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.

5 Ways to Keep Donors Engaged at Your Next Event

5 Ways to Keep Donors Engaged at Your Next Event

When you and your corporate meeting planner discuss the goals of your upcoming event, engaging with event attendees and providing a positive and memorable experience are probably at the top of the list.  However, you may want to place more emphasis on engaging with a specific group: your donors.  This is especially important for events that include some type of fundraising element where the contributions of donors play a big role in determining overall success.

Most donors are willing to part with their funds to support a cause they deem worthy.  This brings them a measure of personal satisfaction.  However, they have many options for how and when they make donations, and it doesn’t hurt to ensure that they get something extra for their generosity as a way to thank them and encourage future contributions.

When donors attend events, you want to give them their money’s worth, so to speak, and this means keeping them engaged with your brand and the event to create a positive and lasting impression.  How can you and your global meeting planner ensure this level of engagement?  There are a few strategies you may want to employ.

  1. Push reminders and notifications.  You and your corporate meeting planner can connect with donors before, during, and after events via social media as a way to build excitement, deliver pertinent information, create a community dynamic, and generally build engaging relationships.  When donors connect with event social media pages, you have the opportunity to promote your upcoming event, highlight previous events, and ensure that they always have their finger on the pulse of event happenings so they never miss out.
  2. Live stream with the help of your corporate meeting planner.  Not every donor will be able to attend your event, but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the experience you’re providing.  When you offer live streaming of activities, you allow donors to remain engaged remotely while providing motivation to attend future events.
  3. Utilize gamification.  Says Josie Rubio, Director of  HR & Global Talent Acquisition, “Crafting a uniquely engaging experience is made easier when event attendees choose to participate. Adding elements of gamification like contests, leader boards, prizes, and more paves the way for engagement, sharing, and FOMO for those that don’t participate.”

People want to be involved, and when you add experiential elements like games, you facilitate a much greater level of immersion.  Of course, you and your global meeting planner can go the extra mile to create unique experiences targeted for donors, such as raffles and auctions that allow them to compete even as they contribute.

  1. Create opportunities for sharing and mementos.  Social currency is more important than ever in the connected, virtual space, and you and your global meeting planner can deliver chances for donors to gain social currency by sharing their experience.  Hashtag contests, photo booths, and selfie stations are all great ways for donors to share socially, as well as create lasting memories.
  2. Work with your global meeting planner to offer branded swag.  Everyone likes to get something for free, and honoring your donors with exclusive swag is bound to add to the overall experience.  You and your corporate meeting planner should offer branded memorabilia like promotional items and prizes that show your gratitude, commemorate the experience, and keep you in donors’ minds long after the event.
5 Effective Offline Event Marketing Tactics

5 Effective Offline Event Marketing Tactics

You’ve no doubt embraced the wealth of options available online for marketing your events.  You and your corporate meeting planner probably use a strategy that consists of online advertising, social media marketing, and a multitude of other clever promotions designed to garner attention for your upcoming event.  What you and your global meeting planner may be neglecting in the meantime are offline marketing tactics.

With the ease and reach of online marketing taking center stage, you may simply assume that traditional, offline marketing won’t deliver the same returns, or that results are simply too difficult to track without the aid of online tools.  However, you’re neglecting a major opportunity to reach potential event attendees, and approach them in a more personal and engaging way when you forgo offline marketing.

What can you and your corporate meeting planner do to utilize every possible avenue for marketing your event, including offline?  Here are a few of the most effective means of getting your message out in an offline capacity.

1. Old-school direct mail. 

Once upon a time, this email of yesteryear was the best way to reach prior and prospective event attendees in their personal space.  Today, it has fallen by the wayside, thanks to the fact that you can launch an email campaign and reach millions with the click of a button.  That said, you and your global meeting planner should at least consider the benefits of adding direct mailing to your overall marketing strategy.

Says Annie Fernandez, Director of Marketing at AMI, “There are a couple of great reasons to use direct mail campaigns to market your event.  For one thing, it’s a tangible way to connect with event attendees, giving them a physical, emotional, and mental interaction with your brand.  It’s also a tactic that many marketers forego, which means you’re competing with a lot fewer stimuli than in the digital marketing space.  In other words, you could have a more significant impact with direct mail than online marketing.”

2. Work with your global meeting planner on targeted print ads. 

The print has been declared dead so many times that it’s basically the Lazarus of the advertising world.  Although the popularity of print publications has waned, the industry as a whole is still going strong.  The trick with getting your money’s worth from print advertising is carefully choosing the platform and placement of your ads.

You can save some money by reusing the same ads you use online for printed publications, but you have to choose local newspapers and industry magazines that appeal to your particular audience if you want to gain attention and attendees for your event.  Make sure to focus on placement, as well.  If your ad is buried on the back page or in the wrong section, you might not get the same notice as with premium and thoughtful placement.

3. Clever promotional items from your corporate meeting planner. 

When people think of offline marketing, posting flyers is often at the top of the list.  This wide-net strategy isn’t particularly effective, though, and most of your ads are likely to end up in the trash.

A better idea is for you and your global meeting planner to get creative with swag that promotes your brand and your upcoming event.  Handing out freebies like refrigerator magnets, pens, totes, tees, and other desirable items is not only likely to produce more positive attention for your event but also carry your message a lot further since people are more likely to hang onto and use these items.

4. Networking at other events. 

There’s no denying that it’s easier to network online, where you can connect with new people and keep in touch with the minimal time commitment.  However, you also have to admit that meeting people in person tends to be a lot more engaging and memorable.

If you want to supplement your online efforts with a bit of hand-shaking, consider attending other industry events with similar demographics, where guests are likely to be interested in checking out your event, as well.  Spend time at meet-and-greets getting to know people and telling them about your event and you’re sure to see a positive response.

5. Public speaking engagements. 

Content marketing is a great way to endear people to your brand online, and it works because you engender goodwill by providing valuable information for free.  You can basically take the same tactic offline by booking public speaking engagements.  You can put your expertise on full display with a targeted audience and drum up some interest in your upcoming event at the same time.