How to win at K 2019

The K Trade Fair in Düsseldorf (October 16-23, 2019) is just around the corner, with excitement having been building within the plastics and rubbers industry for months. One of the key reasons for this pre-event buzz is the show’s rarity. Only taking place tri-annually, a huge shift has happened within the space since the last event, with the notion of sustainability and a circular economy now dominating the discussion amid increased public calls for change. But communication as a tool to generate pre-, during and post-show buzz has also shifted dramatically since K 2016, with the role for social media never having been more prevalent. 

At K 2019, around 3,200 international exhibitors will be showing you the latest developments and ground breaking innovations in the plastics and rubber industry. How then do you approach your marketing strategy, to maximize your on-show impact and stand out from the crowd? 

Global marketing communications agency, EMG, which will be representing several companies at K 2019 has some tips for this year’s event. 

Start early

The early bird catches the worm. At EMG’s Pre K Press Event in June several key plastics suppliers presented their upcoming K Trade Fair innovations. But don’t worry if your company wasn’t there this year – there’s still time to get your message out in the leadup to the event. For example, you could boost content on your website in the weeks ahead. You could conduct interviews with your executives about your company’s presence at the show, publish thought leadership pieces or feature Q&As with your technical team about new technology you are introducing at the show. You could distribute press release(s), social media and  blog content leading up to the show or tease visitors to come to your stand with “Don’t Miss” exclusives.

Remember that engagement is a must in the current communications environment. It boosts visibility and enhances awareness among media and visitors. You should start with a pre-show buzz to introduce people to what they can expect to see at your stand and remind them of the solutions that you provide.

A more integrated K 2019 campaign

At K 2019, make a point of broadening your reach beyond trade publications, as the number of publishers, bloggers and influencers increases. Your audience can now be targeted through more channels than ever before: online/print media, social media, website, mobile, WhatsApp, etc. Integrated marketing communications is about creating unique and compelling content using a mix of  platforms and technologies that drive customers to your brand. Content creation extends the message, provides in-depth information and continues the conversation though text, infographics, videos, podcasts, webinars, livestreams and photos. 

Never forget that trade shows are busy times requiring careful planning. Prepare and schedule your social media posts and news release publications in advance and divide them across all days of the exhibition for a balanced and long running impact. 

On the show floor

K 2019 is eight days long and it will be important to capture the interest of visitors and customers for the whole duration of the show. While most companies tend to create a lot of noise in the first part before the weekend, there are still three days to go after the weekend which  also attract a lot of visitors, if marcom momentum is maintained.This is why a planned and integrated strategy is so important to ensuring that you maximize that trade show floor window and reach out to everyone you wanted to. 

Tactics that can assist in being the talk of the town in Düsseldorf can include special events for attendees, either on stand during the day or at a local event in the evening. Targeted gatherings can raise awareness for sponsors/partners as well as for your own organization. 

Photos and videos and ‘in the moment’ shots are great for adding that personal touch and getting resultant shares. Daily show video highlights are another excellent vehicle in reaching out to trade show attendees and non-attendees alike. 

Grabbing trade media attention

Despite the rise of newer media, the specialist trade media is still the cornerstone of how to get your message across to your customers and the industry as a whole. Do keep them central to your strategy. 

If you have a truly new  plastic or rubber technology, or a recent business partnership that you need to announce, scheduling a press conference during an event is an ideal method of generating coverage.

You can also  invite editors to your stand and offer them access to key spokespeople within your company. In turn ensure that these spokespersons are well versed in the trade fair messages, current business strategy, R&D and innovation. 

In all dealings with the press it is important that you have a press kit to offer that goes far beyond the company profile. Editors need something new and dramatic to feature in their next issue or headline their daily website. To attract their interest, offer news on something highly significant within your organization and the opportunity to interview the relevant executives during the event. Present a hard copy of your press materials if required, but always ensure that the press kit is available digitally on a branded memory stick for the editor to avoid additional luggage and risk having your materials dumped on the way home. 

Post show buzz

You’ve had a great show with lots of press coverage and visitors to your stand. But you will want to keep the momentum going and broadcast your news to a wider audience. A strong post show strategy is important to maximize awareness for your K 2019 messages. Continue to reach out to the editors and the industry to build your reputation as a an innovator authority on plastics and rubber. You could create a blog post with highlights from the show. Or do a promotional video from the show on social media, which could be complemented with a thought leadership piece or a post-event media release. A wrap up e-newsletter is another opportunity to thank visitors and remind them of your innovations. 

Your marketing communications partner

Of course, key to any strong trade show appearance where you stand out from the crowd is having the right industrial technology communications partner. 

Since 1992 EMG has served more than 45 customers at 10 K shows; our foundation is in the world of plastics and chemicals; we know what it takes to look good on the day, be seen and remembered. Don't take our word for it, talk to some of our customers like Ascend, Borealis, Clariant, DSM, INEOS Styrolution, Perstorp, SABIC and SONGWON and find out how we deliver end to end client support encompassing content, development, media, communications, event management and training.

Partnering with EMG at K 2019 or other major industry trade shows or conferences around the world, will help get your message across on the floor. For more information on how we can help get your message across through both traditional media routes or via an integrated social media strategy, visit K 2019 or reach out  to us today!


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