Many HVAC tradeshows have been cancelled or gone virtual this year, and this may be a huge disappointment for you. After all, these events are where you make personal connections, find new customers, and develop leads for years to come.
Well, instead of moping around feeling sorry for yourself and watching your HVAC business lose sales, know that this is a great opportunity. There are many things you can do at any trade show or event to be more successful — without spending a fortune.
HVAC Tradeshow and Event Public Relations Secrets (Shhhh…)
- Contact event media.
- Many media members pay attention to big HVAC events. While you may not be able to meet them in person, you can let them know about your products, services, and the benefits you provide.
- To start, research the media members who will be covering an event. Find their contact information and really take the time to review their published content.
- Then, email or call them and discuss the exciting news and benefits you’ll be announcing at the upcoming event. Provide valuable information that their audience members will care about. This way, they’ll know who you are and possibly talk about your business and news announcement.
- Secret hint: You can usually get a list of media members from the event coordinator. If there isn’t a list available or you can’t get access to it, just look at the information from last year’s event (or do an online search) and see which media members covered it.
- Get your content together already.
- If you don’t have good marketing and public relations content that talks about the value you provide (not how great your products and service features are), start working on that right away.
- Yes, you’ll want to distribute a press release (see my previous ACHR NEWS articles and podcast about this) if you are announcing an important update or news at the upcoming event.
- But more important, you’ll want to have basic details about your business, leadership team, products, and services ready to go for the media (aka a press or media kit). This is an essential part of communicating what your HVAC business is all about.
- Secret hint: Create a simple page on your website that includes downloadable logos and images of your team, products and services, concise “about” information that really tells your company’s story and why you are unique, entertaining executive bios (no boring corporate lingo, please!), press releases, articles, and tip sheets. This is your “online newsroom.” The media can access it at any time, and you can just send the link to reporters when they want information.
- Stand out.
- While your competitors stand around complaining about cancelled events, take action. Think of creative ways to communicate with event attendees, share your news with the media, give a presentation, develop valuable offers for your customers, and show your unique benefits.
- Now is the time to develop new marketing ideas and let potential customers know that you are still going strong during the pandemic and are ready to serve their needs more than ever.
- Secret hint: If you have no idea what to offer customers, run a simple survey via email or online and ask them what they want. You’ll get some great feedback that you can use to create fresh content, products, and services.
HVAC Tradeshow or Not, Opportunity Awaits
HVAC tradeshows and events are very different right now due to the pandemic. But this doesn’t mean that you stop your event public relations and marketing activities.
Take this time to develop unique messages and get your media information ready to go. Talk to reporters, producers, and bloggers in your industry and introduce yourself. Provide valuable offers and information to your target market.
And if there is no event going on whatsoever, create your own!
Instead of looking at the current situation as detrimental to your business, look at it as a new opportunity. You can be totally creative, have fun, and communicate with your customers in new and exciting ways. Take advantage of this change, and who knows? You might just have the best year yet.