Last month’s LA Auto Show ran a 12-page, four-color, full-size (broadsheet) special section in a Sunday issue of the Los Angeles Times. The piece was also included in the digital version (PDF format) of the newspaper, and posted on the Los Angeles Times web site.
Considering the newspaper's total combined print and digital average Sunday circulation of more than 900,000, this is certainly nice exposure for the show.
Regardless of all of the stuff you hear about newspapers these days, newspaper special sections and inserts can still prove beneficial in driving attendance for consumer shows, while enabling exhibitors and sponsors to collateralize and leverage their booth space and at-show investments.
To be sure, a full-run special section or insert in a major market newspaper can be very expensive, especially if the newspaper is not a sponsor, so here are five tips for getting the most from your investment:
1. Run an SMS overlay with a special offer. For example, text "VIP" to 55555 for 2-for-1 admission.
2. Use a QR code to deliver richer follow-on content to the reader (i.e. "Scan this code to see a quick video of the hottest new features at this year's show!").
3. Integrate an electronic version of the special section or insert into your digital media, web site, email, social, etc.
4. Sell ads to exhibitors and sponsors to mitigate costs, and/or bundle as part of sponsorships and up-sell packages for exhibit space buys.
5. Use the special section or insert as your show program.
Cristopher Levy is managing partner of Encore Media Partners. Encore is an audience strategy, marketing and media buying agency covering traditional, digital and mobile platforms,which specializes in local, national and global trade and consumer shows, exhibitions and conferences. Reach him at email@example.com.