You’ve spent months planning and preparing for a major event–a press tour, endurance race or festival–but what happens on the ground when it’s “game day” will be a considerable factor for it being a success! Eli and Natasha share some key tips from a busy event week that spanned the east coast: a CrossFit media “sweat work” (read Eli’s full story on Entrepreneur.com) followed by a ReST bed educational session with “Fittest Woman in America” Kari Pearce (in NYC) and St. Anthony’s Triathlon, the 2nd largest triathlon in the US (in St. Petersburg, FL) to arrange media credentialing, Pro athlete engagements, press releases and media relations.
Tips for Handling Events
Upfront organization is key: It is crucial to run through all possibilities and outcomes prior to an event to ensure that the event will run as smoothly as possible. This means drafting press releases, speaking and scheduling appointments in advance with priority media, and organizing and distributing press kits in advance so that there can be ample time for edits and restructuring.
Give Media a Reason to Come: Editors and influencers are spread pretty thin these days and as with most of us, we prioritize what’s important to us and what events we’d like to attend. Plan for an event that that offers value, is convenient to attend, takes place at a time when most people are likely to attend and most important, has an element of excitement or a “this is WHY you need to be hear” feel. For our ResT #WODandRest event, we offered a unique workout in a fun group setting (bonus – kill It is crucial to killing two birds with one stone as our target audience was the fitness media), we invited the “Fittest Woman in America” to help lead the workout (bonus – opportunity to learn from Kari, interview her for a potential Q&A piece), and we offered a $4,000 bed as a prize to one of the attendees (no brainer, right?) For evening events, we tend to create unique personal experiences (DIY sessions, celeb guests) and offer treats that are hard to say no to, such as organic craft cocktails for a health and beauty audience.
Setting a travel schedule: When you are on the road, it may seem difficult to accomplish your normal routine, but planning carefully planning out your day is critical. Taking the time to plan your schedule will help you get your workouts in, prepare meals or plan the restaurants you want to experience (you need to fuel!), and keep you feeling at your best so that you can commit unparalleled service to the event and client. Allowing for commute time, traffic and airline delays is also a must because they do happen.
Wear comfortable shoes (or insoles like currexSole): At no point during a busy event will you be sitting still, so be prepared to take any task and run with it. At an athletic event such as the St. Anthony’s triathlon or Boston Marathon, you’ll likely be multi-tasking with duties that will take you from early morning start lines to media tents to finish line coverage and of course, the VIP Tent all in a matter of minutes. Dress the part. At formal or dressy events, go ahead and rock your favorite pair of wedges or heels, but make sure that you’re able to “run the event,” literally, in them.
Arrive early and pow-wow: Set aside time prior to the event (even the night before over dinner and drinks if possible), to meet up with everyone involved with the production and talk through event flow, timeline and plan. This will pay dividends in efficiency and avoiding silly mistakes.
Follow Up is KING: As with anything, follow up, follow up, follow up. You event attendees should leave pretty excited and ideas for what they just experienced will be fresh in their minds, so make the follow up fluid, clear and provide easy-to-access assets. Be it hashtags for social media, images from the event (people love to post what they just experienced), images of the people/product you’re trying to promote or specific story angles the instant follow up helps your case. Be gracious and thank everyone for their time ~ individual thank yous are best received. Personalize the follow up and provide that member of the media with information that will be most beneficial to them. For example, at the ResT event, one editor was most interested in Kari Pearce and her story while another editor was just about to get started on a sleep technology piece.
On event day, be sure to take several photos or have a professional photographer on hand (do it for the “gram”), interact with both staff and guests and most important, have fun! You have worked hard so enjoy bringing together all of the details that go into bringing a successful media event to life!