Whitney Cripe / 1 October, 2014

Whether your budget is large or small, producing an impactful and energetic event can feel overwhelming. Events, by nature, involve many moving parts and lots of opinions.  And they can get costly, quickly. To make sure every penny counts, we consider the FOUR P’s as our guide posts for producing polished client events that deliver great outcomes.

 

Prepare The first step is writing a solid event brief.  Just like any other creative endeavor, branded events require strategic thinking and purposeful planning, and we’ve found the best way to refine our thinking is by writing a creative brief.  We begin by defining the target audience, the goals, objectives and listing the tactical details needed to get the work done.  Briefs are powerful foundational documents that can be used as a litmus test for all the other smaller decisions along the way.  When questions about whether or not something is a good “fit” for the event, we return to the brief.   If it feels aligned with brief, we do it, if it doesn’t feel aligned; we find an alternative that “meets the brief.”

 

PeopleGet the right people there.  This is key.  We start with the people we know our client wants to attend, then continue to brainstorm and expand the circle.  Who else might enjoy it and elevate the experience?  Bloggers, tastemakers, influencers and other individuals with great social media reach are always great people to have on the list to help raise the profile and create great energy and interest in an event.   One example was an event where we invited some popular photography, lifestyle and design bloggers to attend a real estate-focused event.  Their presence not only enlivened the conversation, but it served as another tool to make sure lots of other people in multiple spheres saw and heard about the event itself – and kept talking about it long after.

 

Partners- Do not overlook the intensely powerful benefits of partner marketing.   For a recent event to promote a local business, we called upon two other local businesses (who serve a similar clientele) and asked them to participate as “creative partners” for the evening. They contributed to the food, favors and a few other touches, and were given credit (namechecked!) on several promotional pieces for the event and throughout social media efforts connected to the event.  We think of this as the “all boats rise with the tide” strategy.   When brands with similar energy and cache partner with each other, they earn the eyes and attention of all those who follow, like and support the other brand.  Everyone wins.

 

Press – Surefire tactics for solid social media coverage include creating a memorable and branded hashtag, and providing tasteful ways through signage or other prompts to let event guests know what hashtag to use.  Leveraging the power of your guests (especially those with strong social media followings) is also an easy and fun way to get varied coverage and mentions.  Another great tip is to share social media-ready content with event vendors and creative partners to allow for another layer of visibility.  Providing an Instagram-ready .jpg and a Twitter-ready link will allow event vendor partners to get the message out by posting about their respective involvement in your event on their feeds and platforms.

 

If you have an event on the horizon and would like some help putting all the pieces together, we’d love to talk to you.