What we are really good at and what we really enjoy is organising events. We created our own happening, the PRfact pressday, to host a great moment for us and our clients twice a year. And that's why it quickly became clear last year that we would not be discouraged by the coronavirus regulations and would focus on digital or hybrid events. Thus we now look back on a great know-how in organising virtual occasions – we share the three most important learnings with some questions for the perfect planning in this blogpost:
1. The Reason Why: certain basic rules have not changed over the past year: journalists' time is still limited and an event invitation requires a special highlight to convince them to attend it. So what is the USP of the happening, why should the editor or influencer sign up, what is unique about the event? The occasion should have more news value than what could be communicated in a media release. Can we invite an inspiring speaker? Could we include some surprises during the event? Is an external, prominent host a good idea and perhaps a guest magnet?
2. Crossing borders: digital events offer a great advantage and an exciting opportunity: they can cross national borders. On the one hand, it is possible to provide journalists with access to global happenings, and on the other hand, it offers the possibility to invite relevant speakers from other countries for one's own event (be careful: consider the time difference and the language when planning the occasion!). This is an added value that is unfortunately not always possible in the case of face-to-face meetings.
3. Organisation is everything: sounds simple, but it is elementary. Just as with the planning of a physical event, the same parameters apply to the organisation of a virtual one. The choice of the date and time is important, as is the duration of the event. Don't forget: the location: through which provider will the video conference run, do we need a virtual background and how does the setting look like? The catering should also be considered: will the participants taste something during the event and possibly give feedback on what they have tasted? In this case, an appropriate organisation in advance and a precise coordination of the delivery is required. Goodie bags are also a great source of joy at virtual events: do they have to be sent in advance or as a thank you gift afterwards? The organisation of a virtual happening is by no means easier; it is just as time-consuming and requires sufficient preparation.
Our hybrid pressday is a great illustration of these learnings. It took place from the 18th to the 20th of May. The Reason Why? Journalists’ time is limited: they cannot go to several events presenting one brand. Our USP is that we are one of the few agencies in Switzerland to have a showroom for our 60 clients. This hybrid event also offered media from the Swiss Romandie the possibility to join us via Zoom (language: our colleagues from Lausanne lent us a helping hand by doing the tours in French!). Last but not least: the demanding and rigorous organisation: we started a month prior to the event. Indeed we had to plan several pressdays; which provides space for a safe exchange with journalists and influencers. How the setting looked like? We devoted each client a corner in our showroom, that we decorated according to its corporate design. Our guests could cater thanks to our food and beverage clients integrated in the event. When did we distribute the goodie bags? At the end. They ensured information about our clients’ would be communicated to non-participants – and a smile on our guests’ faces.
We are already looking forward to many more events – be it physical or digital. Do you need help to organise an event? Then feel free to contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.