the show. This can also be a great way for companies to generate data points which can support PR activities, social engagement and SEO, by creating strong content that can be backlinked to in other collateral. 

For further insights, follow the link above to view the full Webinar on demand. Or, to find out how Eskenzi can help you create the recipe for a winning media showing at this year’s events, please do get in touch