Recent world events have left us all a bit rusty as event planners. Whether you’re planning a new product launch or celebrating a new facility investment, your goal as a PR professional has to be getting as many eyes as possible on your firm via this event.
Choose Your Event Planning Team
Depending on the event location, you may already have access to the physicals, such as tables and chairs. However, you will still need an in-house event team who can help you coordinate the event before set-up and on the big day.
Your event-planning team needs a strong logistical feel. The ability to map out table locations and set a speaker’s podium can be invaluable should you get to the venue and find it’s different from what you were promised. You will want contributors from many departments, including
Take care not to get too many “big idea” people involved with the planning unless you have “big implementation” people with the time available to back them up. At the end of each meeting, do your best to winnow down event suggestions so that you’re truly focused on the information you want to share.
Find A Venue That Is Centrally Located
Because you’re probably going to host your PR event either in the middle of or at the end of a workday, make sure that your event location is centrally located in the business district. Depending on the season, this may or may not be an outdoor event.
Do make sure that you procure special event insurance in Arizona or other areas you may be hosting your event. In case of an unforeseen accident, storm, or any number of other types of disasters, make sure you and your company are protected.
If you’re serving alcohol at your event, you will certainly want to have insurance to cover any liabilities not covered by the bartending contractor.
Take the time to visualize and walk through the event. If the event will be indoors because it will be too hot outside, consider guiding guests from the parking area through a spot that is close to the restrooms so folks can check their appearance if they like.
Make sure that each guest entering gets cool water before they get a nametag. If nametags will be printed from the RSVP list, try to set up the nametag stations along the wall away from the door to lower the risk of guests stuck outside in the heat or other challenging weather.
If the event venue has a separate parking space, consider enlisting ground guides to try to get guests to park closely so they have an easier time getting out of the lot. Too many cars milling about at the end of the work day could lead to an unfortunate event.
Pair Product Promotion With Charitable Giving
Recent world events have also led many in our communities into financial hardship. Consider setting up a charitable auction or simply a donation station for a good cause in your community.
As possible, tie it to your announcement or to your business location. If your business is located near a family homeless shelter, collect cash to help local families raise deposits and rent. If your launch is the first “birthday” of a newly patented item, collect funds for a monthly birthday party for children in a shelter or have a cash drive to cover overdue lunch fees at a local school.
If you choose to do a product drive, such as canned goods, make sure you have a collection station and a pick-up scheduled. Invest in tubs that staff can use to transport the goods as easily as possible at the end of the event.
Invite a representative from the charity that will be receiving the contributions and ask them for a short speech on the needs and goals of the charity. Tie the good feelings that come with giving to your hospitality.
Bring In A Keynote Speaker
Keeping your business going in today’s economy is not easy; we all need a bit of inspiration. Do your best to bring in a keynote or inspirational speaker tied to your industry.
For example, you can connect with a local university and bring in a professor with strong presentation skills. If you know of someone else in your community who is tied to market growth in other areas of the world, consider increasing the goodwill of your event with information on the changes your industry is making elsewhere in the world.
In each case, aim for speakers who will elevate the business community and allow them to look up from the mundane necessities of keeping a business going. It’s very easy to get bogged down in small challenges and lose sight of the bigger impact during challenging times.
Reach Out In Person For RSVPs
To start your promotion, send out an email with a calendar reminder and a request for an email RSVP. As you get responses, tidy the list before the next request for a response.
After two emails, send a card and request a phone call by a certain date. Give yourself time to collect these responses. Ask members of your executive team to handwrite a note on this invitation to keep it from the recycling bin. If you have particular attendees for the event who have not yet responded, try to get information from them with the help of a member of your firm that has a relationship with these folks.
Finally, consider a phone call directly to the person you invited. Even if all you’re serving is finger food and mocktails, having a ballpark count of the number of people coming will save you the cost of buying too much food or the embarrassment of running out. Do over-buy, but not too much.
Your epic PR event needs to look simple and uncluttered. No matter how hard you had to work to put it together, it needs to appear as though the whole thing was a simple matter to handle.