Maria Cucciniello of The Hip Event offers how-tos for successful event marketing, before, during and after.
Event marketing, at its core, is about revealing the existence of an event to appropriate audiences and delivering a valued guest list to the client.
Before Your Event
Pre-planning is almost as important as the event itself. When hired to execute a publicity event, our company, The Hip Event, puts together a complete promotional schedule that will ensure decisive exposure. This schedule includes everything from the creation of invitations, media alerts, other deliverables, and the dissemination of key messages to all targeted outlets. These messages must be timed perfectly or the publicity of the event will lose all credibility with the intended audiences. Messages must be delivered to print media and broadcast media outlets at different times. Calendar listings and social media invitations must be strategically positioned in relation to the promotional schedule. A successful event engages targeted audiences at precisely the right time, appropriate for each medium.
Keeping detailed records of who RSVPs to the event is monumentally important. A final list of event attendees confirms for the client the value and reach of your work. The list also provides the client with brand new contacts and potential new business partners—evidence of a successful event.
During the Event
Documentation is also an important part of event marketing. Remaining up-to-date with any last minute changes to event details keeps the lines of communication open between your company, the client, and any press contacted. Before, during, and after an event, we always update and distribute a fact sheet with major details so nothing can be misconstrued, especially in post-press coverage.
Post-Event Activities and Follow-Ups
Post-event activities include a recap of the event. This would include photos from the event, data collected from RSVPs, pre- and post-event press clippings, and an activity report outlining every effort that went into the event from our end.
We hold a follow-up, face-to-face meeting with the client. During this meeting we offer suggestions that would help the client capitalize on the success of the event. These suggestions often take the shape of a compelling and strategic six-month public relations plan. Publicity and its benefits—especially surrounding events—can take time, often months, and that is something we constantly stress to potential clients.
As a public relations, special events, and lifestyle marketing firm, we leverage our work—be it press or events—by delivering a newsletter to our followers. These newsletters go out each week with news and photos of past events, recent publicity, and a preview of events they can look forward to. By keeping our existing contacts up-to-date and giving them a way to share our information with others (via social media), we have generated a significant amount of new business.
Event marketing is still a word-of-mouth business. Our greatest strength lies in connecting people, places, and services together that support each other—whether for purposes of publicity or the next big event.
Maria Cucciniello is founder and CEO of The Hip Event, a full-service public relations, lifestyle marketing, and special events firm that creates successful campaigns for clients in the fashion, beauty, hospitality, retail, and entertainment industries. For more information, visit TheHipEvent.com, call 973-707-7125, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.