As publicists, one of our favorite tools for building awareness is to throw an event. That said, events can be very costly, and it is important to ensure that your client’s money is well spent and has a valuable impact. Here are five tips from this PR agency on planning a successful media event:
1) Only host a media event if you have something new to share. This will help to build a trusting relationship with your media contacts, letting them know that their precious time isn’t being wasted on old news.
2) Create a compelling theme that will excite your media contacts. One way to do this is to plan your theme around a new product launch, like this baby shower theme we planned for our client’s new stroller launch. Refreshments and VIP gift bags for attendees add a nice touch as well and will likely encourage the media to attend your future events.
3) Nail down a budget and plan for 25% less. From the cost of the event space to the shipping estimates, and everything in between, events ALWAYS cost more than you anticipate. If you aim for 25% below budget, you are afforded a bit of wiggle room in the small details and are less likely to soar beyond the initial budget
4) Get EVERYTHING in writing! Special events vendors are notorious for making verbal promises that they don’t always keep. Be sure to get even the smallest details in writing before you sign any contracts.
5) Give plenty of notice and follow up often. Send your initial invite at least three weeks in advance and follow up once per week thereafter. An additional confirmation email is welcome the day before the event.
There you have it! Following these simple planning steps will surely set the stage for a successful media event.
From our office to yours, happy planning!
XO! –Brandy Shuman