You just need to think out of the box: Amanda Rowland, PR Executive at IBA, explains

2017 has started off as busy as ever at IBA with several of our clients making major announcements or attending key events in January. Here’s just three events we had in January and how we at IBA turned them into ‘Events 4.0’.

First, after completing a major acquisition, we created a ‘virtual’ event for the media and organised six interviews with industry-leading journalists around the news for our Aerospace & Defence client. Then we had a client in January giving a key presentation at a European event for insurers on the seriously hot topic of how block chain will affect the insurance industry. Very few media had been invited by the organisers so we made the event into our event and secured and hosted our top journalist to attend. Finally we used social media to turn our enterprise communications client’s traditional sales kick-off into a media and partner supported event by producing engaging social content and live reporting awards results.

Attract the (right) media
First off, you need to ensure that the journalists you invite are suitable and engaging for the right reasons and aren’t just looking for an all-expenses paid weekend away. At IBA, we profile journalists to ensure those we invite are from top tier publications to produce valuable content. Instead of a generic email sent to a mailing list, we run personalized outreach programmes to engage directly with each journalist to help build up the content relationship. But we don’t stop there. Once journalist invites are secured, we help arrange travel with our clients and produce an event portfolio with all the necessary information that will help make the event a success.

Build up the hype
Social media is an extremely powerful tool that will help creating a ‘buzz’ around you event. Creating an event hashtag lets everyone at the event get involved and helps promote networking between speakers, exhibitors and attendees. Live social updates not only give information to those at the event, but also allow those who weren’t able to attend to follow remotely. There’s even a chance you could persuade people to turn up for the later days.

Interviews are essential for getting those top-notch post-event articles, as it allows journalists to get in-depth information from a subject-matter expert that’s relevant to their readers. It’s not a problem if a journalist is unable to attend. An interview before the event may give them time to publish an article while it happens, and scheduling a call for a few days later can produce a nice follow-up piece Remember – preparing both sides for the interview is important. Give your journalist enough time to prepare his or her questions, and make sure to brief your client on the journalist’s interests, background and any relevant topics for discussion. At IBA, we create one-page briefing sheets that do exactly that and put everyone on the same page to organise an interview that benefits both parties.

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