And To Make News, Bring Something New To A Show
By Dr. David Juwel
For several years now I have been advising aviation businessmen about the fact that there are some good reasons why they are not achieving the best return on their investment when they exhibit at air shows and fly-in’s. Some companies have taken my advice to heart and others continue to ignore me. Not following good advice isn't entirely the reason why the LSA market is whittling itself down to smaller and smaller numbers, but it is certainly one of the contributing factors.
The LSA Expo is an excellent venue, but the value that it represents to the manufacturer is not being fully exploited. Let me explain ...
I work the shows utilizing different talents; not only am I a respected member of the aviation media, but I am also a licensed professional business coach and a potential customer as well. So I see things from several different angles. At previous shows, I noticed something peculiar. So on the first day of the 2013 LSA Expo, as a media representative, I went to every single booth on display. I purposely had media written all over me (jacket, notebook and assistant) because I wanted to make a point about what I knew would happen. Guess what? It did! After visiting every single booth and display, only one individual asked me to do an article on their product. Most vendors completely ignored me. In fact, some headed toward me with the glint of a prospective customer in their eye, and then seeing my media badge, abruptly turned around and went back to their seat.
Now let’s analyze that. If 16,000 people were to show up at the Expo, how many would see your product line, stop by and inquire about it, and give you the opportunity to follow-up with them for an immediate or future sale? You know the answer. And you spend hundreds and thousands of dollars for that small amount of exposure, with the hope that it will produce several viable customers.
On the other hand, let’s take a news media agency with 100,000, 200,000, 500,000 national and international readers. Is that more than 16,000 people? If they wrote a story on you or your product, would it cost you anything to reach out to that many people? And keep in mind, there are numerous media people at every event, so the opportunity for exposure is multiplied.
I am so amazed at the people that ignore the media opportunity. If I had a booth, every time I saw a media badge, I would rush over and introduce myself and enthusiastically pass on the important and newsworthy information about my product; hoping that they would write about me, or do a video about my product. It’s far greater exposure, and it’s free! This is one of the biggest opportunities that the event organizers offer – free media coverage!
You might rationalize that you gave out press releases last year, and you don’t have anything new to say. But how many news agencies printed your information last year? Are there some that didn't? If so, your information may still be news to their readers. Go find their representatives. Missed promotional opportunities are yet another reason why some companies are only making tens of thousands, when they could be making hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Don’t let it happen to you. Seize the opportunities! And don’t get upset if a news agency doesn’t want to cover you. You have to have something new to give them. That’s why they’re called “news-agencies.” Quick hint: Always bring something new to the shows.
Wishing you blue skies and greater profitability.
(Dr. David Juwel pictured in file photo)