I’ll come clean right now – I misled you with the title of this article. There’s no such thing as easy when it comes to a PR event. Having planned and executed everything from a blogger luncheon to a music festival, I say that with something resembling authority.
Now that we’re being honest, let’s dig into some advice.
Creative events require more than a little energy, time and money to be successful. But how will you know if your event was a triumph? Determine upfront what the objective of throwing an event is and how you can say you hit your marks.
For some events, goals are as simple as attendee media numbers and resulting coverage. For others – particularly those attended by consumers, it might be social engagement during and after. Whatever the set of metrics that moves the needle for your brand is, make sure you’re planning against it.
When planning an event, consider your brand’s identity and voice at every stage. While it might be tempting to go for an edgy, experiential event to keep attendees entertained, is that the right fit for your client/company if your customer base values your organization for being reliable, trustworthy and safe?
If you’re incorporating paid talent to host or perform at your event, do the people you’ve selected mirror your messages and match your brand’s tone? A chic location or in-demand talent might help drive attendance, but make sure all choices you make are authentic to your brand.
Decide the scope of your event and work within a budget that doesn’t price you out of true ROI. Take a close look at the goals you set for the event and make a fair, honest evaluation of what you should be spending. You can always find ways to spend more money on events, but make sure choices are purposeful.
Effective events depend on precision at every step. This means being thoughtful about everything from the space to the decor to the invites to the food to the spokespeople.
Perhaps more importantly, a to-the-minute run of show for event staff and company stakeholders should be established and understood beforehand. This ensures everyone knows where to be and when, and eliminates an overly casual experience for guests.
You’re investing time, energy and money into your event. Do not skip over social media extensions that can help augment your investment.
For many events, this is making certain there’s an Instagram-worthy spot for photos and a simple hashtag all attendees are made aware of. Find authentic and easy ways for guests to share their experiences far and wide while they’re in attendance.
Make sure you have someone on your team assigned to complementary content creation during and after the event. This might also mean having on-site photography and video to generate assets you can use down the line.
Once your event is complete, give yourself a genuine grade. Did you achieve your metrics for attendance? Are media attendees writing about the event itself or the product/platform you unveiled? How much engagement did you see on social?
Hold a post-event call with your teams and review what went well, what could have been better and what you would or wouldn’t do the next time around. There are always refinements that can be made.