Doing it differently to be the talk of the show

EMG helped Avery Dennison take a fresh approach to its tradeshow planning and communications …the positive coverage speaks volumes

Tradeshows are having an immense impact on Avery Dennison’s visibility in the media; much more than in the past. The  clippings we monitored for Labelexpo Europe 2015 were 16% up on the previous year, with a really pleasing increase in both the quality and extent of coverage by key publications (62% of the show coverage was in Tier 1 Media). For March’s FESPA Digital 2016 we’ve seen a rise of over 50% compared to the previous show.

What did we do differently this time around?

For these two shows, a number of factors came together. At the heart, good planning by the Avery Dennison team. Their readiness to actively involve all internal and external parties in the idea generation process for the event themes – from the company’s marcoms colleagues and product managers through to EMG, the designated design agency and the stand builders. Securing agreement on messaging early on was also a crucial step. This gave EMG both a solid basis to work from and plenty of creative development time to propose a media campaign with a successful impact on editors.   

For Labelexpo specifically, we created a pre-show 6-week mini-campaign focused on three of Avery Dennison’s core themes for the event. Each one was the subject of a fortnightly topic spotlight consisting of social media content, emails targeted at selected editors and press releases. During Labelexpo and FESPA, in addition to organising a press breakfast and interviews with key executives, we took advantage of the exhibitions’ promotional channels to make sure we kept on getting the Avery Dennison message across. We made full use of each organiser’s online press room, social media platforms and show dailies, participated in their respective blogs, and broadcast video interviews on the show screens and on YouTube channels.  Plus, we embraced sponsorship opportunities to make sure Avery Dennison was well and truly seen by visitors. We’re happy with the results and so are Avery Dennison, and we have a new set of refreshing ideas to build on for future tradeshow communications.

Top ten tips for amplifying trade show media coverage

  1. Decide early on which audiences will attend the show; identify key messages by audience and develop relevant stories. Design communication tactics integrating the channels and platforms the audiences use.
  2. Be on time: the goals and messages should be set already when confirming your participation and everything from booth design to press releases and customer mailings should support this. Stay focused, despite different needs and wishes from the organisation.
  3. Involve your partners: in the early run-up to the show, involve all relevant internal departments and external agencies (public relations and marketing communications agencies, stand designers etc.) in brain-storming themes and evaluating them against the key messages, booth design and news value for the media.
  4. Choose your heroes. Keep clear the things you want people to remember, and cluster your stories under main themes.
  5. Don’t be afraid to kill darlings. Remember that not all customer stories are good media stories and you don’t need to cover all messaging in all your media communications.
  6. Preshow announcements are  important as a summary of your show highlights as a tool to gain media coverage, but that might not be enough.
  7. Think about other tools, in addition to press releases, for targeting editors. More and more editors are active on social media – give them something to share!
  8. Keep your communication with editors relevant. The run-up and event are busy times for editors therefore give a good story that dives into the interests of the individual editors and link your story to the tradeshow.
  9. Utilize organizers online and off-line publicity to get your message shared. The official channels of the trade shows have a lot of followers.
  10. Leverage sponsorship opportunities – although costly, it could be the right thing to get your name out there and top of mind.



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