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The ultimate event checklist – what firms need to know before showtime

Thomas Lodge | 21.06.2023

The buzz of a packed room, the weight of a salmon canape in your palm, the taste of a piping hot conference coffee – these familiar feelings all point to one thing – conferences are back.

This year has seen the triumphant return of financial services events and we’re welcoming them with open arms. With invitations flying, conferences are not just about mingling or panels – it is important that firms know how to prioritise and plan when it comes to making a splash with media at events.

To make the most of the sometimes-short time in the room, it is crucial to set out clear objectives to stand out. In this blog we give our top tips to help firms make the most of media on site. These come from our expertise, as well as our on-site experience as the official PR partner for WBR events in Europe such as the Fixed Income Leadership Summit in Barcelona, Tradetech Europe and FX in Paris, and the DigiAssets Conference in London.

Setting clear goals

What do you want out of the event? Lead generation, media coverage, video interviews? These are all valuable, but it is vital to remember that good media relations take time and resource. Ensure you are partnering with a PR firm that makes your life – and the spokespeople’s – as easy as possible when it comes to media. Defining clear goals upfront ensures a more focused and strategic approach, enhancing your chances of a successful event.

Know your audience

The first step to any successful event strategy is understanding your target audience. It’s important to identify and engage with key stakeholders, decision-makers, media, and influencers in your sector before the event. Use social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Research the latest industry conversations and tailor your messaging to resonate with your audience.

Develop a robust PR strategy

Your public relations strategy should aim to generate broad coverage, elevate brand awareness, and forge key relationships. Craft compelling narratives around your firm’s culture, purpose, and offerings that journalists will find valuable – for those on and off-site. Conference PR is competitive – there are a finite number of journalists with limited time and sometimes hundreds of firms vying for attention. Make sure your insights stand out and encourages journalists to connect with you during the event.

Maximise Event Presence and Conversation

Take advantage of every opportunity to highlight your firm’s presence during the event – showing that you are in the thick of it and engaging with industry debate. This includes contributing to discussions and debates, sharing updates on social media, and developing daily wrap-up blogs to summarise key sessions. The goal is to provide a unique perspective on the events of the day, thereby securing a larger share of the conversation and engagement. Be aware of other communications channels on-site such as the official media partners to the event who may provide a daily wrap up newsletters or sponsored media opportunities.

The before and after

Events don’t exist in a vacuum. Ideally, they should be part of a strategic long-term plan that taps into the power of various communication channels both before and after a certain event. Pre-event interaction with media paves the way for deeper connections and conversations during the event itself.

Even when the lights dim in the conference hall, the same principles of good media relations apply after the event. Make sure that the relationships forged at events progress and keep journalists coming back for more. Moreover, repurpose event content like session takeaways, interviews, or videos into formats like blog posts, op-eds, newsletters, and social media updates. This extends the lifespan of your content, keeps your brand at the forefront of your audience’s mind, and reinforces the connections made at the event.

Proper preparation, coupled with proactive engagement, will ensure that your firm stands out among the crowd and achieves its strategic goals. This is set to be a bumper year for events in financial services – we can’t wait to connect with you. Next stop – Tradetech FX in Paris!

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