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press kits

xhibit marketing seems to be all about the giveaways, the in-booth activities, the product displays, and the myriad bells and whistles companies use to attract clients and prospects to your booth. But don't let all of those elements overshadow another important component of your program: your press kit.

Granted, journalists usually don't buy your products, and many won't even make it to your booth. But if product or company awareness means anything to you, getting your company's news into the hands of the press - or better yet, into their carry-on bags for the return flight to the office - should be a to-do-list task that ranks far above management minutiae such as "buy staff breath mints."

Sure, you can attract hundreds of people to your booth, but if just one journalist mentions your company in a publication or broadcast, you'll generate awareness far beyond those hundreds and far beyond the show.

Of course, press kits aren't the do all end all of press-communication strategies - as you may also want to add press conferences, press events, or pre-set press meetings to your exhibit-marketing mix. However, press kits are likely the first, and perhaps only, impression you'll make on the media outlets represented at the show.

Thus, effective kits must not only contain the news and info journalists need to create their stories, they must also attract attention. For just as your exhibit competes for attention with a hall full of exhibits, your press kit competes with the stacks of other kits strewn about in the press room.
So how do you present the information journalists need in a compelling manner that stands out amid the stacks, or better yet, convinces journalists to lug your kit home? There's no single, magic answer. Instead, there are several answers, such as clever packaging, interactive activities, press-friendly giveaways, and more.

Here are thirteen press kits that have it all. They not only contain valuable news and information, but they've passed a critical test: EXHIBITOR writers lugged them home from recent trade shows. While each contains an innovative element that set it apart with a single glance, they're not all about packaging. Each kit also contains effective, ah-ha ways of presenting its information.

So when planning the press kits for your next show, consider the effective elements in these kits. After all, they not only made it into our carry-ons; they also made it into our magazine.
Twig & Fig Couture Stationery

Unique Attribute: To draw attention to its wood-veneer stationery and wedding invitations, Twig & Fig Couture Stationery created this wooden box, which features a can't-miss laser-etched cover that slides into grooves within the box to conceal its contents.
Company Description: Designer and print shop specializing in luxury invitations, fine stationery, and innovative cards
Show: National Stationery Show, 2009
Target Audience: Owners of stationery boutiques, bookstores, gift shops, etc.
Communication Goals: Promote the company's new line of custom wedding stationery, and its new wood-veneer, foil-stamped line of greeting cards
Dimensions: 11.5-by-5.5 inches
Packaging: A 1-inch-deep wooden box includes a removable laser-etched wood cover that slides open to reveal the contents
Contents: Product-info card/press release with details about the new wood-veneer line, sample of a wood-veneer card and envelope, and 12-page, full-color design-capabilities pamphlet
Total Cost per Kit: $21

Using a thin piece of jute, Twig & Fig Couture Stationery tied a recycled cardboard tag - featuring the words "couture wedding invitations," "bar-bat mitzvah invitations," and "notecards" - around the box's exterior, quickly and simply communicating the company's three primary product lines.

Stunning images, famous quotations, and artistic photos of the company's work combine to create the enclosed 12-page, full-color pamphlet, which demonstrates the company's design capabilities. The clever cover includes the company's logo and booth number, and slides open to reveal 4.5-by-10.5-inch piece of card-stock paper. The product-info card/press release touts the company's new products, provides a brief company history, and invites recipients to the Twig & Fig exhibit.

Unique Attribute: Heightening recipients' curiosity, PosterGarden's press kit comprises a sealed cardboard box, which doubles as a direct mailer. Inside the logo-adorned box, recipients find a unique branded pen. An enclosed seed packet reinforces the company's garden-related name, and acts as a clever and memorable takeaway.

Company Description: Provider of portable exhibits and event displays
Target Audience: Exhibit and event managers
Communication Goals: Introduce the company to the exhibit and event industry and support a seed-related booth theme
Dimensions: 10.5-by-6.5 inches
Packaging: Heavy cardboard box
Contents: Seed packet, business card, branded pen, product catalog, fabric-graphic samples, and seven product and company-information sheets
Total Cost per Kit: $10

A branded pen featuring a retractable message along its length references the company's retractable banner stands. What appears to be a branded white cardboard box opens to reveal a brilliant fuchsia interior, which happens to match PosterGarden's corporate color. Three graphic samples bearing the same daisy image illustrate the differences in the company's fabrics, which include SoftKnit, PolyOxford, and Terra Pro. The back of the wildflower-seed packet includes the company's logo and contact information, along with a message regarding PosterGarden's commitment to use recycled materials and waste-reduction processes.

Gilah Press + Design

Unique Attribute: Comprising card-stock paper, this simple, but oh-so-elegant press-kit enclosure resembles an olive-green journal with a leather-strap-like clasp. The kit includes a business card slipped into a slot on the right panel, along with two paper "pouches."

Company Description: Graphic design, letterpress stationery, and greeting-card company
Show: National Stationery Show, 2009
Product Target Audience: Owners of bridal shops, gift shops, department stores, and specialty shops
Communication Goals: Promote the sophisticated brand along with the company's design capabilities
Dimensions: 9.5-by-6.5 inches
Packaging: Heavy-card-stock folder resembling a writing journal
Contents: Greeting card and invitation samples, product catalog, business cards, press release, media clips, company history/information sheets, and a CD of product photos
Total Cost per Kit: $8.50

A 4.5-inch tab protrudes from the back cover, which, when slipped into the 2-inch slit in the front creates the effect of a leather-strap-like clasp. Binding the kit together, it also contributes to its journal-like feel. Simple, yet sophisticated, this journal-inspired kit - complete with two interior pouches neatly organized with samples and information - is utterly befitting of the design-conscious brand. As unique as the company's press kit, the enclosed product catalog features a series of folded product sheets fastened together with a screw and a bolt. An order form tucked behind the product sheets eases the purchasing process.

Journalists discover charming invitation and greeting-card samples nested in one of the kit's interior pockets.
Komori America Corp.

Unique Attribute: Few press kits provide both entertainment and education, but this one from Komori America Corp. literally delivers in spades. The press kit includes 10 sheets of origami paper and crane-making instructions as well as two decks of playing cards. One is a traditional deck while the other includes instructions for playing "Go Komori," the company's color-related sort of Go Fish game.

Company Description: Manufacturer of offset printing presses
Show: Print, 2009
Target Audience: Owners of printing firms
Communication Goals: Support the company's taglines "Keeps You Ahead of the Game" and "Think Creatively. Work Sustainably"
Dimensions: 12-by-10 inches
Packaging: Transparent plastic envelope with top-flap closure
Contents: Four product brochures, a sustainability booklet, a copy of On Press magazine, a pen, an Annual Report, colorful origami paper and crane-making instructions, and two decks of cards for playing poker and "Go Komori"
Total Cost per Kit: $15

Along with glossy product catalogs, a self-published 35-page magazine, a 50-page Annual Report, and a 64-page sustainability booklet, the kit includes origami paper and two decks of branded playing cards. Self published by Komori, On Press magazine features press-user profiles, customer success stories, and articles regarding advances in press technologies and capabilities. The enclosed origami paper and crane-making instructions coincide with a similar booth giveaway, featuring sheets of paper and airplane-making instructions.

The "Go Komori" deck includes 54 cards, with each bearing the same Komori logo and a rainbow of bright colors on one side. The other side features one of nine different colors, which players try to
accumulate much as you would in a Go Fish game.


Unique Attribute: A folder is a folder, but this Repouch binder is a statement. Comprising recycled material, the cardboard-like square folder offers a diagonal opening across its top-right corner. Front inserts on this stylish and functional kit allow Kirei USA LLC to insert a business card and a CD on the exterior, while the spacious interior pouch holds a product sample, a brochure, and a product spec sheet.

Company Description: Designer and manufacturer of environmentally friendly interior-design materials
Show: Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference, 2009
Target Audience: Hospitality-industry designers and contractors
Communication Goals: Relay the company's three key messages: beautiful, sustainable, natural
Dimensions: 9.5-by-9.5 inches
Packaging: A Repouch, made of 100-percent recycled material
Contents: Kirei Board sample, business card, product catalog, CD, and a Kirei Coco Tiles fact sheet
Total Cost per Kit: $5.75

Made from 100-percent recycled materials, this "Repouch" (available from Packaging By Design Inc.) helped Kirei USA LLC play up its
eco-conscious corporate values. Two punched out holes in the Repouch allow journalists to easily slip it into a three-ring binder for safe keeping.

Up-close images of Kirei Board products appear on an enclosed business card, CD, and product brochure - tying the elements
into a cohesive whole and driving home the engrained beauty of the company's
eco-friendly interior-design material.
Inside the press kit, a Kirei Board sample includes a handy sticker, which features the size and finish of the sample, along with Kirei's contact information. An enclosed, six-page brochure highlights not only the company's raw products, but also features photos of practical applications of Kirei board, from counter tops to sinks to cabinets.
Peleman Industries Inc.

Unique Attribute: This stunning hard-bound book is the perfect press kit for Peleman Industries Inc., a manufacturer of book-binding machines. Oozing drama and sophistication, the cover of the matte-black book features metallic silver and red embossing, which are used to create the Unibind logo, an Asian-inspired drawing, and the words "press kit." Inside, 36 satin-finished interior pages offer stylish colors and designs, paired with oodles of information.

Company Description: Manufacturer of Unibind book-binding machines and accessories
Show: National Stationery Show, 2009
Target Audience: Retail gift shops, specialty stores, and bookstore owners
Communication Goals: Demonstrate the quality of products produced with Unibind book-binding tools
Dimensions: 8-by-8 inches
Packaging: Hard-bound 36-page book
Contents: Thirty-six pages within the book offer company contact info and history, press releases, product info, testimonials, and a list of recent awards the company has received
Total Cost per Kit: $10

Produced entirely in-house, the kit was basically free for Peleman Industries Inc. The $10 price per press kit, however, is the estimated cost of production had they not used internal resources.

Within the book, design elements - such as stripes, circles, and daisy patterns - are repeated throughout the pages, creating a sense of cohesion from the front cover to the back.
Since many consumers use Unibind products to create scrapbooks, most images within the book are given a "scrapbook" treatment, as product photos appear to be framed with colorful paper.

The last six pages of the hard-bound book are used to introduce Dinotalk, a product line of recordable (talking) and pre-recorded (singing) products, including greeting cards, holiday ornaments, and picture frames.

The Republic of Tea

Company Description: Premium-tea provider
Show: National Restaurant Association Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show
Product Target Audience: Restaurant and coffee-shop owners/operators
Communication Goals: Communicate the various tea offerings and lure journalists into trying a sample
Dimensions: 9-by-14.5 inches
Packaging: Vertical-open, lightweight cardboard folder, featuring a pocket for literature, a business-card slot, and a circular cutout for a tea sample
Contents: Sample of Red Tea, business card, booth invitation, product brochure, press releases, company-information sheet, product-launch timeline, and company charter
Total Cost per Kit: $15
Design/Production: The Republic of Tea, Novato, CA, 800-298-4832, www.republicoftea.com; Mez Design, Sausalito, CA, 415-331-4523,

Along with a press release about the company's new pomegranate-flavored tea, the kit includes 14 additional press releases and fact sheets about its different flavors and lines.

What better way to tempt journalists to try your product than to include a sample?

The vertical-open folder houses a company "charter," with text that begins "Whereby, we the people of The Republic of Tea hereby declare ... "

Unique Attribute
Rather than a ho-hum press kit in an oh-so-high-school folder, The Republic of Tea created this colorful, cultural, on-brand, 3-D press kit. The kits includes a nifty pocket for literature and press releases as well as a slot for a business card. However, the best part is a round cutout space for a sample tin of "Good Hope Vanilla" red tea bags.

DriveSavers Data Recovery Inc.

Company Description: Computer data-recovery services provider
Show: C3 Expo
Product Target Audience: All businesses, but particularly those with critical computer-related functions
Communication Goals: Establish trust in the company and its products by communicating the company's offerings, its celebrity clients, and the confidence those note-worthy clients have in its products and services
Dimensions: 9-by-12 inches
Packaging: Corporate-red folder
Contents: DVD of real data-recovery in action, reprints of published articles about DriveSavers' services, a press release, a RAID Recovery Services product sheet, a glossy testimonial sheet featuring celebrity photos and autographed endorsements, and a clear-plastic envelope holding a mouse pad, easy-reference service guide, Rolodex-ready business card, and postcard-like testimonial featuring characters from "The Simpsons"
Total Cost per Kit: $7.80
Design/Production: DriveSavers Data Recovery Inc., Novato, CA, 800-440-1904, www.drivesavers.com

The folder's red cover features the company's logo, tagline, and a sticker with the show name and the company's booth number. The company repurposes unused folders by simply placing a new show-specific sticker on the cover.

Upon opening the can't-miss corporate-red folder, your eye goes directly to the pocket flap on the right side, which touts "Seven good reasons to choose DriveSavers."

Unique Attribute
When your computer crashes, you need fast data recovery you can trust. That's why this kit offers published articles featuring the company's offerings, useful tips to prevent data loss, and testimonials from celebrities that have used the service. Full of useful information, this kit says, "Trust us; we're the best in the biz."

Otter Products LLC

Company Description: Provider of waterproof, drop-resistant, and crush-proof cases to safeguard technology and other valuables, such as iPhones, iPods, PDAs, laptops, etc.
Show: International Consumer Electronics Show
Product Target Audience: Electronic-device retailers and consumers
Communication Goals: Promote various OtterBox product lines by providing press members with a free OtterBox 1000 case
Dimensions: 8.5-by-6 inches
Packaging: Clear plastic bag
Contents: A 4-by-6-inch note card directing media members to the online press room, an OtterBox 1000 case, a business card from the company's PR executive, and a 32-page product brochure measuring only 2.5-by-3.75 inches
Total Cost per Kit: $2
Design/Production: Otter Products LLC, Fort Collins, CO, 888-695-8820, www.otterbox.com

Rather than bombarding the media with folders full of literature, Otter Products simply handed out its product, along with a 4-by-6-inch card, tiny product brochure, and business card, which directed recipients to a virtual press office to download electronic literature.

Measuring a mere 2.5-by-3.75 inches, the 32-page product brochure featured key data in easy-to-digest bullet points, along with photos of the products and potential scenarios in which the cases might be used.

Unique Attribute
Seeing is believing. That's why the folks at Otter Products LLC didn't just talk about their electronics cases and toss around words such as "crush-proof" and "drop-resistant," they gave away samples of the OtterBox 1000 case to let journalists judge for themselves. A pre-show e-mail invited members of the press to stop by Otter Products' booth for a complimentary case. Easily viewed within a plastic package, each case held a business card and a tiny product brochure.

Topcon Positioning Systems Inc.

Company Description: Manufacturer of precision positioning equipment used in construction, including GPS systems, lasers, optical-surveying equipment, and machine-control products
Show: World of Concrete
Product Target Audience: Road-construction firms
Communication Goals: Promote the new GR-3 satellite-tracking system and drive attendees to the booth to experience it
Dimensions: 15-by-15-inch bag
Packaging: Logo-adorned canvas tote bag, which was hung from a rack in the press room
Contents: CD featuring the new GR-3/G3 Technology, glossy product brochure, branded notebook and pen, and pocket exhibit guide
Total Cost per Kit: $13.16
Design/Production: Topcon Positioning Systems Inc., Livermore, CA, 925-245-8300, www.topconpositioning.com

The perfect vessel for the exhibitor's literature, this canvas bag is also a handy tote for other press kits as well. However, while other press kits disappear inside, the Topcon logo remains visible.

At least six stories totaling 28 pages in national magazines were generated via the press-room sponsorship and press kits.

Reporters love a good spiral-bound notebook and pen, and with the Topcon logo on every sheet of paper, they can't help but remember the thoughtful gift giver.

Unique Attribute
Topcon Positioning Systems Inc. took full advantage of its press-room sponsorship by putting its press kits front and center in the press room. Topcon placed its press materials in canvas tote bags and hung them from a display rack at the entrance to the press room. Among other things, the logo-adorned, easy-to-carry bags contained a handy exhibit pocket guide to draw people to the exhibit, a branded pen, and a spiral-bound notepad.

Crypton Inc.

Company Description: Manufacturer of stain removers, along with fabrics that are resistant to stains, moisture, mold, mildew, bacteria, and odor
Show: Hospitality Design Expo & Conference
Product Target Audience: Interior designers for the hospitality industry
Communication Goals: Demonstrate the ease, effectiveness, and multiple applications of Crypton Inc.'s fabric and stain removers, and provide information about the company and its Green initiatives
Dimensions: 11.5-by-13.5 inches
Packaging: Zippered pouch made of Crypton Inc.'s fabric
Contents: Crypton Sample Kit; booklet about the company mission, methodology, and Green initiatives; a product-information booklet including an upholstery-cleaner pamphlet and CD; a sample of disinfectant and deodorizer; and a folder filled with four press releases and additional product literature
Total Cost per Kit: $7.42
Design/Production: Crypton Inc., West Bloomfield, MI, 248-855-6000, www.cryptonfabric.com

The Crypton Sample Kit contains a sample of Crypton Suede Fabric, a crayon to mess it up, and Crypton's Care Cleaners. The text reads, "Go ahead, make a mess. Draw on it, spill on it, put it to the test. Then watch our fabric come clean!" A card insert features a chart that lists 34 typical stains in the Crypton product that should be used to remove each one.

A two-fold brochure inside the Crypton fabric pouch features a 5-by-5-inch product sample and text urging people to "Spill and See for Yourself!"

Unique Attribute
What are Crypton fabrics and stain removers? This press kit not only answers that question backwards, forwards, and inside out, it demonstrates the products' effectiveness. Made of Crypton Inc.'s own fabrics, the zippered pouch holds oodles of literature, such as a 36-page booklet on the company's Green initiatives and a 32-page product booklet. However, its shining stars are its two demo kits, allowing journalists to try out the fabric and stain removers for themselves, along with a folder featuring more literature and press releases.

LG Solid Source

Company Description: Provider of acrylic solid-surfacing products typically used in countertops
Show: Hospitality Design Expo & Conference
Product Target Audience: Hospitality-design and construction firms
Communication Goals: Generate awareness for the Company's LG Eden Collection, a certified-Green solution for acrylic solid-surfacing products
Dimensions: 7-inches long by 1.5-inches in diameter
Packaging: Cardboard self mailing tube
Contents: Thumb drive containing product literature, press releases, and photos
Total Cost per Kit: $6
Design/Production: Creative Marketing Solutions, Phoenix, 602-441-3487, www.creativemarketingsolutions.com

This cardboard tube does double duty as a pre- or post-show mailer, with space on the packaging for an address label and postage. Unused kits can be used to send product literature to attendees and journalists.

The green thumb drive is Green as well. The handy drive provides oodles of news and product information in electronic, as opposed to tree-slaying paper, format.

The electronic documents include not only press releases and product brochures but also product color chips and LG logos along with ready-to-use photography of eye-catching product displays.

Unique Attribute
Amid a press room stacked with flat, lifeless folders, this colorful, 3-D tube sticks out like a drop of fine red wine on a white-linen tablecloth. Promoting LG Solid Source LLC's new LG Eden Collection, an eco-friendly acrylic solid-surfacing product made from 12-percent recycled materials, the kit features wood and leaf images on its cardboard mailing tube. Inside, an Eden-branded 64MB thumb drive provides product literature, visuals, and press releases in electronic format.

Procore Technologies Inc.

Company Description: Provider of Procore, an online communication tool to help construction contractors schedule and confirm all project details with the entire project team
Show: World of Concrete
Product Target Audience: Construction contractors
Communication Goals: Highlight the ease and efficiencies of Procore software and services, and highlight new financial backing for the company
Dimensions: 13-by-10 inches
Packaging: Transparent shrink wrap
Contents: Press release regarding recent financing deal, full page of customer testimonials, company brochure, and a notepad, pen, and notepad holder featuring the Procore logo
Total Cost per Kit: $6.25
Design/Production: Articulate Creative, New York, 917-678-5315, www.articulatecreative.com; M.A. Apparel Inc., Hopkins, MN, 800-749-0822,

Rather than tell journalists how wonderful its products are, Procore Technologies Inc. used ten customer testimonials to relay the benefits and efficiencies of Procore's products without a word of marketing jargon.

A two-fold company brochure is nothing new, but its handwritten notes are effective and refreshing, drawing attention to key benefits.

Unique Attribute
Journalists like free stuff - but they love free stuff they can actually use. That's why Procore Technologies Inc. attached a press release and a page of customer testimonials to the top of a notepad, and then slipped it inside a branded notepad holder with an attached, similarly branded pen. To make sure journalists took its information along with the giveaway, Procore used transparent shrink wrap to create one neat bundle.

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