Are you planning on hosting your first media event or want to make the most of your influencer activation? Or perhaps you want to know what the “Instameet” fuss is all about? As the experts in influencer marketing, we know a thing or two about hosting an influencer event for your brand.
While hosting a media event for your brand can be a fantastic opportunity to spread brand awareness amongst your key target market and gain some media and influencer coverage to support your marketing strategy, it’s not as easy making a Facebook event and throwing some party pies in the oven a la the 21st century way. If you want your media event or influencer activation to be a raging success, you need to ensure you are not doing any of these 8 things.
Don’t Forget About Your Brand
Whether it be spreading business cards with your handles and hashtags on every table surface or erecting balloons with your brand's logo, branded items at the influencer event are a must! Having your brand clear and visible will help keep the brand front-of-mind for the guests, ensure your brand is visible in coverage and event pictures, and if done with a spark of creativity, it branded items can be the perfect prop for influencer content. If your event has no branding, how are consumers and social media users supposed to know what it was all about!
Don’t Have Bad Lighting
Generally speaking, influencers are all about aesthetically pleasing snaps that inspire, inform, entertain and/or promote, so if you want your influencer event to be a hit, ensure they can take great photos in real time! As any photographer would tell you, good lighting is the key ingredient to a good photo, and makes all of the difference between an average shot and an incredible image, especially when we’re talking about photo content from a camera phone. If you want your guests to post some imagery at the event that will ultimately lead their followers to your account and increase brand awareness (a huge win and KPI!), good lighting during the event is crucial.
Don’t Invite Everyone
When selecting your guest list, target the influencers that are most relevant to your brand and align with your brand personality. Like any influencer collaboration, you need to find influencers who are the right fit for your brand, aesthetic and vision, otherwise you will not capitalise on the engagement and the coverage won’t be authentic. When building the guest list, it is also important to create a larger guest list than the maximum capacity of the venue allows for as there will always be guests who are unable to attend, whether they let you know by the RSVP deadline or cancel on the day.
Don’t Misjudge The Impact Of An Invite
Speaking of invitations, design some fabulous invites to send out to your guest list a couple of weeks before the big event. This will not only get your guests excited about the upcoming event and opportunity to be involved with your brand, but your invite is also their first taste of what the event will look like, so ensure you wow them from the first point of contact.
When it comes to timing, it is best to send out invites at least 3 weeks in advance, depending on how big the event is. If you email them out too early (e.g. months in advance) you risk the chance of influencers reading and filing it for a later date, or worse, forgetting about it completely. Once RSVP’s have been received and collated, send out a reminder email the day before the event.
Don’t Exclude +1’s
Nobody likes going to any kind of party alone, especially when they don’t know anyone else who is going to be there, so by allowing your guests to bring a plus one as they please, you will immediately make them feel more comfortable about coming to your event, and it is the polite thing to do. Plus, many influencers hang out in groups and interact with each other on both a personal and professional level, so it is likely they will bring another fellow influencer or blogger as their guest, which ultimately generates more exposure if they share the event across their platforms also. When you restrict guests to just “one person per invite” you can create an awkward atmosphere on the night, limit their content opportunities (because who will help them take photos) and also impact the number of RSVP’s you receive. As long as there is room, the more, the merrier, right?!
Don’t Forget The Finer Details
As we know, content is king, and this is certainly the case with an influencer activation, media event or instameet. Work with an events stylist to put the finishing touches on your space, or if you are doing it all yourself, make sure you think about the finer details that will give your event extra oomph. Whether that is assessing the bathroom situation, providing seating arrangements and ensuring parking facilities or lighting tea light candles in an open space, sourcing fresh blooms for the tables or organising roaming waiters to deliver drinks to the guests, don’t forget about the finer details if you want your event to be a success.
At the end of the day, an awesome event space = fab influencer content = great brand awareness and exposure, so you can’t afford to forget about the finer details.
Don’t Provide Limited Photo Opportunities
We’ve talked about good lighting, branded content and venue presentation as great ways to help influencers create instant content in the moment, but have you thought of a selfie station or a flatlay space? These little areas are becoming increasingly popular at influencer events, and are set up specifically for content creation. These sections help influencers to create some really awesome content with your products, branding and event props (hello wine glass!) on display. And, selfie stations and a flatlay space are also a lot of fun, and help get the creativity flowing. The less awkward it is to take a good shot, the better.
Don’t Forget The Power Of An Event Hashtag
Finally, your event is likely about a new product, or to celebrate a new collection, or just a fun way to gather together and get people involved with your brand, so you don’t want to party to finish when the lights go out! Keep the festivities going for days (and even help with the build up) with a special event hashtag. Encourage guests to join the digital conversation and use the event hashtag so that other guests, and consumers at home, can follow along to. It helps to build momentum and traction, and collate coverage all in the one place, which helps with your post-event reporting and analysis.
So, next time you are hosting a media event or influencer activation, avoid these common 8 mistakes that many marketers make, which ultimately have a big impact on the success of the event. Everyone wants their event to go well, so take these tips on board and make your next influencer event your best on yet!