There is panoply of knowledge out there about generating buzz in the build up to your event; after all that’s when you need to be generating it! However, there isn’t an equivalent amount on how event organisers can utilise PR (whether that be online or traditional) DURING your events. There are so many stories coming out of events, conferences, symposiums and trade shows that are valuable to those attending the show; So…..to leverage these stories, we’ve put together 5 top PR tips, that will guide your PR during your event:
- Social Media – Let us consider social media as a powerful tool in the PR toolbox – your multitool if you will. Social media is the best way to engage your attendees, delegates, visitors and exhibitors – in fact, all your stakeholders! With the multitude of stories coming out of your event, there are so many ways you can utilise them (these count as bonus tips!):
- Via Ustream or a dedicated YouTube channel you can stream live video of your event for free – keynote speakers, education panels – the lot! This can help reach out to those who couldn’t attend, are running late etc
- Set up an official Flickr gallery for the event (or at the very least a photo specific hashtag for us across Twitter and Instagram), and encourage attendees to take photos during the event and upload them. A selfie or photobomb competition perhaps?
- Make a daily podcast – speakers, sponsors, attendees, exhibitors, panels – there is a huge list of people you can interview. You can even use these podcasts further and pull out quotes from them to tweet/post via your other social networks.
- Slideshare your speaker’ presentations – this is an easy one!
- Publish the stories of your event on a Storify stream – It’s a great way of having all your media in one place!
- Event-based daily newspaper (print or digital) – this is a great resource for all your stakeholders to catch up on what’s been happening around your event each day. Some events can span huge conference centres and arenas and include hundreds or thousands of participants – there will inevitably countless stories coming out of the day and as nobody can be everywhere at once; this is effectively a one stop shop summation of the day. Interviews, comment pieces, press releases, stories – they all have a place. PLUS you can use it to sell advertising space for to your exhibitors or sponsors.
- Engage with your keynote –Chances are the reason your keynote speaker is your keynote speaker is that they’re an influential presence in your industry – people will listen to what they have to say, regardless of the channel they say it on. If you engage with them prior to, during and after the event, they’re more likely to talk favourably about it across their network. We know online influencers are vital in people’s reference groups and social proof tells us that people tend to listen to and adopt the views of those that they observe to have more knowledge on a situation/topic – just imagine the effect it will have on the perception of your event!
- Real time press releases/blogs/announcement – It may seem obvious what with all the news and views coming out of the event and this SHOULD be standard practice but cherrypicking a few of the BIG stories and getting them to the army of bloggers and press on the ground as soon as they happen can generate serious buzz. These stories will naturally go up via social media first (this we know) but a professional piece of content will always outweigh a 140-character exclamation.
- Robust contingency and scenario planning – Again, not an obvious tip but let’s assume something goes wrong at your event (touch wood it doesn’t) – this has the potential to draw attention from and ruin all that hard work you’ve put in to creating a great event. HOWEVER, what if you had prepared (Proper preparation prevents p*ss poor performance) for the very situation? We know from so many PR disasters (compounded by social media) that a swift, decisive response is the best medicine. Your event is crammed full of press, bloggers and influencers, every attendee has a smartphone and will likely be live tweeting – cover yourself and have robust contingency and scenario plans in place ready for anything (and I mean, ANYTHING). In the unlikely event that it happens, you can swoop in, rectify the situation and strut away, soaking in the admiration, knowing that all the work you’ve done building a successful event is kept intact – you’ll likely get praised for your response.
This is a Guest Post by Adam Baggs, MD of Soaring Worldwide , a Cotswold-based strategic communications agency offering PR, Branding, Digital, Social, Content & Creative Marketing Services. Adam has been working in PR for well over a decade and has a specialist knowledge in events and the MICE industry. Contact us with any questions via our website or Twitter (@soaringww)