From guest lists to gift bags: creating impactful influencer events

Influencers participating in glamorous fashion shows, exploring vases in a design store, savoring a customized menu at a restaurant, discovering novel drinks during a forest picnic, and engaging in culinary activities in a food studio… as a marketer, you may have pondered the value of arranging events for influencers and how your brand can distinguish itself amidst this vibrant landscape.

In the present day, influencer marketing holds a pivotal position in the marketing strategies of numerous brands. For certain products, it proves to be the most effective means of promotion. Leveraging influencers as a marketing channel facilitates reaching the ideal audience, aligning with the influencer's niche and interests, thereby nurturing brand awareness and trust. An influencer often serves as a reliable friend to their followers, and it's this trust that the brand, initiating the collaboration, relies upon.

If you have already sent out PR packages and engaged in paid collaborations, it's time to integrate influencer marketing into your overall strategy and organize a memorable event for influencers. This allows you to bring communication from the digital world to physical space, enabling influencers not only to see but also to experience the values of your brand. Authentic experiences help create a deeper connection with both influencers and their followers, thereby strengthening the brand's position in the market.

Triin Tähnas, our Head of Marketing Communication, delves into the discussion on how to organize an influencer event that not only stands out but also leaves a lasting impact beyond the few hours of the event.

Emotions, emotions...

Start by considering the goal of your event and the feeling you want to evoke in your guests. Positive emotions and a pleasant atmosphere often last longer than the joy of receiving a gift bag from an event. Since influencers attend many events, think about how you can differentiate yours and exceed guests' expectations. I always like to ask myself, "What event would surprise you?"

Whom to invite?

To achieve the best impact, think about your product or service's target audience and which influencers best represent that audience. While the number of followers is important, it's even more crucial to invite influencers whose values and follower demographics align with your brand.
In an era of abundance of information and things, as well as the appreciation of personal time, it is necessary to focus on cultivating one's community. Think of your product or service as a person and influencers as their friends. Who are their people? What binds them? Why would they want to spend time together?

Event as an experience

Products on display tables with accompanying slides and speeches – with such an event, authentic experiences and deeper connections remain mere dreams. Turn your product into an experience! Let the nuanced flavors of a new chocolate unfold during a three-course menu prepared by a top chef, the quality of revolutionary knives showcased in a cooking class cutting various ingredients, or the ergonomics of garden tools explored while creating a communal garden. If you have a product that is challenging to showcase in the mentioned ways (e.g., real estate development), focus on the message your product or company conveys, the emotion it should evoke, and activities that align with your brand. Find partners who share similar values and collaborate. This way, you provide guests with the same feeling and emotion you want future homeowners to perceive and feel towards your brand.

What to gift?

As a brand representative, you undoubtedly want to send guests home with a generous gift bag. After all, who doesn't love gifts?
When it comes to influencers, it's essential to consider that they receive PR packages every day, and their supply of creams and cosmetics likely lasts for years. During cold months, a couple of thermoses are added to their collection each month, and their collection of cotton shopping bags is by now enormous. I truly believe that simplicity holds charm, and sometimes, emotion provided through a meticulously planned event is sufficient. I truly believe that simplicity is magical, and sometimes, an emotion achievable through a meticulously planned event is enough. Ideally, the swag bag should be personal, and it's particularly cool if you can allow each guest to choose their preferred gift or color. Be mindful of the planet, and don't introduce more branded trinkets unless they create obvious added value or are of exceptional quality.

Therefore, successful brands are those that don't set the goal of ensuring a large number of participants for influencer events but see such events as part of growing brand awareness and an investment in long-term relationships, focusing on tailor-made solutions and emphasizing the creation of emotions.