How to Make PR Work for Your Event

How to Make PR Work for Your Event

Public Relations or PR is a field dedicated to promoting your company and your events and creating a positive brand image – it has to do with how the public perceives and interacts with your brand.  The good news is, you have the opportunity to direct the narrative through your outreach and PR efforts.

In this day and age, with so much information available online and through social media, PR is more important than ever for companies looking to engage with customers and boost interest in upcoming events.  What you might not realize, however, is that PR is a much more expansive field.  In addition to paving the way to your event, PR efforts can help to create a positive experience during and after your event, as well.

Corporate event planning companies can help you to develop overarching marketing and PR strategies to shape the perception of your event before it even happens, and to deliver on attendee expectations once guests arrive.

Says Todd Bludworth, President and Principal at AMI “Creating the right impression, and leaving a lasting impression with event attendees, is just as important as the speakers and activities that comprise the bulk of the event.  This is why your PR strategy is so important.”

How can you and your event management services partner make PR work for your company and your event?  Here are a few things you’ll want to consider.

More than Just Press Releases

If you don’t know a lot about PR, you might mistakenly assume it’s little more than penning press releases that put a beneficial spin on whatever information you want to get out to the public.  This is only a small part of what PR professionals actually do.

Corporate event planning companies that help you to create marketing and PR strategies leading up to your event can come up with a plan that incorporates content marketing, for example.  They can create stories that make your brand relatable, speak to your audience, enhance relationships with customers, and elevate the esteem in which your brand is held.

These professionals can also tap into existing networks to ensure that your PR efforts gain traction with reputable channels such as leading industry blogs or relevant social influencers.  While companies can do this on their own to an extent, it’s better to tap into an established network to promote upcoming events, even if you’re working to cultivate your own for the future.

Ask Corporate Event Planning Companies about Drip Marketing

Creating PR campaigns is a lot of work, but once you have your assets in place, you can sit back and enjoy the ride.  Right?  Not if you want to provide fence-sitters with new reasons to pay attention.  A drip marketing campaign releases new tidbits over time to create a trail of breadcrumbs that continues to entice leading up to your event.  These campaigns are a little more complex than the average PR strategy, but they could help to sway holdouts unsure about attending your event.

PR from Inside Your Event

PR isn’t just a preparatory art – it’s also designed to clean up messes when they occur.  Suppose, for example, you had a Starbucks moment at your event, where a racially insensitive event staffer said something rude and of course, it was captured on camera and broadcast to the internet at large.

What can you do to slow the roll of negative press and get a handle on the situation?  PR professionals have got you covered with crisis management techniques designed to show your awareness of the situation and take steps to make reparations, regaining control of the narrative and using the unfortunate event as a gateway to showcase your ideas and prove you’re part of the solution, not the problem.

Barring such catastrophes, however, you can also use PR efforts during your event to promote through on-the-fly blogging and social media posts that highlight activities and speakers, as well as the positive experience event attendees are having.  With proper planning, your event management services team can segue seamlessly from pre-event promotions to live PR as your event unfolds.

 

Working with Event Management Services on Experiential Marketing

In a world governed more and more by virtual interactions, people are looking for new ways to feel connected, and experiential marketing allows event attendees to participate and contribute in engaging and personally gratifying ways.  Experienced corporate event planning companies like American Meetings, Inc. (AMI) can capitalize on the urge to participate in order to create situations in which attendees drive innovation and create PR fodder that speaks to peer groups.

This, in turn, can create a sense of FOMO, fuel interest in your brand and in future events, and encourage a collaborative atmosphere that sparks innovation and leads to successful outcomes during and after events.

Effective Ways to Keep Event Attendees Informed

Effective Ways to Keep Event Attendees Informed

 

If you’ve planned events in the past, you are probably well aware of the fact that details can change in the days and hours leading up to the event.  There are even times when scheduling and locations get shifted around during the course of the event.

This can make for a logistical nightmare as you and your corporate meeting planner scramble to figure out how to inform event attendees of changes so they’re able to make it to the activities and presentations they want to partake of.  While you’ll certainly want to post-event signage and perhaps even mail out information packets prior to the event, these printed materials can become outdated and end up providing inaccurate information.

How can you and your trusted global meeting planner effectively keep event attendees informed of the latest updates to scheduling and locations?  There are several ways to accomplish your goals and ensure attendees have the most current info available.

Create a Mailing List

The place to start when it comes to disseminating information and updates about your event is with an email list that consists of past event attendees, business contacts, and anyone who signs up for a membership or expresses interest in attending your upcoming event.

Emails give you and your corporate meeting planner the opportunity to deliver more information than you can in a tweet or a push notification, which means you can hype your event while you deliver practical information.  You can also include links to your website and social media platforms for the event in order to encourage following and sharing, and you have the chance to tailor your messaging to different segments of your mailing list.

In some cases, a name and email address will serve as the only contact information you have for the majority of guests, which makes email the primary form of communication leading up to the event.  Of course, your emails can open the door to social followers and if prospects decide to attend your event, you could gain access to further contact information, as well.

Work with Your Corporate Meeting Planner to Choose Online Platforms

Your global meeting planner has probably spearheaded a lot more events than you, which means you have an invaluable resource when it comes to proper preparation, including identifying the best channels of communication with attendees and prospective attendees.  This is good news because you’ll need to narrow down your options.

Whether you post information and updates on your business website or you create a specific event website (or both), this will serve as the main hub for information dissemination.  This is where attendees can come for comprehensive details about your event, as well as downloads (itineraries, site maps, etc.), a registration portal, and opportunities to exhibit, just for example.

You’ll also need to post information to social media channels, which attendees are much more likely to follow and through which you can push notifications to users.  Which social platforms should you and your corporate meeting planner use for your event?

Says Annie Fernandez, Director of Marketing at AMI, “There are so many social media platforms to choose from these days, it can be hard to pinpoint the channels that will show the best returns.  You really can’t afford to forego Facebook and Instagram, both of which provide ample opportunity for outreach and sharing, and LinkedIn is a must for professional events.  In terms of updates, Twitter is still a great choice.  You’ll also want a dashboard like Buffer that lets you manage all of your social media from a centralized platform.”

Ask Your Global Meeting Planner about Creating an Event App

Customization is the name of the game when it comes to modern meetings and events.  The best way for you and your global meeting planner to personalize the experience is to create a unique event app that serves as a repository of information at the fingertips of attendees, on-demand.  Everyone at professional events is likely to have a smartphone on hand, and with the right app features, you can push updates and notifications before and during your event.

An app should contain basics like venue maps and itineraries, including the latest information pertaining to scheduling.  However, you can also add practical features like in-app messaging and push notifications that ensure event attendees can be quickly and easily notified of changes en masse.  You could even send personalized updates via a mobile app.

This is the most convenient option for hosts and attendees alike.  It allows you to send out information with the assurance that it will reach attendees, and guests won’t have to make the effort of seeking out information.  They will conveniently be notified by their mobile devices whenever relevant changes occur.

8 Innovative Ways to Welcome Attendees at Event Registration

8 Innovative Ways to Welcome Attendees at Event Registration

We all know first impressions are important, and while you’ve probably already had a number of virtual interactions with event attendees as they perused your event lineup, got signed up to attend, and perhaps even participated in crowd sourcing efforts like helping to select topics or speakers, you should assume that event registration is really the first time attendees will interact with your brand live.

Naturally, there are certain standard elements you’ll need at the registration area, such as a clearly delineated queue, a desk area for check-in, and a polite, knowledgeable, and accommodating staff.  However, you and your event management firm should also take the time to strategize innovative ways to wow attendees with the speed and convenience of check-in, as well as the aesthetic appeal of your presentation.

Says Chelsea Litos, VP Account Management at AMI, “Everyone is excited when they first show up at an event, and then they have to stand idle in the registration line, growing more bored and frustrated by the minute.  Finding innovative ways to shorten the wait time and entertain and engage attendees in the meantime is essential to preserving a positive experience and setting the tone for the entire event.”

How can you and your event company work to speed the process of event registration while still giving every guest a warm welcome and a positive first experience with your brand?  Here are a few innovative ways to meet your myriad goals for the check-in experience.

  1. Focus on Branding

You want people to know they’re in the right place, which is why it’s so important to incorporate branded materials into every aspect of your event, starting with the registration area and any badges, information packets, and other items you supply.  Utilizing visual cues can help to set the tone of your event from the moment attendees walk in the door and enter the registration queue, so work with your event company to seamlessly blend your own company branding and event branding throughout the event in creative and attractive ways.

  1. Stick to One Line

There’s nothing worse than choosing the shortest line only to have every line around you move faster.  If you want to keep your registration process efficient and fair and avoid typical attendee frustrations, simply create a single line (that winds through a roped queue, if necessary), and funnel guests to the next available staff member when they reach the front of the line.

This will keep the registration queue moving in an orderly manner and eliminate at least one of the most common frustrations of standing in line.  Make sure you have enough roped area to accommodate a large crowd, have someone monitor the line and adjust ropes for the size of the queue, and add ample signage to ensure that no one is confused about where to go or which end of the line to enter.

  1. Add a Welcome Area

If people are going to have to wait in line to register, you might as well keep them comfortable and entertained in the meantime, and this means setting up a creative welcome area.  Think about the long lines at theme parks, for example.  They know people going on rides might have to wait for an hour or more to get on a five-minute (or less) ride, and they’re going to get antsy in the meantime.

This is why the long queues for these rides feature entertainment along the way.  Theme parks utilize elaborate sets, animatronic characters, park staffers playing ride-themed roles, pre-recorded videos with characters and actors, and interactive displays with buttons to push and switches to toggle as guests go by.  All of this makes for a more immersive experience and helps to keep guests entertained and engaged while they wait.

How can you create welcome areas that fit your event and your company branding?  Experienced event management professionals can help you to come up with innovative ideas that are perfectly suited to your needs and that are sure to resonate with your audience.

  1. Ask your Event Management Partner to Create an Over-the-Top Display

If you want to create an eye-popping, selfie-inducing display that gets attendees in the right mood going into your event, there are a number of options to consider.  For example, you could create a custom mural in keeping with the theme of your event, or add backlit displays for a more modern feel.  You could also create an elaborate, themed display with larger-than-life backdrops and props.

One good example of this aesthetic at play is E3, the Electronics Entertainment Expo held annually in Los Angeles.  Video game companies go above and beyond to create enormous displays that transport attendees to another world, all inside a convention hall.  However, there’s always an entrance display, starting with a massive, themed mural broken up and inset on the main staircase.

  1. Elongate the Registration Area to Create a Walk through Experience

If you want to get creative with your layout to enhance the check-in process for guests, consider creating a walkthrough area for attendees instead of processing them at a single table.  For example, guests could start with a meet-and-greet check-in desk, then move along to a badge station, and then to an area to pick up itineraries and goodie bags before moving into the event.

  1. Pair People and Technology

Speed and convenience are just as important in the registration process as providing an awe-inducing display, and the best way to ensure a streamlined process is to provide your registration staff with the technologies needed to make the process easy.  Speak to your event company about ways to integrate tablets and intuitive software that allows your staff to quickly and efficiently process attendees.

  1. Add Registration Kiosks

While you don’t necessarily want to de-personalize the registration process, you can take a modern approach by adding kiosks for self-check-in, complete with attendants on hand to help as needed.  This can help you to avoid long and frustrating lines and significantly speed registration.

  1. Talk to Your Event Company about Apps

Experienced event management companies like American Meetings, Inc. (AMI) can help you to decide on the technologies that will best suit your event and appeal to attendees.  If you’re dealing with a tech-savvy crowd, consider creating an app that allows attendees to register remotely, access packet materials virtually, and even flash a virtual badge on their smartphone or tablet instead of carrying a physical badge.

Using Retargeting to Boost Event Registration

Using Retargeting to Boost Event Registration

In the olden days (like a couple decades ago), companies had to advertise through print and broadcast media and hope to see a return in the way of store visits and sales.  Of course, even if their marketing efforts resulted in patronage, there was no real way to know for sure if the marketing campaign was the source or if there were other reasons for an influx of business (unless consumers were willing to participate in surveys, for example).

Today, the landscape for tracking customer interactions with a brand has expanded significantly thanks to online operations and software designed for this precise purpose.  This is good news for you and your corporate meeting planner because it means you can monitor activity on your event pages and platforms to see how visitors behave.  What you’re likely to discover is that the bulk of visitors navigate away without signing up to receive updates or alternately, registering for your event.

You needn’t fear, though.  Along with the capacity to monitor user interactions has come the inevitable ability to use that information to your advantage, most notably in the form of retargeting.  What is retargeting and how can you and your global meeting planner use this strategy to boost registration for your upcoming event?

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a way to get your information in front of site visitors as a means of increasing awareness and desired results like conversions.  The first time users are exposed to information is when they visit your event website.  During this visit, you can track what they look at, how long they stay, how they interact with your site, and in some cases, even the funnels that brought them to you.

You and your corporate meeting planner can’t necessarily determine why they left your site without signing up for your mailing list or registering for your event, but with the help of a tracking pixel, you have the opportunity to approach them again and present them with compelling ads while they’re online.  If people express an interest in your brand or your event, you essentially have a foot in the door to make a sale.  You may just have to finesse your position by reminding interested parties of what you have to offer.

Benefits of Retargeting for You and Your Global Meeting Planner

You might be surprised to learn that an estimated 97% of visitors leave a website without making a purchase.  Some even get as far as the “shopping cart” stage and then abandon intended purchases, like window shoppers.  Since nabbing sales from only 3% of visitors is hardly ideal turnover, especially when you know visitors have at least a modicum of interest, you and your global meeting planner need to pursue these promising leads through retargeting.

Very few visitors come to a website and make an immediate purchase.  Many like to browse, learn more, and consider their options.  It may take several visits before a purchase is made, or visitors may lose interest and never return.  There is also going to be a percentage of accidental visits.

Retargeting continues to expose these leads to your brand and messaging, creating opportunities for interactions and nurturing the growth of a relationship based on the initial show of interest (i.e. the site visit).  Says Annie Fernandez, Director of Marketing at AMI, “Approaching just 10 targeted leads could deliver greater results than pursuing a hundred people who show no interest in your event.  You and your corporate meeting planner need to capitalize on this so you can increase awareness, build rapport, and encourage conversions.”

Strategizing with Your Corporate Meeting Planner to Boost Registration

The first thing you’ll want to do is integrate appropriate retargeting software with your event platforms so that you can easily get ads in front of visitors and manage your retargeting campaign.  Next, you and your global meeting planner need to determine how best to reach visitors in order to regain their interest and compel conversions.

You can display ads on different platforms and in some cases, send email through list-based retargeting software (supposing you have correct contact information).  You want to use every means of retargeting at your disposal in order to increase chances of gaining notice and having an impact.

This could mean creating cohesive messaging across platforms or coming up with a variety of strategies and ads that you think will cater to users who prefer one platform over another.  Retargeting can be a complex and challenging undertaking, but it’s better than doing nothing at all and allowing promising leads to slip through your fingers.

5 Marketing Engagement Items You Should Consider in 2019

5 Marketing Engagement Items You Should Consider in 2019

What do your promotional items say about your company and brand? When an attendee takes home your give-a-way from your meeting or event, you want them to keep it and use it, and have a positive association with your brand every time they see it.

Including and planning for promotional items as part of your overall event strategy will ensure you get the best prices and that attendees walk away with an item they’re excited about.

Our Prime Supplier, PMSI Promos recommends these promotional marketing items you should consider in 2019:

Handy Phone Pocket – Front Pocket With Elastic Expander Fits Most Smart Phones  Reusable Adhesive Back Sticks To Most Surfaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 oz. Vinay Stemless Wine Glass – Stainless Steel Outer And Stainless Steel Inner. Powder Coated Finish. Double Wall Construction For Insulation Of Hot Or Cold Liquids . Vacuum Insulated . Snap-On Sip Through Lid. Non-Slip Bottom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wireless Phone Charger & Stand – ABS Plastic Wireless charging and phone stand featuring large imprint area front and center for optimal visibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desk Humidifier – Ever felt a cold coming on but know that you must still go to work? Have you ever been in an office space with very dry air? The Desk Humidifier is the answer to these problems. The humidifier produces a mist to replenish moisture in dry areas and connects directly to any USB port.

 

 

 

 

 

Light Bulb Cup with Straw – Have a bright idea? Brand your logo on it with our 16oz Light Bulb Cup with Straw. Each clear light bulb cup is 7″ tall by 3 1/2″ at the widest ‘bulb’ part. Each cup comes with a screw on metal top and a 9″ clear, reusable, flexible straw, perfect for when you’re serving your signature drinks at your next party or promotional campaign.