Virtual or IRL? What’s your plan to deliver and promote your event?
Events are starting to happen again. I have been invited to a bar opening and a bowling alley launch in the past two weeks.
But the government has launched the rule of six and potentially put back the opening of conference halls and other large scale event businesses.
Politics aside we know there is no straight forward way to plan right now. Events need to be flexible and events teams must be nimble, know exactly what consumers want and most importantly be aware that what they want could, and probably will, change at any minute!
We’re experiencing this first hand every day and whilst it’s tough we’re embracing the challenge and focussing on how we deliver impact in these constantly changing times.
Event production has changed massively but the way we promote events hasn’t changed at all. The holy grail in leisure and destination PR has always been broadcast – TV coverage in particular can reach the right audience better than any other channel.
During the launch of LEGOLAND Discovery Centre (longer ago than I want to admit) a slot on This Morning sold tickets instantly. Regional TV coverage around the search for a Master Model Builder saw Paul Crone chuck a bucket of LEGO down the Lowry Hotel steps (guess who had to pick it all up again) and immediately drove thousands of people to the website to find out more.
More recently, our sixth Manchester Pride Festival was very different than those that came before – the Alternative Manchester Pride Festival was 100% online. Covid times meant no parties on the cobbles of Canal Street or performances from international artists in Mayfield.
What it did mean was three days of content spanning with artists delivering live gigs in their bedrooms and a human rights conference giving vital air time to hugely important conversations with Munroe Bergdorf.
Every year we aim to kick off the festival with a day of broadcast media on Friday to make sure that everyone in Manchester and further afield knows about the festival. We do this by bringing TV and radio to the amazing festival sites as Mark, the chief exec, does interview after interview. We saw no reason that this year should be any different.
The live content that formed the links in the festival’s content on United We Stream GM was all filmed from our studio in the Bungalow at Kampus, overlooking the Gay Village, so we used this as a base for media.
Mark was able to talk about why the cancellation of Pride events is having such an impact on LGBTQ+ people, what it means for the charity to have to cancel its flagship event and promote the work it continues to do on Channel 5 news, ITV Granada Reports and BBC North West Tonight. He was also lined up to do Good Morning Britain and BBC Breakfast but the news agenda changed last minute.
I was proud to see regional and national media giving a voice to these issues and communities and that we were able to generate valuable impact for a client that means a lot to me.
Working with the Manchester Pride team for so many years has enabled us to know them, to build strong relationships and deliver what will get cut through with media. This is the essence of how we feel a client/ consultancy relationship should be.
But without great media contacts and genuinely engaged contacts across the board these results would be harder to achieve.
Do you have an event to promote be it virtual or IRL? We can help you promote it and ensure your audience turns up or tunes in.