By: Julie Kuldacz
Events are an important part of the public relations world and can be a huge success in releasing a new product to the public, garnering publicity for a client without a lot of news to share and most importantly a chance to connect with customers in a more personal way. Whether your client is putting on their own event, choosing to sponsor a cause they believe in or you are planning a media specific event to gain exposure, events are an essential, engaging tactic to promote a brand.
Event Management is no easy task. It is largely a game of planning for the worst and constant multitasking. Here are some tips and skills that can help pull off a successful event.
- Start planning early and often: Events can sneak up on your very quick. It is essential to start planning farther in advance than you think to help prepare for the unexpected.
- Plan your PR Attack: Make a plan for how you will pitch the event to the media. Chances are the weeks before an event unexpected challenges are going to pop up that have to be dealt with. Having your pitching efforts done early and planned well will help save you the headache of scrambling at the last minute. This will help you prioritize your pitching based on lead times. It is also important to look ahead at what else is happening that day. This way you know what you’re up against in terms of pitching.
- Prepare for the worst: If you prepare for the worst, chances are you won’t have to use the plan. Say you have an outdoor event, if you make sure you have a rain plan, more often than not you won’t need it. Somehow if you sit back and hope for the best it will thunderstorm all day.
- Walk Through: Whether you think you need it or not it is always necessary to schedule a walk through. Without fail, issues are going to come up during the walk through that you hadn’t even thought about. Even if you are traveling for an event and your walk through can only be done a few hours ahead of time, you will be glad you showed up early every time.
- There is no task too little: Event management is a HUGE team effort. It is essential to put your ego aside and jump in where needed. Get it in your head that you might have to do tasks you are not used to doing. For this reason it is important to be mindful of things like what shoes you decide to wear or packing an umbrella. When problems arise it is important skip playing the blame game or thinking “well that wasn’t my responsibility.” The only thing you should be thinking is the quickest way to address the issue.
- Think on your feet: In the end, the most important skill you can have for event management is the ability to think on your feet. The confidence in making last minute decisions can save you from disaster. More importantly, from anyone seeing your disaster unfold.
The success of an event is measured in the appearance of a seamless day. Sometimes if no one notices you troubleshooting behind the scenes throughout the day you did your job well. Events can be stressful but they can also be a fun and exciting aspect of working in PR, not to mention a chance to get out of the office. If you plan ahead, stay organized and accept things will inevitably not go exactly according to plan, you’ll make it thought the day unscathed and may even catch yourself having fun in the process.