If you don’t know, now you know: in-person events are back. As vaccination rates increase and Covid-19 infection rates decline, Americans and their businesses are ready to party like it’s 2019.
If your startup is thinking of taking the jump back into in-person events this year, take note of a few things to make sure your event, and especially it’s PR, comes back strong.
Revamp the classics
Your startup may have planned events on the fly and held them “just because” in the past, but put those days behind you. Sit down with your senior team and make a clear goal for the event so your big announcement, product launch, or stakeholder gathering will wow your audience and make them glad to be back with you. Then, shape the whole gathering around that purpose and dazzle your audience with how intentional and focused you are. This is especially important if a portion of your event is virtual (more on that later).
Make sure you’re also considering the event through a safety lens so all guests feel comfortable. Choose a venue with plenty of space for distance and flexibility so all in attendance may mingle to their comfort and still hear the presentation. In the case of Austin, the heat can make outdoor gatherings a challenge, but when done well it reduces your need for extra space and makes the event and your startup feel more approachable.
Don’t ditch virtual
In-person is back but virtual is here to stay. Take what you’ve learned from virtual meetings and use it to add value to your events. Consider a well-planned live stream or recording for later viewing so those who couldn’t be there with you are still able to engage with your startup and get a taste of what working with you would be like. As a bonus, it makes for a great backlog of storytelling on your website and shows another side of your team.
Sharpen your press skills
As more events return and stake their claim for media coverage, consider what makes your startup’s event something people want to navigate the Covid uncertainty to get back to. With your goals set, you can get in front of the press and the public early to make sure yours stands out.
Once you’ve got the media’s attention, make sure your talking points are sharp. In this hyper-digital landscape, a good quote can take you far – but a bad quote farther. Work with your tech PR agency or internal marketing team to nail your quotes to make it easy for the media and your startup’s social media audience to share in video or Tweet during or after the event.
Engage your community
Finally, start small to reach big. Start your return to in-person events by engaging those closest to your startup. This includes your followers on social media, existing clients, and contacts. Invite them personally with a genuine email or a pre-event Q&A on Clubhouse and get their help spreading some good PR for the event to your target audience. Once it’s over, make sure to thank them afterwards with personalized outreach. If you recorded the event or made a standalone video, share that with your audience to catch those who couldn’t attend.
Ready to get back to it? We can help! Swyft is a PR team laser-focused on supporting startups like yours. Fill us in on your big plans for the year and we’ll get you back face-to-face with the people most important to your business.