How to Fill Seats at Your Next Event: Let’s Talk PR!

Article Written By: Camryn Hilton

What does public relations really mean? We’ll just leave the Oxford Language definition here: the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.

To simply break this down, image is everything. When it comes to public relations and event planning, creating an intriguing, unique, and humanized story around your event is what sells the tickets to your event. But how do you create this sense of trust and excitement with the general public? How do you promote your event to attract your desired audience? Well, I think you’ve found yourself in the right place my friend, because I’m about to tell you my top three tips to attract attendees to your next event!

1. Utilize Social Media:

What are you doing in the digital space to keep the people updated and informed, all while maintaining a positive social presence? Simple! Become a master of sneak previews, behind-the-scenes moments, live announcements, and staying on top of those DMs! The feedback you receive from your “TikTok’ers” and “Reel Junkies” will help you refine your PR strategies and effectively communicate with your followers.

Let’s say you’ve done your market research and you believe your event will draw people ages 21 to 35 to your EDM concert at the local rave warehouse. You come up with a killer social media plan, and through social listening, you realize that the copy and communication tactics you thought would work for this group, are just not resonating. You’ve been using rave terminology that is no longer relevant like, “Headbanging” and “Fist pumping” in your advertisements. It’s time to pivot, this is where your PR efforts need to be tweaked. Study the comments and learn more about the culture. The more relatable your content is to your target audience, the more they will trust your event is right for them!

2. Risk & Crisis Management

When it comes to managing risks for your event, staying on top of your stuff is the name of the  game! Stay diligent by keeping all forms of media up-to-date, correcting any misleading or false articles, and monitoring social media platforms for anything from negative comments to confused customers. In risk and crisis management, maintaining a positive and on-brand public voice is key for building trust with your audience. If you lose the trust of your audience and the general public, you will find yourself in deep and tumultuous waters. The more proactive you are the better and if you are not able to predict future crises, you can at least prepare for yourself for those “what if” situations.

What does this look like in real-time? Imagine hosting a festival and spotting an online comment that says, “The lineup this year is insane! I’m sure the crowd will be too… not sure it’s worth it!” First, you will need to reach out and address their concern in a direct message. Thank the person for their feedback and interest in the event and be transparent with the precautionary steps your team is taking to advocate for the safety and security of the guests. It doesn’t hurt to refer the individual to the FAQ page on your website to help answer any additional questions regarding safety protocol. Lastly, make sure to publicly respond to the original comment with a simple and straightforward explanation of the safety and security protocols that will be put in place at the event. Putting out little fires goes a long way with your audience, so get your fire extinguisher ready!

3. Influential User-Generated Content:

Influencer and celebrity user-generated content is the epitome of the “cherry on top” when it comes to PR efforts! Collaborating with celebrities or influencers with micro to massive followings to promote your event boosts its appeal tenfold. How? You can thank their niche communities of loyal followers. The cool thing about online personalities is that these individuals are looked upon as mentors by most and as “best friends” by many. Your audience will feel more inclined to come or support an event if there is involvement from someone they are a fan of. Whether you are hosting a small or large-scale event, partnering with influencers or celebrities will create a sense of FOMO that people cannot stand to tolerate!

Consider popular festivals like Coachella. They feature headliners as the face of their events and then invite celebrities and influencers for additional promotion. Genius! They reach out to influencers to create content and share the positive image of their festival. Attending an event with celebrities at a high-status festival makes being at the event feel dreamy and exclusive, increasing demand like never before.

By utilizing these three public relations tactics for promoting your event, you can attract considerable attention, maintain a positive and personal image, and avoid the spread of falsified information. It’s so important to remember, we’re ultimately the face of the event!