Public relations events are usually fun occasions to showcase and celebrate your brand, products, or services. However, rolling COVID-19 restrictions have led to the cancellation of many events this year, and the ever-present possibility of heading back into tougher restrictions means that the return of ‘normal’ events is on shaky ground. Although it may sound scary, we’re here to help you to plan events to inspire confidence in your brand, and to avoid wasting resources. Here are some practical tips to hosting fun and engaging PR events in 2021.
- Have a goal in mind
The basic premise of events remains the same. Decide whether you want your event to increase brand awareness, generate hype around a new product, or reposition your brand among a particular segment. Ensure the goal is both specific and measurable – this will determine the form that the event ultimately takes. It is vital to have thought about what you want to achieve from the event so that you can be adaptable if restrictions change.
- Avoid creating a dangerous environment
COVID-19 brings a new set of event faux pas – finger food, share platters, photobooths and the like are now a no-go. If your event can be held outdoors, go for it. Encourage attendees to socially distance and have hand sanitiser at the ready.
- Follow local guidelines
Although case numbers now comfortably sitting at a 14-day average of 0 in Victoria, this is no time to get complacent. Clearly and consistently communicate the steps you are taking to ensure your event is COVID-safe – this will inspire confidence in attendees and also position your brand as socially-responsible in the eyes of the public. And believe me, there is such thing as bad publicity!
- Go virtual
With even the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards going virtual, there’s no better time to COVID-proof your event and eliminate any risk of a last-minute cancellation from changing government restrictions. Plus, hosting an event via Zoom allows anyone from around the world to attend, meaning your events can be bigger than ever before! If done well, a virtual event can be even more engaging than an in-person one and will be sure to get people talking.
- Have a Plan B
If transitioning your event to a virtual format doesn’t allow you to tell your story to your target audience, consider generating hype in alternative ways. Done right, connecting with influencers, featuring on a podcast, or creating a memorable media campaign will allow you to create just as big a splash.
PR events are an essential element of your marketing mix. However, they can easily backfire if they are done incorrectly. If you’d like help weighing up your 2021 events and communications options, don’t hesitate to send a message through to firstname.lastname@example.org.