Why are events such an important Public Relations (PR) tactic to use? Aside from the awareness built around the event and the potential for media exposure, events are the perfect way to build relationships with your customers/clients by giving them an experience they will remember.
Hosting an event involves much more than catering, decor and invites. With each event, the goal should be to build new relationships while nurturing new ones and providing a platforms for individuals to engage with each-other, and your brand.
4 Reasons to host an event:
To build new relationships and nurturing old ones;
To appreciate or invest in your staff and team members;
To launch a new product or concept;
To provide a platform for like-minded individuals to connect.
Here are a few guidelines to help you plan your next event:
Invite the Right People
This may be the most important point of all. Inviting the right people to your event determines its success. Just as we target the right audience for our marketing campaigns, we need to find out which group of people will resonate with the proposed event and how you would like them to respond once the event is over. If you were trying to reposition your brand as an innovative, tech driven brand, you would probably look to invite people in the tech industry who would resonate with your new direction.
Because we’re talking about PR events, it’s also important to consider inviting the media and social bloggers who would be interested in attending. Inviting bloggers is a great way to gain exposure and interest through their online platforms. But make sure you only invite those bloggers who truly align with your brand.
Choose the Right MC
At IN.PR Public Relations, we have a lot of experience when it comes to choosing the right speakers for our events. It’s so important to look for people who align with the purpose and feel of the event to make an impact. Start by defining the reason you are hosting an event. Is it to reposition a brand, promote a new product or to engage with a specific target market? This will determine what kind of speaker you will need. For example, if you’re talking to a group of young female university students, you wouldn’t ask your 80 year old grandpa to talk about dealing with stress as a young woman.
It’s also just as important to brief your speaker adequately so that they understand the purpose of the event and what is expected from them. Do you need them to motivate, sell or educate? What are some topics you think would interest the audience and what do you think are off limits? This will help the speaker to prepare and better deliver on the day.
A really good speaker should have most, or all of these characteristics:
Is authenticIs passionate about the subject
Is always prepared
Is good at connecting with the audience
Inspires change or action
Create an Experience
Anyone can host an event, but few people understand the experiential aspect that leaves a lasting impression in peoples minds when they go home. Every well-planned and thought out event should start with how you want the audience to feel. Including sound, lighting, decor and props in the right way can really set the tone. Consider the first thing people see when they enter the venue, what they hear, smell and taste. Do these elements portray a consistent feeling of wonder, happiness, seriousness, intrigue?
Another clever way to create a memorable experience is to give attendees something to take home. Gifts don’t need to be expensive, they just have to be useful, relevant or fun. At one of the events we held at IN.PR Public Relations, we sent guests home with fun ‘girl power’ shirts at a woman empowerment evening. To this day we see previous guests wearing their shirts and we’re reminded of the impact the event had.
Take it to Social Media
Taking your even to social media is a great way to make the memory of the event last and reach those who may not have had the opportunity to attend. Investing a bit of time and thought into how you will incorporate social media on the day of the event is mandatory in this digital age. Think about using a catchy hashtag for attendees to share their experience and gain a wider reach online. You could also consider inviting a few bloggers who may be interested in writing a piece. There are so many ways to make your event ‘Instagram Worthy’.
Here are a few:
Use a catchy hashtag for people to share their event experiences.
Create visual elements at the event that would be a great ‘photo opp’ for guests.
Make sure your lighting is perfect for taking good photos.
Personalise the decor by adding name cards or having a pretty guest list up by the door.
Hire a professional photographer and put the images from the event online for attendees to find and use.
There are so many things to consider when planning an event and we’ve only just touched the surface. However, using these tips may create an experience that people won’t forget, rewarding you until long into the future.
If you would like to host an event and need some help, we’ll be happy to chat to you. Follow us at @inpr.sa for more PR tips and tricks.