You strategize, conceptualize, create and coordinate and through it all, the pressure to successfully produce a memorable, results-oriented (and Instagram-worthy) event is mounting. From finding the perfect venue to gift bag sourcing and sponsors, event planning is so much more than finding the perfect floral arrangement and photo booth backdrop; you need RSVPs and you need your attendees to help drive brand messaging forward, from an offline experience to an online record of time well spent.
For fashion and lifestyle brands, one signature move is to source a host who in both name and action, can help ensure a memorable event. The right host is often a top-tier digital influencer everyone wants to meet in person, who helps drive attendance and keeps the party alive kicking.
At Be Social, we frequently engage these digital influencers to host client events, have found this to be a strategic means to boost event effectiveness. Now, we’re sharing six of our best tips to ensure your next blogger-hosted event is flawless.
1. Choose an existing brand enthusiast
Influencers are more than just marketing figureheads, they are also consumers who have favorite brands, from shoes to skincare. When choosing your host, you’ll be best served by someone who is already familiar with – and a fan 0f – your client’s brand. Genuine enthusiasm and excitement is a huge part of hosting an event with authenticity and class, so choose someone who already wears your client’s clothes or uses their product. Here’s the clincher: in addition to approaching organic brand ambassadors, it’s essential the influencer also fits with the brand culture and aesthetic. You must be 100% confident that the host will accurately represent and clarify your client’s communication goals and personality. Remember, an event is a high-touch marketing opportunity to provide consumers or media contacts the chance to become invested and excited about a brand’s sensibility, and your host plays a huge role in the whole event experience.
2. Craft an Agreement
Now is not the time for agreements made with an air kiss or an email. You need to outline the specific expectations and outcomes for your host. Wrap these up into a letter of agreement or preferable, a legal contract. In addition to outlining payment terms – whether in product, publicity or money – consider things like a cancellation clause in light of sickness or emergency, as well as and pre-event or post-event duties. Negotiate your terms and include every single detail to ensure everything goes off without a hitch.
3. Prep your host before the event
Imagine showing up to host an industry award show, photograph a wedding or moderate a panel with no idea of what to expect (or what’s expected of you!). Take the time to set up a few prep meetings with your host before the event to discuss plans, timing and updates. A few days before, create and circulate a briefing document that outlines every detail of the event. Include who will be in attendance (if the influencer is unfamiliar with a particular VIP, include a photo and useful background information), an overview of the goals of the event, history of the brand, important key messages/data points for this specific event, important announcements and timing, social media hashtags and event flow. Have your host arrive early and take her through a mock event timeline, so she knows exactly what to do and say. Organization and transparency are key to ensuring expectations are managed and everyone is in the know.
4. Integrate product into host attire
For fashion and beauty brands, it’s a total miss not to ensure the host is decked out in client product (even better if you have done a wardrobe or beauty test ahead of time to ensure the host is wearing something she feels comfortable in). Hair/Make-up/Wardrobe are all important points to note in your host our agreement. By giving your host time to enjoy and experience the product, she can more effectively speak to which color, fragrance, style etc is their favorite because they actually know! If you’re working on an event that doesn’t have an obvious tie-in, consider having the outfit match brand colors, or creating something unique – like an accessory – specifically for the event.
5. Require social media promotion and documentation
Having your influencer simply host an event is one part of the tactic, but you’re really looking to maximize their reach and endorsement as much as possible. A common ask is to have your host post an event teaser prior to the event to increase attendance, and to specify a certain number of posts during the event itself. You can have your own social team on hand to help make this easy by texting photographs and sample captions for her use. Another great idea is to have your host take over your Snapchat or Instagram on the day of the event, which gives your existing followers a unique way to experience the event.
6. Make your host feel like a part of your squad
Hosting an event can be nerve-wracking, so remember to act as the host to your host. Introduce the host to media, other bloggers, and members of your team. Give them a point person/assistant to rely on for any questions or emergencies during the event itself – from a lost lipstick to a broken microphone. They more you can make your host feel like a valued member of the team, the better the experience for everyone.
When done properly, a blogger or digital influencer can make for the perfect host. Remember, your host can only achieve the results you want when they have a clear direction, expected deliverables, and lots of support and encouragement. When it comes to events, it really is all in the details. Good luck!
About Ali Grant
Ali Grant is the founder of Be Social, headquartered in San Diego with a showroom in Venice, California. She started her career at the beginning of the blogger boom facilitating blogger seeding for fashion labels Through strategic public relations and social media campaign management, Ali has earned recognition for her company in leading industry publications, including being named by PRWeek as the Top 50 Innovators in digital publicity. Further accolades include features in Forbes, Huffington Post, PRWeek, Fashion Monitor, The PR Closet, PR Couture, Daily Front Row, BW Confidential, The Holmes Report and O’Dwyer PR. She’s also hosted educational courses at America’s Beauty Show and the Bloguettes.