Brand engagement through consumer events is something we’ve really missed during COVID. Online events – who knew! – can work absolutely brilliantly, and we’ve had huge success with them over the last 18 months. However, we’re all agreed – there’s nothing quite like the physical immersion you get in a brand when you attend an ‘in person’ event.
Fresh from the success of our first, in-real-life consumer event for our client, Original Source, we wanted to pause and reflect on how PR event planning has changed in a post-Covid world, and what measures we need to take to ensure it goes without a hitch.
The devil’s in the detail
It’s always been the nitty gritty detail that makes events sink or swim. What is the consumer greeted with as soon as they cross the threshold? What can they see and what can they smell? How do we extend their dwell time in a certain spot?
But now, there is an extra layer of detail to think about. We have to consider how to make sure that people feel safe in the space created. Masks, sanitisers, space for social distancing – whilst these may no longer by mandated by government (for the time-being at least) – good hygiene and the comfort of guests is absolutely critical to creating a positive experience.
Think about hybrid events
Virtual or in-person? Maybe we don’t have to choose. We know now that customers will engage in events both IRL and online. We believe that having a solid virtual component to your event is exactly the right way to amplify your brand to a wider audience and ensure that it’s not just about ‘who goes’, but also about ‘who knows’.
Consider how to extend the reach of your event in the initial planning stages, to fully integrate it into the brand experience. Is it a live stream, video or epic photography?
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘thumb-stopping social media content’. When it comes to events, it’s really all about the visual ‘wow’ factor – both to make the event memorable for guests, and also to ensure they are eager to share their brand experience with their online community – thus amplifying the reach of your event.
The importance of a back-up plan
If Covid has taught us one thing, it is to expect the unexpected and plan for every eventuality. And who knows what Winter may bring by way of new restrictions. So always have worst-case scenario in the back of your mind.
The ability to be agile and pivot your concept at the last moment is crucial in this fickle new normal. If you had to, could you move your event online? Are you considering the best means of both physical and digital engagement? And, ultimately, do you have solid event insurance if you have to pull the plug at the eleventh hour.
If you’re thinking of investing in events as part of your direct-to-consumer comms plan for 2022, our team can help give you the confidence to go ahead and get your brand back into the real world.