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Billy Hicks

Four Tips on Working with ‘Influencers’ for Events

If your event promotion isn’t working, it could be that you’re not working with the right people. Learn how "influencers" can take your event to the next level.

Influencers have become a successful marketing resource across many industries. They have been widely used to promote events, highlight new products and boost visibility. Finding the right influencers to promote your event is a great way to expand the reach of your promotion efforts and tap into a crucial audience.

If you’re exploring the idea of working with an event influencer, you will want to strategize and initiate this partnership thoughtfully to ensure that all of your expectations will be met. For those who need a little guidance in this arena, here are a few tips for you to get off on the right foot:

1. Find the right fit.
Utilize social media platforms to find influencers who have experience in event promotion. Instagram is particularly helpful for finding the right influencer. Hashtag searches can help you find influencers in your area who promote local events.

Another helpful tactic is searching for brands that are in the same industry as you and taking note if they have been tagged in any photos by event influencers. This can give you an idea about how they connected with an influencer and provide inspiration for your own search. Looking through content an influencer has produced in the past can also give you an idea of the level of quality you can expect.

2. Initiate a conversation.
Once you have found an influencer you want to work with, reach out with your event details. Many influencers have their contact information in their Instagram bio. If you can’t find an email address to contact, try sending them a direct message and let them know where they can email you if they are interested.

Be sure to state your needs clearly and provide enough context for them to make an informed decision about partnering with you (or at the very least, responding to you). Ask them for their media kit and if they have a rate card.

It’s important to communicate whether you will be paying them for their efforts. In some cases, you might be able to negotiate a deal to exchange services. These details differ on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature of your event.

3. Execute your promotion plan.
Once you have your influencer locked in, it’s time to start promoting your event. It’s important for this relationship to be natural and authentic to both your audience and the influencer’s audience.

Through collaboration, you will need to find a way to bring both of your brands together. Although there might be a slight difference in approach or tone, the promotion efforts on both sides should fit together seamlessly. When the influencers you’re working with share content on their social feeds, make sure you ask them for permission to share and repurpose their content on your own feed. Research has proven that consumers are more likely to trust the opinion of their peers over the brand itself, so partnering with an influencer to communicate your brand message, in turn, grows brand trust.

While executing your promotional plan, keep in mind that generating pre-event buzz is crucial to the success of your event. The quality of these efforts will ultimately encourage people to show up and stay awhile or choose not to attend.

4. Make the most of your event.
On the day of your event, make sure the influencer you’re working with has clear direction on content expectations. To best utilize their expertise, you might consider having them capture event footage in real time. Having an influencer record videos or snap photos can leave you with polished and professional content to retweet and share from your platforms.

Crafting content around an event should be a fun and collaborative experience. Ask influencers if they have any spur-of-the-moment ideas, and trust their creative direction.

In addition to the fun and spontaneous content generation, it’s wise to have a shot list or plan in place for must-have content. This way, the influencer at your event has guidelines on what is crucial to capture. Anything extra is at your disposal to create materials such a post-event recaps, or to advertise for future events.

As you become more comfortable working with event influencers, you will have a better understanding on how maximize their skills to bring more people to your events. Be sure you have a signed agreement in place, too, so each party knows their responsibility and who owns what once the event wraps.

Relationships with other industry professionals take time to develop, but you will never know the impact an influencer can have on an event until you try. 

Billy Hicks is the president and CEO at Event Rentals by Hicks, a full-service event planning and rental provider in Memphis, Tenn., serving the Mid-South for more than 30 years.

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