As the advertising world has focused more on social media, more and more people look at fellow consumers to help with their purchasing decisions. Instead of looking at companies as they did in the past, they now look to each other and their favorite personalities – many who have amassed large followings on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms.
If you want to spread the word about your services and products, influencer marketing can be an important part of your digital strategy; and influencer events can elevate your efforts. Influencer events are the perfect way for brands to connect with bloggers and influencers in a meaningful way, to share information about your company, and to create buzz online. Here are some tips for hosting an outstanding influencer event:
1: Create an Event Schedule and Share it with Your Team
When planning your event, remember to choose your date carefully. You may also want to research if there are other events or conferences happening on the same date, to ensure your guests are available.
When it comes to the day-of, organization is key! Create a shared document and organize all the activities that will take place during the event, down to the minute. If everyone on the team knows exactly what needs to happen – and when – the results will be that much stronger.
2: Give Detailed Information, Including Expectations
Make sure to send very clear and detailed information about the event in your invitation, as well as a map of where the event is. When doing event outreach, add contact phone numbers to every email you send. That way, if the influencer guests get lost or run late to your event, they can contact you easily.
If blog posts are a required part of your event’s campaign, set up clear deadlines before the bloggers even receive their invite confirmation. Clear communication will prevent missed deadlines, so you don’t lose your mind!
3: Location, Location, Location
If you have a choice of location, set yourself up for success. Choose a central location that is easy for the bloggers or influencers to get to. Ensure that your venue is conducive to social media coverage. If you know the lighting is dim, let influencers know they may want to bring lights of their own for photography purposes. If you’ll have anyone speaking, mic them so that guests can record video at the event (see how we hosted a successful influencer event at the Savannah Chop House).
4: Never forget WiFi
If you want social media coverage, WiFi is the magic word. Even a temporary hotspot for the time of the event can make a huge difference. Another thing to remember is that your influencer guests will be signing on to this WiFi network with their thumbs. It’s appreciated when the WiFi password is something simple. You can always change it to something else after the event is over!
5: Choose Your Influencers Wisely
When forming your guest list, make sure all of the potential guests on your list are a good fit for your event and your brand. While you might adore one blogger’s voice, if the subject matter of your event doesn’t fit their brand, they aren’t a good fit for your guest list. Ensuring the influencers you reach out to are a good fit for your event bodes well for your outreach efforts. Work smarter, not harder.
Also, remember to do your due diligence and research each influencer or blogger before the event, especially if you don’t already know them. Make sure you learn all attendees’ names, and a little bit about them. It always creates a good impression to call them by their name, and it shows that you care about them as people and not just metrics.
6: It’s All About Fun!
Make the event fun. If it’s family-friendly, make sure it’s fun for them as well. You must make sure there are ample activities to keep your influencer guests entertained. Nothing spells bad PR like bored guests. Contests and games are great ways to keep influencers entertained and busy. And don’t forget the food! Well-fed guests are happy guests. If your event overlaps with a meal time, provide some tasty eats, keeping various dietary needs in mind.
7: Track Your Event’s Social Media Success
Choose a single, simple hashtag for the event and publicize it by sharing it in your outreach materials, as well as on any printed promotional materials displayed at the event. Don’t forget to include your brand’s usernames for each platform. Set up a hashtag tracker before the event. Tracking will help you measure the buzz you created. You can pull useful metrics such as the number of participants, the number of media posted, impressions, and reach, all depending on which tool you use. Remember to lead by example with great social media coverage and engagement during your event, too!
Bonus Tip: Give the influencers something to take home with them
Goody bags are always appreciated! Gifts or products, along with a media kit, leave a positive lasting impression. Stay in touch with the influencers, thank them for coming and ask them for feedback about your event. Don’t forget to continue to engage with influencers even after the event is done. Ask for permission to share their content, and like their photos. Building long-lasting relationships with influencers is key to being successful.
No matter the size, there are a lot of elements to throwing a successful influencer event. But if you stay organized, and plan everything in advance, your event is sure to be a hit. If you’re fully prepared, even small snags won’t stop you on your path to success. Now, let’s party!