Public relations professional Chris Feely states that “organization is key to successful event planning, as events typically involve coordinating the efforts of the client, vendors and often a volunteer committee.” A special event is in most cases used as a way to get involved in the community and create awareness or interest about a topic that a company would like to promote. Although there are many more components to a special event, here are the six critical dimensions of a public relations special event:
o Create some anticipation for the event whether it be social media posts, raffles, giveaways, flyers, community outreach programs or speeches.
o Advertising and promotional materials would also be a very effective way to create anticipation for an event. For example advertising about a new product in a humorous way will ensure that attendees will be excited to be apart of activities at the event.
o Make plans for the arrival of guests.
o Organize how many people are coming from out of town areas and how they will be arriving at the event. If they are traveling by aircraft have transportation plans for each guest to and from the event. If coming from local areas, direction cards in the invitations are a helpful way to ensure the arrival of the guests.
o The event’s atmosphere must collaborate with the type of event the organization is hosting
o The décor and theme must coordinate with what type of event is being held.
o Ex: if it were for children then the atmosphere would be quite different from a gala. A gala would require elegant tones and décor whereas a children’s event would require bright colors and excitement. Researching the demographic and psychographics of the guests is essential for a successful event.
Special events, like any other public relations technique, should be used to achieve a specific public relations purpose. That means having a specific target audience in mind before the event planning starts and forcefully delivering a clear and unique message to that audience with the event.
o Decide the type of food and beverages that would be served to the type of people that are attending.
o Also, the food should depend on what type of setting the event is, the PR professional must decide whether the event should have food served by waiters or in a buffet style.
o Ex: The food at a Gala would be a gourmet meal and would be set up as tables surrounding a dance floor where as a Fair would have food from stands or tents and located in a much less elegant venue perhaps an outside venue.
o The activities at an event should be decided by what the event is and who are the target publics.
o The activities should be circled around what the PR professional believes these attendees would enjoy doing and what would keep their attention.
o Decided whether or not to give your guests any amenities as they leave the event.
o Make the amenities memorable so they guest remembers the event and keeps interest in it.