Hosting an event is a brilliant way of creating more buzz about your brand and business. When executed correctly, one evening can lead to months of conversation revolving around your company which, in turn, leads to greater knowledge about your products and services and a broader reach of a potential target market.
In order to create this kind of buzz, you need to be asking yourself: What are attendees going to go home and speak about? What can I do to ensure that my event stands out in their minds and is innovative enough that they spread the word?
To help you brainstorm, read on and learn how to use the after party to create a brand buzz.
1. Recognize why throwing a buzz-worthy after party is essential.
Before you get into planning the after party, it is critical that you reflect on why you are spending your time and resources on the event. By having a clear understanding of the reasoning behind doing it, you will be in a better position to see your vision through.
- As with all events, the primary reason to host them is because human connection is the most powerful tool in your branding toolbox. Creating an opportunity for you to socialize with potential clients, partners, or customers helps you to cultivate a more profound bond and enables you to amplify your marketing message directly.
- Additionally, hosting a successful after party is a proven strategy for generating a brand buzz, as you are creating a positive reason for your company to be discussed before, during, and after the event.
- Last but not least, if you are combining your after party with news of a new release, product, or service, those in attendance will naturally find themselves more emotionally invested in your message due to them being invited to the announcement party.
2. Demonstrate why key individuals should be in attendance.
That being said, when planning your after party, you can’t solely consider what is in it for your brand. Instead, it would be best if you found clear reasons why an attendee should take time out of their busy lives to be there. Not only that, you also need to have a plan for demonstrating to them what they are going to get from attending the event.
Unfortunately, most companies don’t incorporate this into their party planning strategy, and they don’t think to go the extra mile in order to ensure that attendees also walk away with benefits. Think about it: How often do you actually want to attend a party where you hardly know anyone? Therefore, you need to organize your event in such a way that guests find themselves interested or excited enough to come.
If they have a great time at your event, they will forever think of your company and brand positively. This makes it more likely that they will then speak about your event (and consequently, your brand) with other people — providing you with your own personal marketers.
3. Utilize social media tools.
Social media can make or break your after party, but as long as you have an understanding of the tools of social media and have a social media plan in place, there is no reason why it shouldn’t boost your brand’s buzz.
The key is to find an innovative way to use social media. That could be through the use of a unique hashtag, giveaways that are exclusively available to those who post about your event, or specific installations or aspects of the event that are created with social media promotion in mind.
Your social media strategy should start even before your after party, as the more you can stir up excitement for the event beforehand, the easier it will be to convince people to post about it while they are there. Throughout your social media profiles, you want to keep the messaging cohesive and consistent with your brand, as well as interesting enough to reach the appropriate number of eyes.
Ensure that all attendees know your event hashtag. An after party-specific hashtag will assist you in increasing engagement and will provide guests with the opportunity to connect with you during and after the event. Make sure that those who are running your social media profiles understand the importance of maintaining two-way conversations between guests and themselves.
4. Keep the momentum going once the party ends.
Just because the after party has ended, it doesn’t mean that the brand-boosting potential dies with it. In fact, once the party is over, then you can start utilizing the content that you gathered throughout the event to generate more buzz.
If you had someone taking videos during the event (which is highly recommended), use that footage to create a highlight reel that can be distributed across all your platforms and can also be used in future years to drive registration for other events. Video can be distributed almost everywhere, from your personal website to your event landing page. You can attach it in newsletters, on social media profiles, and in articles promoting your brand.
Creating a video of the event is a brilliant way of communicating the energy and vibe of the after party to individuals who didn’t have the opportunity to attend themselves. It also produces engagement possibilities as the video is likely to be shared by people who were in attendance.
Additionally, see if you collected video testimonies from people who attended your after party, or even clips of performers or highlights from the evening. These small snippets can easily be shared on Instagram posts or as part of a more extensive marketing campaign. The key is to collect enough content throughout the evening so that you have plenty to work with when it comes time to produce something new.
Has your brand ever organized an after party? If so, what strategies did you use to create a buzz about the brand? What did you find wasn’t as successful as you initially presumed? Let us know your thoughts and any tips and tricks you may have in the comments below!
Charlotte Manzi is the Creative & Project Director at BlueInk Event Management, a provider of bespoke, best-in-class event management services.