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Remember part one of our event series where we just broke down what recce is and the general rules of events? 

In this article series when we say event, we mean a press event where only press, celebrities and maybe some bloggers are invited. The points will still be applicable to public events but those are just a little different. 

Well, this one’s going to be a lot more jam packed with information. Think of that article as the kiddie pool and now we’re going into the Olympic diving pool. 

In this article we’re going to focus on the preparations you need to make prior to the event. Think along the lines of when your client says “Lets have an event!” to about a week before the event. 

Lets get into it!

Now before we even reach the stage of going to a potential location for event recce, there are many things to consider. What many people don’t seem to realise is that there is A LOT of work that is put into that one single day.  

Here are some questions that you need to ask yourself as you start to conceptualise your event:

  1. Who is the client?
  2. What announcement do they want to make? (and is it media worthy enough to call an event in the first place)

It’s imperative that you understand who your client is and the main objective of the event because that will in turn steer your planning in the direction that it needs to go.

With your client’s brand in mind you should be able to identify their colours, what environment would be suitable and what ambience you will require. Picture having a luxury jewellery brand launching their newest line in a cafe. It might seem a little bit out of place, just a bit.

Now while we’re not limiting creativity because an event like that is no doubt possible and would probably be rather interesting, it may not always be suitable or align with what your client is celebrating.

When coming up with activities, one of the lessons we’ve learnt through many events and also through some research is that the best teacher, is experience. 

Experiential marketing has become a staple for many large events and for a good reason. You want to create something that your audience will enjoy and remember. 

Would you be more likely to remember running through a haunted house or just watching a presentation of someone running through a haunted house?

Here is an example: 

In one of our most recent campaigns which you can see here we decided that to solidify and really get the media engaged as well as interested in the product was to have them make their own! Our client, Mt. Sapola,  was an aroma therapy brand who wanted to make a big bang with the media. We had media members and celebrities create their own signature scent which they would be able to take home!

Now that was a fun event, but fun isn’t the main objective, getting your message across is. So while we had them sniffing and mixing away, we also stressed on the quality of the essential oils and the benefits of aroma therapy. 

With all the above in mind, choosing an event location should be a little easier. For Mt. Sapola, we chose the glass room of Ciao Ristorante that overlooked a golf course, was surrounded by greenery and had a river on the side. Its fresh ambience and bright light served to reinforce the brand’s identity as a natural and wholesome brand and the colours coordinated well with the products. 

With the hardest part out of the way, it’s time to choose an event day and time. There are a lot of factors here so maybe we’ll machine gun this part. Mondays and Fridays are usually a no-go because everyone’s either in a foul mood or already on holiday by lunch. The other reason Mondays aren't advisable is because dailies (that's shop-talk for Daily Newspapers) only assign reporters a day before, so unless you plan on missing out on publicity there.... Wednesdays and Thursdays are always good because everyone’s looking for a way to get out of the office mid-week. Stay away from short weeks ‘cause everyones working in overdrive. Lunch events are great but keep traffic and parking in mind. Dinner events are never really a thing unless it’s a Friday night party - and do ask yourself, would you skip a night out with your friends to attend this event, how strong a pull does your brand have? Keep publication closing dates in mind (most magazines are by the middle of the month, so have your event before).

Now that you have a tentative day, time and some activities in mind, it’s time to look for your event location. Restaurants and hotels are always good and you can read all about event recce here and we’ll pop you a few more bonus questions that you’ll need to ask them :

  • What is the minimum spend?
  • If you need a projector and screen, do they have one?
  • What about a sound system?
  • What is the maximum seating they can accommodate?
  • What decoration do they have?
  • Is it halal?
  • What menu options do they have?
  • What are their available dates?

After all that, it’s up to you to create any materials you need and to finalise all the little details. Always remember to hire a photographer and to send out an RSVP reminder. Good images are crucial in a press release and getting the media to cover your event.

Thats it for now and you’ll have to check in with our next article coming real soon for what to expect on the day itself and after.

Now of course there are a lot more things to consider, so check in with us, and hire us for your next media event!