PR event planning can be a costly and time consuming, but if you can provide many benefits for your business, whether it be expanding your network of potential customers or increasing your visibility in the media.
When it comes to PR event planning there’s a lot to consider. Sit back and relax as we share our seven top tips for ensuring your next event goes off with a bang…
1. Get clear on your purpose.
You need to do this first, before any of the event planning can begin. Ask yourself these questions: Why are you holding the event? And what do you want to achieve? Being crystal clear on your aims and objectives from the start will allow you to measure whether your event was a success later down the track.
Being clear on the ‘why’ of your event is crucial as you have to give people a reason to come to your event. The reason why you’re holding an event will also effect just about every other decision you make – from budget, to theming, to timing, to guest list, to food.
2. Be timely.
Choose a suitable time and date for your event, taking special care that it will suit the theme of your event and that your guests will be able to make it.
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Part of the process of being timely also involves getting your invites out in time. Life is busier than ever these days, so you want to your guests have enough notice that they’ll be able to make it.
3. Target your contacts.
Invite media contacts that you have great existing relationships with. Even if these guests won’t be able to make it, it shows them that you care about them and will bode well in the long run.
You should also target media contacts that you know will want to come and will be able to offer you coverage of the story or event. Part of this step involves selecting a good mix of personality types and backgrounds to make your event more dynamic.
4. Choose an appropriate venue.
Ensure that the venue suits the brand and your theme – this may be a good time to revisit your purpose for hosting the event.
The ideal venue will be easy for guests to find and get to, but if it’s not, make sure you provide transport. The venue should also be appropriately sized for the number of guests; you don’t want to end up with everyone crammed in like sardines. Having the right sized venue will help create a “buzzed” atmosphere.
Don’t forget: If your event is outside, you need a wet weather plan. Discuss options with your venue.
5. Provide a feast.
If you’re providing your guests with food and beverages, they have to be good and abundant. If not, your guests will have a bad taste in their mouth and you’ll seem stingy. People always remember the food, so if you get this wrong they’ll think badly about the whole event. Get it right and they’ll be raving.
Ensure that anything you serve is on brand. For instance, if you’re launching a new coconut water, bacon sliders aren’t the most appropriate choice.
6. Create a quality takeaway.
Send your guests off with a media kit containing everything they need. This should include a media release, hi-resolution images, and some little brand-relevant gifts in line with your theme. Ensure it’s something they’ll actually use, otherwise they’ll just bin it.
7. Get social.
People love sharing when they’re enjoying an event and there’s no better way to do this than via social media. Creating an official hashtag for your event will encourage people to share photos and information with followers, giving you added publicity and them the added feeling of inclusion in something special.
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If the budget allows, hire a professional photographer to capture your event and record it. This is particularly important for celebrations like milestone brand birthdays, and is important for capturing quality photos on the day to share via social media.
As the PR professional you want to free yourself up to liaise with media, your client, and ensure the event goes off without a hitch – it’s best to leave the photography to the professionals.
**Note: all images used in this post were taken at a recent Vitamix product event that was planned by Filtered Media.