Events. What's the point?
Lately, more than one PR has asked me whether I think it’s still “worth doing” events, such as press days. With monthly magazines exerting less influence than they once did - a PR’s words, not mine - those long-lead, bi-seasonal, expensive events are beginning to seem increasingly irrelevant.
Particularly, let’s be honest here, if your client is not an advertiser. It’s also hard to get the short-leads to attend because their journalists are all doing 15 things at once for 17 different platforms.
I can see the problem. I probably get to 10 per cent of the events I’m invited to. On the weeks when it’s a stark choice between hitting my deadlines or going to an event that may or may not prove fruitful for future pitches, the deadline (and subsequent pay day) will always win.
And yet still I believe that events make our world go round. And in the digital age - when you can go one week to the next without having an actual IRL conversation - now more than ever.
You’re going to fare better if you can make sure your event is working as hard as it can. By that I don’t mean providing lavish lunches and free cocktails (although I won’t lie, a snack always helps).
The things I don’t want to miss have added value - trends presentations, future forecasting or meeting the founders or creatives behind the brands are all rewarding. They lead to conversation and more ideas and that’s what this industry thrives on.