Event planning: Details, Details Details!

August 10th, 2017

Amanda Kemsley, Account Specialist 

It’s an age old saying for many aspects in life, particularly one that could be said about event planning; hope for the best and prepare for the worst. As PR professionals, we prepare and think about every possible scenario, trying to avoid the unavoidable. But, we don’t hope for the best, we plan for it. Below are a few considerations to think of when planning an event and ensuring everything goes off with a bang:

  1. Purpose

Having a clear objective from the beginning will guide all aspects of planning, help to measure results and ensure success of the event. Is the event to launch a product or service? Is it to introduce a new brand/company? Why are you (or the client) holding the event, and what do you want to achieve?

 

  1. Budget

Once you’ve established the focus of your event, do your research and estimates costs to create a budget you can reasonably work within. If you are given a budget from the client, break it down into line items to give yourself an idea of what can fit into the budget. There are often unforeseen costs so don’t forget to account for contingency.

 

  1. Know your audience

This goes for both guest and media invites. Invite guests that share an interest in your event, product, service, etc. Reach out to media appropriately and ensure you’re pitching a reporter with a beat that coincides with your event’s purpose. Making sure to research and select the right people will help create a longstanding relationship with event attendees and media contacts.

 

  1. Timeliness

Conduct an environmental scan for the time, and area of your event. Take a look at other events happening in the city and pick a suitable day and time that will not conflict with your event. You don’t want to compete with other events that have a similar targeted guest list.

 

  1. Make a list and check it twice

In PR we love lists, but creating a work back schedule will help ensure you don’t miss important elements for your event. Organizing all details into once place will give you the chance to see how your plan is progressing. A run of show is also a great way to envision your event from start to finish and will give you the opportunity to recognize any missing elements.

  1. Venue Selection

Align your event theme with your venue selection. Having consistency in your theme and venue will add to the event and leave a lasting impression. Look at the big picture and choose a venue that can accommodate your guest list, food and beverage options, fits your budget and encompass the atmosphere you’re aiming for. It’s also important to consider accessibility of the venue, convenience for guests and if necessary, contingency plan for weather. If you are on a limited budget, look for a venue that can check off multiple services including catering, entertainment and AV – bundling vendors can help save costs.

 

  1. Takeaways

Leave a lasting impression on your guests with a simple and thoughtful takeaway gift. Practical or unique gifts are usually a hit, keeping in mind it should always tie back to your event theme.

 

 

Once your event is over, record key learnings and regroup with your client to look back, review and measure against your objective(s). Key learnings and takeaways are great to have on hand the next time you plan an event. Events require a lot of foresight, but if planned and executed well, they can be the perfect opportunity to engage with your audience, share a message, secure earned media and more!

Amanda is an Account Specialist at Brookline Public Relations. She has an insatiable appetite for exploring – ironically since she doesn’t like getting lost. She flourishes on bringing broad-minded, creative ideas to the table and trying things outside of the norm.

Brookline helps Aeromexico fly into Calgary

July 11th, 2017

Bridgette Slater, Senior Intern and Amanda Kemsley, Account Specialist 

 

Between March and June of this year, Brookline worked in collaboration with The Calgary Airport Authority (YYC) and Aeromexico to celebrate the airline’s inaugural flight from Mexico City to Calgary on June 1st, 2017. Throughout a press conference and evening event on June 15 featuring authentic Mexican and Western Canadian cultural elements, attendees learned about Aeromexico’s new offerings and welcomed the airline to Calgary with open arms.

On June 15th, two events were held to celebrate Aeromexico in Calgary. To kick off the day, a press conference was hosted at the Fairmont Palliser. The historic landmark hotel was a natural destination to host Mexican delegates and travel industry professionals. With its notable charm, deep-rooted in Calgary culture, the Palliser was a great introduction to Calgary for first time travelers to the city.

 

Viva La Danza, a Mexican Folklore dance troupe, commenced the press conference with a variety of traditional Mexican dances. Several guest speakers addressed the crowd including Mexican delegates and Aeromexico employees to share details about the newest non-stop service between Calgary and Mexico City and the economic opportunities this flight will bring to both cities.

 

 

Guests were treated to an array of breakfast items including Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread), made-to-order smoothies, dulce le leche and more. Guests left with a parting gift – a luggage tag and custom designed notebook replicating a boarding pass.  Several media outlets, both local and international (Mexican publications), attended the conference to cover the experience.

 

 

In the evening, a cocktail reception took place in a classic and elegant atmosphere. The event was held at Calgary’s newest event space, Hudson, located on the sixth floor of the historic Hudson’s Bay building on Stephen Avenue. The vast hardwood floors and red bricked walls were accented with sleek furniture and grandiose floral pieces arranged with different varieties of white flowers and lush greenery.


 

To tie the theme back to the airline’s Mexican roots, the food and beverage options were artfully selected to reflect the experience guests receive when they fly with Aeromexico. The guests were treated to a wide array of food options including: burritos, tacos, beef sliders, macaroni and cheese bites, churros, tre leches and many more options. Additionally, guests had the unique opportunity to learn about the intricacies of tequila from an expert who works at Anejo, a contemporary Mexican restaurant in Calgary. After a short tequila 101, guests had the option to taste three top-shelf tequilas including Tres Generaciones Anejo, Herradura Anejo and Don Julio 1942. The cherry on top (or the salt on the rim) was the beautiful ice sculpture carved by Calgary’s Frozen Memories which included a shot luge allowing patrons to enjoy their tequila selections with a slight chill.

 

 

Guest’s taste buds weren’t the only ones to receive a sensory thrill! With performances from the Bow Valley Fiddlers and the Chinook Country Line Dancers, patrons danced along and enjoyed some of the more animated cultural aspects that Calgarians are accustomed to. Finally, upon their departure, each attendee was provided a gift bag delivered by the Calgary Stampede Royalty including the Stampede Queen, two Stampede Princesses and the Indian Princess.

 

 

 

Bridgette Slater is the Senior Intern at Brookline Public Relations. Her experience lies within the realms of event planning, corporate and creative writing, and social media management.

 

Amanda is an Account Specialist at Brookline Public Relations. She has an insatiable appetite for exploring – ironically since she doesn’t like getting lost. She flourishes on bringing broad-minded, creative ideas to the table and trying things outside of the norm.

The Brookline Way!

June 27th, 2017

Sophie Pilon, Account Supervisor

Brookline was founded more than 12 years ago and the company was built on four main pillars that are the backbone of everything we do: Solid, Creative, Fresh and Professional.

At Brookline, we pride ourselves on delivering bold and stellar client service and we strive to continuously outperform ourselves and go above and beyond what is asked of us. Without divulging our secret sauce, I wanted to outline a few ways we continuously show excellent and world-class client service to our clients and partners.

  1. Brookline is relentless. We always go above and beyond and work hard to achieve and exceed our clients’ goals and expectations. We are never satisfied with decent results, we always want the best for our clients.
  2. Brookline is responsive. As a boutique agency, we pride ourselves for having out-of-the-box ideas with a customized approach to all our clients’ needs and expectations. This also means that Brookline is extremely responsive to our clients, partners and media/blogger contacts. We work under strict timelines and work hard to deliver great results no matter the deadline.
  3. Brookline is detail-oriented. The success of any campaign or project resides in the details. Here at Brookline, we take the time to dot the I’s and cross the T’s and make sure everything is as organized and precise as possible… and then we check all the details again.
  4. Brookline is a team player. Typically, Brookline works under a one-point-of-contact account structure. This model ensures the client has only one contact to communicate with – while behind the scenes, our account lead project manages all additional partners and vendors and team members to ensure the job gets done in the most effective manner. This model ensures there is no stone left unturned for any project or campaign.
  5. Brookline invests in stellar people. Finally, Brookline would not be successful today if it wasn’t for the talented team of experts working at the agency. We know we have the best clients, but we also know we have the best public relations practitioners. If you ask anyone at the agency, everyone will say the best thing about Brookline is the team!

 

As part of the senior team, Sophie’s strategic thinking and calculated public relations insight have helped effectively guide large brands to reach their goals and objectives. Sophie’s strengths lie in creating innovative and tailored strategic communications and media relations plans tailored for each client and their needs. Her creativity, coupled with a wealth of experience in sports, lifestyle, corporate, not-for-profit industries, has led to exceptional results and brand-elevating coverage.