Getting The Press to Attend Your Events

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Invite the Press to cover your trade show, tournament or conference – press coverage is one of the best ways to gain mass exposure for your event. This marketing strategy seems obvious, but…evidently is not. I’ve seen more than a few events where journalists barely have a presence. Journalists and bloggers provide free exposure. That’s a crazy opportunity to ignore. Particularly if you’re running some sort of consumer-targeted trade show, you need the press.

So, is there a secret to getting The Press to attend? Surely, it can’t be as easy as asking!

Actually, you’d be surprised.

Discover Who Is Most Interested

Your first step is to generate a list of the media outlets most likely to want to cover your event. Who is writing about the industry you’re promoting, and is their target audience also your target audience?  Start with specialty publications – sites and print media that exclusively cover your field. Now expand your outreach list to include publications that have a related column or a writer with an interest in your space.

The first step is making them aware of your event hoping that they promote in advance of the event, and if they’re interested, inviting them to attend and review your success.

Tap Local Publications

Local news outlets matter!  Your outreach list should include at least several local newspapers, magazines or websites that promote happenings about town to a broader audience. Your event’s host city is invested in the success of your event. They are likely to promote the event beforehand working to bring more visitors into their market.

Tip: press outreach can be tedious. Consider an application like SceneSquid to help spread the word, and checkout their review by

Submit Event Details Well Before Game Day

I cannot stress this enough – you need to inform those you intend to invite well in advance of your actual event. Certainly providing a long lead-time is important if your goal is pre-event coverage. Lead-time is also important for those you hope will attend. An editor wants the flexibility when working your event into their content calendar.

How long in advance you release details should relate to the publication you’re targeting.  We’d recommend sending a heads-up at least a month in advance, but remember that print magazines often need far longer than that.

Give Your Press Free Access

Having covered events in the past, I speak from experience when I say nothing is more frustrating than a press pass that doesn’t really allow me to go anywhere. You can’t just hand out VIP, all-access passes to every schmuck with a camera and voice recorder, but make sure your press passes actually allows key press people near-full access. You want the press to have a full experience so they can sing your praises.

Get Big Names To Attend

There is a simple reason why everyone in the Gaming industry tunes into the Electronic Entertainment Expo year after year. It’s because we know for a fact that virtually all of the biggest names in video games will be there, and we also know we’re going to hear a whole host of exciting announcements. Everyone in the gaming press is eager to attend and get the hottest stories; this press is engaged, enthusiastic and they know that there’s going to be no shortage of material for them to cover.


The news media is one of the best avenues for event exposure available to you as an event management professional. Make sure you use it to its fullest extent. Otherwise, you’re missing out on an incredibly valuable resource…and besides, press make for great guests!