Photo credit: Marlen Stahlruth
While we have spent a lot of time looking at how brands and influencers collaborate online to create inspiring content for campaigns, there is a huge value in having companies and content creators interact in real life. These events can be a fun, open and insightful experience that allows brands to gauge just how influencers interact with their products, whilst both parties are given the opportunity to form a deeper relationship that goes beyond the digital sphere.
These events can also be a great way to create a buzz for your followers, and whether it’s for a product launch or a store opening, a successful event can help you to refine the dialogue that you want to create for your brand. In order to help you pull off the best influencer event, we’ve created a step by step guide.
Before you begin the planning process, you first need to decide what it is that you are trying to achieve with your event. Perhaps you want to build awareness for a product or collection launch. Maybe you want to promote the opening of a new store location. It could simply be for the sole purpose of stoking a discussion about your product with a group of fashion-focused influencers to gather ideas for future collections.
As we covered in our Coachella 2019 round-up last year, Levi’s Jeans employed this tactic by inviting celebrities and influencers to try on their products, all the while taking notes about how a new generation of trendsetters was styling and interacting with them. Whatever the reason, don’t underestimate the role of influencers in achieving your goals. They are highly experienced when it comes to building hype and have built an audience due to their ability to engage followers with their unique style and recommendations.
Photo credit: Collabary
For the best results, you want to ensure that you begin your event preparations with enough time in advance. There are a lot of time-sensitive factors that need to be considered here – scheduling even one influencer can be quite difficult, yet thinking about a whole room of them.
First of all, you’re going to want to select which influencers you wish to invite. A great way to form your invite list would be with Collabary’s Discovery tool.
With the Collabary Discovery, you can filter influencers based on their interests, audience size, engagement rate, and location, all of which may be important factors depending on the purpose of the event.
Having the time-sensitivity in mind, you should invite the influencers at least 3 weeks in advance before the event is happening.
You will then need to determine a budget on each influencer if there will be a payment involved. As professionals, influencers are likely to expect to gain something from their attendance – whether it’s a financial reward, a giveaway or exposure. Additional budgetary factors that you will also need to consider may be the cost of travel and accommodation for your guests.
Once all of this has been determined, begin communications with your influencers to thoroughly explain where, when, and what is going to happen. This is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your influencers, so be as transparent as possible at every stage of the way with what you expect and what they can expect in return.
Photo credit: Marlen Stahlruth
While you’re deciding on your influencer guest list, you will also want to be considering what location will suit your event. Is it a seated dinner at a restaurant with a panel discussion? Is it a club-night with an open bar and DJ set? Is it a beauty retreat in a chateau day spa nestled in the Austrian Alps? Whatever it may be, you should ensure that it is large enough to comfortably hold your guests, the deco, and lighting fit your aesthetic and that it is instagrammable if you want your guests to share photos and videos.
Food and beverages will need to be considered too, as keeping your talents satisfied in this area is the best way to ensure they won’t be tempted to leave or grow weary. You also want to guarantee that either a decent mobile data connection is available or more preferable, a WiFi connection can be accessed. Without these, it may totally endanger your efforts to create a narrative around your event in real-time.
Photo credit: Collabary
If your goal for the event was to raise awareness about a product launch or your brand in general, you should communicate this with your influencers. Take Collabary’s 2019 event to help launch Tommy Sports in Germany as an example.
Here, 30 fitness-focused German influencers were invited to participate in a Ministry of Sound fitness class at Berlin’s trendy Soho House to engage and test the products. It has been well communicated how much and what kind of content the influencers needed to produce – which is extremely important, as well as the communication of how and when this content will be used.
Before the day began, the influencers were given a clear schedule of when they needed to arrive and where, as well as any breaks in between to eat or to communicate with their followers. The industrial Soho House setting and music also made for a captivating and photogenic watch. In the end, the influencers far outperformed their targets by sharing 204 story snippets in total, which yielded an impressive 1.4M impressions on the day of the event. The goal was awareness, and this was undoubtedly achieved.
Photo credit:Marlen Stahlruth
If your goal for the event is to celebrate the launch of a new collection or item, you may be less inclined to create such a rigorous activity as the one adopted for the Tommy Sports campaign. However, this isn’t to say that you should not have expectations for what you want your influencers to achieve while attending. These expectations were also defined for Zalando’s event to celebrate the new Karl Lagerfeld x Olivia Palermo collection.
At this event, a number of high-end influencers like Caro Daur were invited for a dinner to see how the two designers created a distinct “affluent New York meets Parisian chic” collection. In this case, the influencers were not required to share an exact amount of stories but simply preview the collection and enjoy each other’s company. They also had the opportunity to meet Olivia Palermo to discuss the collection in detail and were granted an exclusive 24-hour access to the collection on Zalando before the official launch.
Rather than asking the invited influencers and press to take photos, Zalando hired a videographer and photographer to capture the event, which gave the influencers a chance to relax and truly interact with the products and the information they were receiving.
A couple of things that need to be considered in events like this is the attendance rate and invitation process. Keep in mind that you should consider a no-show rate between 20 to 30%, despite receiving the recommended 3 weeks of warning in advance.
Photo credit: Collabary
There are a number of other things that can be done to ensure that your event goes off without a hitch. Firstly, you should try your best to always stick to your schedule in the planning stage. By skipping too many deadlines, you can create a cascading effect that can lead to disastrous effects – and these will be noticed by your guests. In saying that, as the event is unfolding, take your time to enjoy yourself and have fun. A lot of work has gone into making the day successful, so be sure to create your own content to share with your followers.
On this note, you may want to hire a photographer or videographer for internal company use – you never know, it may be something you can share with your audience somewhere down the line too. For those in attendance, why not create a hashtag for them to tag on their content? This way, you can use Collabary’s Share of Voice (SoV) tool to see how people are interacting with the content and create a wider understanding of your performance indicators.
For those who don’t know how the SoV tool works, this feature enables brands to easily monitor and analyze the effects of their campaigns on their overall social media presence and hence influence. It also enables to discover and assess trending topics based on potential hashtags and mentions.
And lastly, who doesn’t love a goodie bag? Treat your guests with something to take home and share with their followers. It could be anything from more products to drinks or chocolates, but whatever it is, it will keep the high of the evening overflowing into the outside world.
After the dust has settled and the results of your efforts begin to start flowing in, it’s time to start looking over how your event performed. Firstly, collect and use the influencer content in the way that it was discussed. Analyze it – what worked? What didn’t? See what content performed better and come up with some explanations as to why this happened.
One of the best ways to gauge your results is by sending a follow-up to the attendees. Ask for feedback on what they liked and what they didn’t so you can improve this in the future. Also, share information like event impressions or pictures and videos. In the end, the success of an event comes down to many factors, but when it comes down to it, it’s the people in attendance who make it something to remember.
Are you captivated by the idea of hosting an influencer event but would love some professional guidance? We can help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to give us the opportunity to bring your influencer event dreams to life. Additionally, if you don’t want to miss our weekly blog posts, subscribe to our newsletter here.