Why the MICE industry has a head-start when it comes to media

IBTM Events, 06 Mar 2013 12:00

Craig Moyes
Portfolio Director Meetings/Incentives/Business

The AIME Knowledge programme at AIME 2013 in Melbourne had some great advice for meetings and incentive professionals wanting to raise their profile in the industry.

In one session, Projecting Value: A Media Perspective, we heard from respected media: Stu Freeman, publishing editor from Promag in New Zealand; Martin Lewis managing editor, CAT Publications in the UK and Alexandra Yeomans, publisher & managing director, Creative Head Media, who facilitated the session. The media were joined by Martin Sirk, CEO of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).

The group shared their tips for harnessing the potential of your business and getting the word out some of which included: 
• Create content from your database. Create surveys to send to your database to gather interesting industry insights from your captive audience.
• Use spokespeople proactively, offering them to media to provide comment on issues and trends. Consider your education session speakers, your staff or the industry leaders attending your event as potential spokespeople.
• Don’t churn out media releases for the sake of it. By sending out media releases weekly, you risk editors ignoring them completely.
• Don’t forget about images. From vibrant events and gorgeous destinations, our industry is spoilt with so many great photo opportunities. Remember that people are motivated to share images and editors love great photos.
• Lastly and importantly the speakers stressed the importance of having an integrated PR and social media plan. Build a community that are engaged and willing to share your content.

What the session really reminded me was that our industry has a head start when it comes to public relations and social media, but I wondered if we are taking full advantage of it?

Engaging content is key to effective marketing and communications and event organisers are producers of great content. At our events, we bring people together, we provide a forum to create shareable content, we have thought leaders educating our ranks and colourful photo opportunities. However, for many event organisers the focus on delivering the event is so strong that perhaps opportunities to better leverage this content to fully utilise social or traditional media channels can become a secondary consideration.  

I’m sure if we all approached our events in terms of what public relations and social media content can be created we’d see our profile grow quickly. Sometimes it’s just a case of thinking about the media appeal and social media following when choosing speakers, or remembering to create moments that can be captured and shared.  So don’t just look at integrating your PR, marketing and social media strategies, aim for a fully integrated content strategy for your next big event.