trade show pr guide

Hello My Dear Readers!

We’re taking a break from our regular “Dear Lilian” format for me to just be the PR Adviser today. Fear not, my lovely loyalists, I’m still available to answer all your pressing PR questions, by email or as posted in the comments section. I realize most of you are preparing for the Las Vegas trade show – as am I!

I’ll be flitting around the shows, looking for press-worthy dazzlers to feature in this column. If you’re not already following me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, would you take a second to do so now? You can then follow me through my adventures in Emerald City.

Yes, yes, I know Las Vegas is known as Sin City — but when we jewelry people takeover, shouldn’t it be called Emerald City?

If you want me to stop at your booth during the trade show, please send me an invitation. I’d love to meet my readers!

Now, I know it’s simply a madhouse where you are right now! Las Vegas is just weeks away and that to-do list isn’t getting any shorter. I hate to be the messenger, especially when you’re probably thinking of googling for the fifth time the health ramifications of not sleeping for 96 hours. But…what is your trade show PR strategy for Las Vegas?

Las Vegas is the time we see friends we’ve only known in Vegas (and oh the secrets we share), and it’s also a time we make new friends. Some of those friends own or buy for stores, while others write for magazines. The latter are the friends I want you to consider making as you’re prepping your Red Bull IV drip for another all-nighter of Vegas planning.

You should have a spreadsheet of all the editors and writers planning to attend the Las Vegas trade show. You can often get this spreadsheet simply by asking the right people – but sometimes, you must put in some work.

Pull out that growing list of jewelry writers you love, love, love and send each an email asking if they’ll be at the trade show because, OMG, you’ve got an absolutely obscene pendant interpretation of Rihanna’s Met Gala Comme des Garçons dress done in rubies, sapphires and emeralds and it must be seen and Instagrammed in person!

Just like you’re setting up retail appointments, you must also set up press appointments. It’s best for everyone around as attending press understand you’re there to sell. If you’re busy when they stop by your trade show booth sans appointment, they’re less likely to hang around. Having an appointment and someone ready to talk to them ensures you don’t miss any opportunities.

Now my new friend is Rebecca Moskal, Founder of Communique and PR Agency extraordinaire for the JCK Las Vegas trade show. I asked Rebecca for three of the most important things you should know in preparation for Vegas (as I realize adding any more than three new things to your 12-page pre-Vegas to-do list may have you contemplating your life choices.)

Rebecca’s wisdom:

1. Have your :30 elevator pitch ready. Know what your key points are and practice conveying them in a straightforward, engaging manner as you won’t have much time to capture the press’s attention on the busy show floor.

2. Before the Show begins, pre-select two or three pieces to show the press. Practice what you’ll say about each piece, such as the design inspiration, the gemstone, or a signature look. Make sure the pieces are easily accessible, fingerprint-free, and will leave a lasting and memorable impression.

3. Have professional images taken of your new pieces (on a white background) BEFORE the Show. These hi-res image files should be available on branded flash/USB drives for editors to take with them. Include a document with piece descriptions and your contact information.

There you have it! Three simple things to get you closer to your Town & Country spread.

Before you start screaming at your monitor — “Lilian, are you crazy? I don’t have time for this! Don’t you know I’m one UPS label away from express shipping myself to Santorini and saying to hell with the Las Vegas trade show?!” — might I remind you this work is (or should be) already done?

During the trade show, you’re telling the press the exact same thing you’re telling retailers, except you’re not negotiating minimums and buybacks. You’re selling that editor on why her readers (also known as her customers) will want to own your Brazilian tourmaline pave cuff bracelet.

The only new thing you must do is get your high res photos onto flash drives before trade show. And that’s what interns are for!

It’s getting late and those insurance forms won’t fill out themselves. Don’t forget to email me if you’d like me to stop by your booth.

And as always, post in the comments section or email me with your most pressing PR questions.

Viva Las Vegas!

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