1. PLAN, PLAN AND THEN PLAN SOME MORE
Events are tricky beasts – you have to think of every possible scenario and plan for each outcome. Could it rain? If so, what’s your contingency? Have you given your host extra time to travel to the venue? Do you have a door policy if you go over capacity?
2. IT’S ALL IN THE TIMING
Avoid seasonal events like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc. – you’ll be fighting for space against every other brand and agency staging something at the same time. Pick your day carefully – it’s harder to pull a crowd earlier in the week; Wednesday onwards works for a party. But if it’s an evening event, make sure people can come straight from the office, or hold your event during lunchtime or even as a breakfast activation.
3. THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT IS THE GUEST LIST
The people make the party, and you need the right crowd to kick things off. Do at least three edits of your guest list to ensure you don’t miss anyone important.
4. AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD
If you have one, book them immediately when your event is scheduled, and if you don’t, ask for recommendations and check out their previous work. Give your photographer a tight brief, or do as we do and assign a staff member to shadow them and ensure they capture the right people. If you have the budget, book a videographer and turn around a short film from the event – this can be pitched to online media and shared on social as well as your website.
5. DO SOMETHING COOL
A straightforward cocktail party or ‘launch’ just won’t cut it anymore – people want to be engaged and entertained at an activation. We’ve had illustrators creating live artworks, Grecian tattoo applications at a fashion preview, a bespoke ice-cream service, on-site surfboard shaping, DIY flower crown-making, replacing the traditional photo booth with a video app, and mini manicures and make-up touch-ups for event guests. Pick an activation that fits your brand and that will visually make an impact.
6. LOOK AFTER YOUR MEDIA GUESTS
Offer them pre-event interviews, create a detailed press pack so they have all the information on-hand for their write-ups, and send them a thank you note after their coverage.
7. MAKE SOCIAL SHARING A KEY PART OF YOUR STYLING
Create a hashtag and communicate it to guests in a creative way. Have an Instagram-friendly photo snapping area. Encourage guests to tag themselves in the official photos after the party. A strong social media campaign will secure the longevity of your event.
8. DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!
Get the event underway, manage your activation, check all is running smoothly, then work the room before giving yourself a big pat on the back for a job well done.