For any number of reasons, media coverage can be important before and during meetings and events. I have covered a number of events including conferences, tradeshows, concerts, movie openings, film festivals, CD releases, and film industry events. Based on this experience, here are 10 tips for designing media-friendly meetings and events.
- Create an e-mail list and invite reporters, writers, and bloggers to join it.
- Create a media page on your website with PR releases, photos, links to press articles, and blogs that have covered your event(s).
The easier information is to find, the more likely your event will be covered.
- Provide an area for photos and interviews.
- Provide a media center even if it is small so that writers and bloggers can quickly write and file their reports.
IMEX America and Frankfurt always do an excellent job in this area: They have an adjoining room for press conferences, informal meetings, and interviews.
- Host a mini-junket or preview.
Award-winning Hollywood stunt performer and actor, Roy T. Anderson produced and directed the documentary Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess. The world premier on Monday, October 19th was a star-studded world carpet event at the United Nations as part of the UN's Remember Slavery program. To prepare, a few weeks ago, Roy Anderson hosted a test screening in Toronto where he lived for years and invited media and opinion leaders to attend. It was an opportunity informal opportunity for him to get feedback from a live audience before the final cut and give media a preview of the film and a chance to interview key players.
Test events and previews are under-utilized in the event industry.
- Throw a reception.
It doesn't have to be long or large, but it can get the right people out to cover your event.
Bloggers and writers from event industry publications were invited to the Event Technology of the Year Awards hosted by Julius Solaris in Las Vegas. Helpful information was provided. Media representatives mingled with the finalists and got quick answers to their questions, and an area for photos and interviews was provided. Here Catchbox demonstrates its catchable mike with a sense of fun.
- Wi-Fi access is a must, so provide it at all events and provide passwords for media to access it.
- Reserve seating so that writers, reporters, and bloggers can easily slip in and out of the meeting without disturbing participants.
Seats near the door, back row seats, and aisle seats are especially welcome.
- Make presentation slides and handouts available on USB drives.
This will ensure that information is captured and reported accurately.
- For tradeshows, ensure that someone is present, or easy to reach, to answer basic questions about the booth, the company and the product, service, or destination.
I have found that the staff at some booths is really well prepared while information is hard to come by at others.
By making information easily available and providing informal opportunities for the media to access information, planners can boost coverage through media-friendly meetings and events.
For more tips to create media-friendly events also consult 10 Film Industry Tips for Getting Media Coverage for Events and Secrets for Creating Buzz-Worthy Events From ACTRA Studio District Film Party.
Photo Credits: Anne Thornley-Brown, Executive Oasis International