Recently, I had the opportunity to plan a product launch event for one of our clients, and while stressful at times, I loved being part of the process. Now that the event is complete, and deemed a success by both the client and the media, I am able to reflect and share my recipe for the perfect media event.
Step 1: Be mindful of timing
Timing is a big part of planning a media event. First, you need to consider the purpose of the event and what timing would be most relevant. If the purpose of the event were to promote a new alcoholic beverage, a party in the evening would be best – otherwise your attendees may refrain from trying out the product, especially if they have to return to work later in the day.
Another element tied to timing is to think of the audience and in this case, it would be the media. Reporters and bloggers tend to have a much more fluid schedule compared with individuals that work in a corporate environment. Planning an event too early in the morning may result in a lack of interest. Likewise, if the event is later in the day, the reporter or blogger may be busy at work and will be unable to step away for a mid-day event. Being conscious of the audience will help to determine the appropriate time of the event.
A last key focus when it comes to timing is being cognizant of other activities and events at that time of the year. Choosing to host an event the day before Christmas or during the Jewish holidays in the fall may prove difficult. Also, if there is a big conference in town scheduled at the same time, your media attendees may already be booked.
Step 2: A media event is not complete without refreshments
Like any party or event you attend, the food and drinks tend to be the most memorable. The same should be considered when planning a media event. By providing appropriate food and beverages, based on time of day of the event, it shows media attendees that you are considerate of their needs.
Media have very busy schedules and by taking the time out of their day to attend your event, they may be forgoing their break time. Offering refreshments shows that the brand hosting the event wants their attendees to have a good time and that they planned a little more to make the event special.
Step 3: Who doesn’t love a sample?
When showcasing a product at an event, for example, media will want to not only touch and see the product, but they will want to experience it for themselves. How else can you expect them to want to write about it? This is where the media sample comes in.
At my client’s recent event, we gifted each attendee with the product to take home and use in their everyday lives. Not only did this show them how beneficial the product is for a busy lifestyle, which was one of our goals, but it also left them with a nice feeling to know that they were one of the first people to get their hands on the product.
As the media left the event, they all expressed gratitude in receiving the product and some have expressed interest in the rest of the client’s product line.
By focusing on these elements, our event was positive all around. Now, we can look forward to incorporating these ideas into our next event!
Do you have any tips or stories to share about media events you planned or attended? Comment below!