It’s the perennial problem that every event organiser grapples with: you have a great idea and a passionate team, you put together mind-blowing content/performances and you are all set to deliver enriching event experiences for your attendees.
Now, after all that hard work, you have sold 20% of your tickets with 1 more week to go before your event. It’s nail-biting because we all know that “bad ticket sales can happen to good people”. Beyond spending money on ads, how do you let others outside of your circles know of your event?
At Backstage Pass KL #3: Event Marketing, a panel of speakers from the industry, moderated by Natasha Fusil from BFM 89.9, discussed this question by breaking it down into two parts:
- How do you be more savvy in your engagement with the media to highlight your events?
- How do you leverage on social media and other digital tools to stand out from the noise?
Engaging the Media
1. Know the media, focus on relevance
Judith Yeoh, Head of Content and Editorial from SAYS, summarized it nicely when she said that the heart of media engagement is to work with the media to craft sharable content. Giving example of a poor way to engage the media, she said that those who simply focused on their own product launch without explaining how this interests the readers are unlikely to get much exposure from the media.
Rengeeta Rendava from Mad Hat Consult who handled the PR for Ironman Malaysia and The Cooler Lumpur Festival, added that organisers should try to understand the particular media they are pitching to, such as their reader/listener/viewer demographics, and what they are primarily interested in, and craft the pitch accordingly.
2. Be authentic
While relevance is key, Judith stressed that the one of the fundamentals to good event marketing is to present yourself honestly to the media, as the passion and the heart of the story will come through. With that, Rengeeta’s tip is that if you are to work with a PR agency, it is vital to work with people who believe in your project, because ultimately the messaging, beyond simply selling tickets, will reflect on your brand.
3. How-to-do-it step-by-step
Both Rengeeta and Judith also shared very practical and actionable tips when engaging media such as:
- In your email pitch, introduce who you are, what you do and five points about your event.
- Engage the media within the first paragraph of your email. Email, don’t call as this puts the journalist on the spot.
- Keep it accessible, and send email pitches in mid-noon to avoid the morning rush and take advantage of the post lunch lull.
Leveraging on Social Media and Other Digital Tools
1. Focus on your target audience
Inbaraj Suppiah, who runs Pixaworks Creative (a creative and social media agency) and who also organises the monthly meetup OpenCoffeeClub, shared that to stand out from the noise, it is important to know your audience, and make sure that the message is targeted at them. He felt that tools like Peatix is great for audience targeting through its recommendations platform.
2. Be consistent
Inbaraj believed that organisers of community events need to have consistency – both in their online engagement (such as on a Facebook group) and offline (in the regularity of the events). With continuous engagement and good content, will you be able to maintain the vibrancy of the community.
As an example of good content, Judith shared that “behind the scenes” of event preparations can generate great content for social media sharing. Inbaraj’s experience also showed that videos are a great way for potential audience to connect with the event, and he saw a spike in turnout whenever he used video in his promotional material online.
It’s a wrap!
This marks the last Backstage Pass KL for 2015! We hope that this community event for event organisers have empowered more creative risk takers to realise their best ideas to generate meaningful social experiences all over Malaysia.
Join these event management veterans in Singapore ( SGMUSO, Comedy Masala, Woolf Works, Asian Film Archive, Upsurge Productions, and InTheLoop) on Nov 12, Thursday, for the last edition of Backstage Pass (Singapore) 2015. We will be discussing how you can stay ahead of your competitors in 2016: Discover trends for 2016 from experts in 6 different fields and create unforgettable experiences for your attendees that will surprise and delight them.