You Schmooze, You Can’t Lose: Industry Events’ Importance to B2B Public Relations

Co-authored by Berj Alexanian and Lindsey Schober

How immersed are you in the industry you publicize? In today’s world, attending industry events brings great value to public relations programs – for both agency and corporate public relations professionals. Beyond networking, events bring unique value to understanding the context of industry media coverage, and getting to know what issues keep the decision-makers up at night.

Here are some tips and video on how to get the most value from business networking events.

BlissPR Tips: Leveraging Industry Events for PR Advantage

    1. Leverage events to get to know your industry. There’s an old PR saying that you should be, “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Not true for B2B public relations. B2B PR is a knowledge-based business (instead of a product-based business), and to truly understand our clients, we must be a part of their world. Attending industry events gives us an avenue to immerse ourselves into the industry’s culture and learn the language. In the following video, hear more about using events to get to know your industry, from BlissPR’s Margy Sweeney, Lindsey Schober and Berj Alexanian:

But don’t take our word for it – here’s more on the importance of events, from a company that organizes them “for a living”. In this segment, BlissPR’s Berj Alexanian takes us behind the scenes immediately after the Bisnow Chicago Real Estate Summit for an exclusive interview with Michael Farber, Bisnow Vice President of Expansion, to talk about the importance of networking events in the real estate industry.

More BlissPR Tips: Leveraging Industry Events for PR Advantage

Here are three more tips for getting the most out of industry events for PR pro’s, including more video “Live from Bisnow-Chicago” with more context from our BlissPR Chicago professionals.

    1. Mine the events for pitch and story ideas. Industry networking events are prime places to pick up a new pitch or story idea. Pick attendees’ brains about new industry trends and ask questions about what’s top of mind or what’s keeping them up at night.
    2. Meet the media. Industry specific networking events are a great opportunity to get to know trade media reporters. Make sure to seek them out, and be prepared with questions for discussion (see Tip 5).
    3. Personal relationships are key – Industry networking events are often a relaxed and pressure-free place to strike up conversation and deepen personal relationships with peers, clients and reporters. Make sure to introduce yourself to people you don’t know, and don’t be afraid to ask lots (and lots) of questions.

A little coffee and a nosh can be a great beginning to a conversation that would not normally take place otherwise. Here’s more:

  1. Do your homework – Any networking event can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know anyone or are new to the industry. Before you go, do your homework. Develop a plan. Be sure to know the basics of your industry and the current issues. Read the trades and the publications your industry values. Find out who is attending, and pick out three or four people you want to talk with. The goal isn’t to collect as many business cards as possible. The goal is to have a strategy going into the event, so you can gain knowledge and develop relationships that will bring value to your clients and your firm. Please find the final link below where the BlissPR Chicago team stresses the importance of properly preparing yourself prior to a networking event.

What helps you to make the most of events in your industry?

To contact Margy Sweeney:

Phone:  312-252-7314
Twitter: @margysweeney
LinkedIn: Margy Sweeney