‘Tis the Season for Events: Helpful Tips for Event Planners

September 9, 2014

One of the things I enjoy most about working at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations is the opportunity to work with clients on planning events.

This past week, United Way for Greater Austin (UWATX)—an ECPR client—hosted a mayoral debate to offer the community a chance to get to know the mayoral candidates, as well as hear their viewpoints on important issues such as education, poverty and affordability. It was a perfect example of how to do an event the right way.

When planning an event, no matter the scale, your to-do list can seem daunting and endless. Don’t let it get you down—just try to stay organized. Don’t miss our helpful tips for event planners below:

Venue is Everything

The venue in which you choose to hold your event is possibly the most important decision you will make. Not only will it have an impact on your budget—it can make or break your event.

Consider not only the price tag, but also the location, seating availability, food, Internet access, parking, cleanliness—the list goes on and on.

For the UWATX mayoral debate, the newly renovated Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar was chosen as the venue. I have to say, I think Alamo Drafthouse—Austin’s iconic theater—was the perfect location for this event. It offered everything from an ideal location to the technology needed to live stream the debate into an overflow theater—and even popcorn!

Technology is Everywhere

ECPR has talked a lot about the importance of social media and going “live.” Whether you like it or not, technology is everywhere and events are highly dependent on your website, social media channels and blogs—just to name a few.

During the UWATX debate, our team at ECPR created a constant stream of tweets and updates on social media. The engagement was incredible! More than 8,000 users saw the tweets on the day of the debate.

Don’t Forget About Traditional Media

When planning an event, don’t forget about traditional media. They receive multiple requests to cover events every day, so if they decide to attend yours, treat them like a special guest.

Always ensure journalists have what they need and are comfortable. Besides providing them with information about the event, as well as a media contact person, offer them complimentary passes to the event and provide Wi-Fi access, parking, food and water, and designated space for their cameras.

Just remember, no matter what, smile, try to relax and enjoy the event you worked so hard to organize!

-Lisa Candido
Director, Elizabeth Christian Public Relations

United Way for Greater Austin Mayoral Debate