Public relations is a necessary element to aid the success of any meeting or event. While it may seem like it takes a professional to master all things press releases, pitches and social media, there are a few simple steps meetings planners can take to up their PR game and spread the message of their event.
1. Pitch your meeting or event to relevant industry and trade publications.
Your attendees keep up with important industry news via relevant online or print publications. Since these publications target your ideal audience, they are the perfect way to engage and get the word out to potential meeting goers. These publications are also a great resource to get industry experts involved and find event sponsors.
2. Make a connection with the community
Having a charitable event as a part of a conference is a good way to give back and is also beneficial for catching media attention. A large organization making the connection with a charity based in the meeting destination or focusing on a local resident may generate additional media coverage for your event.
3. Utilize social media to #connect with attendees, vendors and visitors.
Whether your organization uses Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, each platform offers a specific way to engage target audiences. Creating Facebook groups allow pre-promotion of events and encourages attendees to easily communicate with fellow meeting-goers and make connections before ever setting foot in the event venue. Hashtags can create conversations and generate a common thread for attendees to follow even after the event ends.
4. Get attendees excited about the meeting destination.
Attending conventions and trade shows is part of the job, but it doesn’t mean attendees can’t enjoy themselves. Promoting fun activities, popular restaurants and interesting attractions within your meeting destination is great for getting meeting goers excited about things to do in the evenings or while on breaks. Incorporating experiences within your meeting by serving a city’s signature dish or giving away souvenirs also adds a special touch.
And most importantly…
5. Don’t wait until the last minute to execute your PR plan.
Creating a PR plan as soon as you have details about your meeting is key to successfully promoting it and engaging your audience. This is particularly important regarding media as many print publications have long lead times – typically six months. To get a story or information about your event included in long-lead media, working proactively is recommended. Begin planning as soon as possible to eliminate margin for error and make appropriate contacts for the event.