Events Returned—Now What?

Elliott-Kelley By Elliott Kelley, PR and Social Media Manager

As events become a part of our world again, this is a great time to get back to basics with your communication. Each event you attend from trade shows to conferences or corporate events provides an opportunity to educate about your products, demonstrate your commitment to industry associations, share news, show your team in action and provide the opportunity for customers to directly interact with your products. You should promote these events accordingly to your target audience.

I know what you’re thinking—“Ok, I’ll tell my team to write a press release and one social post and we are fine.”

But instead of treating the event as a throwaway content idea, empower your team to utilize the event to create meaningful dialogue. Before your next event, commit to developing a plan and remain flexible. Put simply: just communicate.

Develop a Plan

What is the event, and why should it matter to your followers? What are you introducing to the market or presenting as a solution to your market’s needs? By creating an understanding of why the event matters, you can develop the needed messaging and medium to best engage your audiences. Based on the event, maybe you need a photo of your booth and strong CTAs to drive foot traffic via social. Instead of just a press release, why not seek out opportunities for interviews with industry publications at your booth.

For social media, develop a content plan prior to attending the event. Since events always have unexpected issues that need to be solved quickly, create bandwidth for yourself by developing copy and potential assets ahead of the event. It’s alright to plan to capture on-site content but always have a fallback plan in case you are pulled to another task and unable to capture content as planned.

For traditional communication plans, be sure to request the contact information for press registered to cover the event. Utilize the list to note with whom you have a relationship that can be leveraged for positive coverage from the event. Also, note writers attending that you would like to develop relationships with and begin outreach prior to the show to create opportunities for a mutually beneficial relationship. As you network with publications during the show, seek out ways to tell the broader narrative of your products to display your organization’s scope of expertise to the writer.

Be Flexible

Remember when we all thought 2020 was going to be a great year with tons of throwback parties reminiscent of the roaring 20s? Plans do not always come to fruition because of the unexpected. No, this does not mean throw out your plans. It just means be ready to adapt. What if the writer you hoped to meet cancels at the last minute? Do not just brush it off. Make plans to connect with another writer. Again, this is the mindset of seeking opportunity, not merely a single content idea. For example, what if your social livestream cannot proceed due to weak signal in the location? Adapt and film segments that can be aired later as posts or premiers.

Communicate

Ok, I admit this seems simple, but I think we often forget that simple can be better. Too often, we silo aspects of communication rather than see them as components of our overall communication strategy. Success is found in utilizing tactics like a press release, editorial or social media in conjunction with each other. How are you building upon the tactics in each iteration? When we silo our communication, we should not be surprised that our audiences are not able to decode our message. Silos only serve to create noise, which inhibits our message from being delivered. Your audiences will be different and must be communicated to differently. However, you can utilize your various channels and tactics to deliver a message that builds to educate or call to action.

 

As your team gets back on the road and we get back to normal, you may not have the bandwidth you experienced over the last two years. Jackson’s team of experts is only a phone call away to support you in Content & PR, Events & Tours, Digital, Branding, Strategy and so much more!