January 28, 2020
This year, two of the most important packaging and processing trade shows are Interpack 2020 (7-13 May, Messe Düsseldorf, Germany) and PACK EXPO 2020 (8-11 November, Chicago, USA). Both are expected to attract thousands of decision-makers from across the globe working in the food, beverage, confectionery, bakery, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, non-food and industrial goods sectors. The high visitor traffic to such events makes them extremely important for suppliers to showcase their product portfolio.
With so many exhibitors and attendees, it’s no surprise that these shows are also a must-atttend for relevant trade media. They will flock to see the latest innovation in machinery, materials and containers, to identify top trends and get in-depth insights into game-changing processes and techniques. As a result, large-scale press events are commonplace for exhibitors touting new products, brand launches and major company news.
But what happens if you don’t have a new product launch or major announcement to make? Do you forgo making a splash at the show? Abandon the idea of a media event?
Not necessarily. While companies should never hold a press event without having something new and noteworthy to share, smaller thought leadership-driven media events can be a great option to demonstrate innovative thinking or, preferably, to tease an upcoming launch.
The keys to success with a smaller scale media initiative are:
- An intimate, casual format (preferably with breakfast, lunch or snacks provided)
- A small group of non-competing media editors and reporters who cover topics that align with your focus
- Engaging talking points that demonstrate clear out-of-the-box thinking on an industry-wide issue or trend.
Remembering that trade publication editors are always running a mile a minute at these shows, it’s critical to ensure your content is worth their time. Once you’ve determined the central topic of your subject matter, consider how to best tell that story. Is it with:
- A customer case study?
This would centre around a discussion with the customer, providing an overview of a collaborative success as well as the opportunity for questions from the media.
- A preview of an upcoming product launch?
This involves an exclusive teaser of an upcoming new technology announcement, with arrangements made with editors from non-competing media for exclusive content that can go live the day of the launch.
- Fresh insights on key trends or an industry outlook?
Originality is crucial in this exploration of current or upcoming trends and challenges. Consider the differentiated perspectives your company can offer on the subject matter. Have some independent or collaborative research or consumer insights that support your observations.
Even if you have to wait until the next show for that big reveal, it’s still possible to use your time and the time of the trade media wisely at this year’s trade shows to provide truly innovative, original and important insights that will help to position your business as a thought leader.