Written by Sophie Richardson,
Hosting events are great ways to build awareness of your brand. It is a chance to reach out to the target audience and bring them all into a single space, creating a conversation around your company and boosting visibility.
They are also a lot of fun.
However, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of organising and miss pivotal PR and marketing opportunities.
Here are some things you don’t want to miss, before and after your event.
3 tips before the event
- Identify your goals
Before you do anything, it is essential to identify the key goals of a brand event. Are you trying to boost visibility of your business? Improve credibility? Increase sales of a new product? The event should then be tailored to this.
For example, if I am launching an event with the aim of boosting visibility, my main focus would be the press - to hopefully get some external media coverage, thereby reaching a larger audience.
This does not just mean making sure they are on my invite list. Instead, it means tailoring the event to what they are looking for. This might include direct access on the day to brand spokespeople, business cards on hand, photo opportunities that they can use online, and brand freebies for them to try and review.
- Branded hashtag
A great way to get some traction on your event is creating a branded hashtag, which is specific to the theme of your launch.
Before deciding on a branded hashtag, you should try to make sure it is three things: short, clear, and memorable. If possible try and use one that has not yet been used on that social media platform, as this will also allow you to measure the event’s traction online.
- Partner with another brand
If you are a relatively unknown company and have a limited budget, consider partnering with a larger, more well-known brand. Of course you don’t want to be overshadowed, but sometimes simply being associated with another brand will get invitees through the door - especially if it’s early days. It builds trust and credibility. Plus, a larger budget can give you more opportunity to create a memorable, unique event.
3 tips after the event
- Follow up with and thank the journalists
Too many brands make the mistake of thinking that just because the event is over, the job is done.
This is a big oversight.
You should be sending out an email the following day thanking those that attended, including the press. And in my opinion (if you have capacity) you should be creating tailored messages for each journalist. This means greeting them by name, perhaps making reference to a conversation you had, and including images they feature in from the event.
Show authenticity and genuine appreciation for the fact that they took the time out of their day to attend your event. Build a real relationship.
- Have stock available
Hopefully, your event will be a roaring success - and so you need to make sure there is plenty of product stocked! This means following the event too, and not just during.
Do stock calculations prior, and you put the necessary requests in with your manufacturer months beforehand. Make sure to also prepare for any potential manufacturing issues that could delay the products’ arrival.
- Lasting gifts
Ideally, attendees should leave with a branded gift that is not short-lived, but lasts long beyond the event to help keep you front-of-mind.
For corporate events, this could be branded battery packs or USB sticks. For lifestyle events, gifts could include branded keychains or small toiletry bags. Each of these are not necessarily unique ideas, but they are items your attendees could find valuable in their day-to-day lives, making them more likely to keep it long-term. Of course, in saying all of this, we are living in a very unpredictable climate with COVID-19. One week you might be able to have a 100-person event, but the next week be in lockdown. Whatever you plan for the event, whether large or intimate, it is essential that you implement all the necessary safety procedures as outlined by your state government
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