How to host a successful COVID-safe event in 2020

To say that 2020 has required some out-of-the-box thinking would be an understatement! Traditional Marketing & PR playbooks have gone out the window, and many brands have had to pivot and change the way they connect with their customers.

At Plant Powered Press, our team recently had the opportunity to host an influencer and media event on behalf of our valued client, Made With Plants. In order to be successful, our approach to this event had to be strategic, fresh, and above all, COVID-safe. Here’s what we achieved:

The background

One of our long-term clients, Made With Plants, offers a plant-based take on the meals that Australians already know and love. With several new products arriving at Woolworths stores during October, we wanted to create a level of excitement and anticipation amongst consumers, and felt that Event Marketing was the best opportunity to amplify our client’s brand presence.

To get an audience hungry and excited to try products that might be a little new or unfamiliar – we needed to demonstrate just what kind of delicious creations they’d be able to enjoy, thanks to Made With Plants.

With this in mind, we decided to partner with Yavanna, a local vegan restaurant based in Brisbane, who are known for their vegan take on comfort food. Yavanna would be the venue, and their expert culinary team were tasked with creating a degustation-style tasting menu, using all-new Made With Plants products. 

Image credit (and cover image:) Instagram, @lalasplate

The guest list

While we would traditionally pack an event venue to the rafters, local COVID-safe restrictions meant that our team secured and managed an exclusive, strategic guest list of just 30 people.

Our guest list included local journalists and prominent vegan influencers who had previously collaborated with Made With Plants. However, given our client is on a mission to make vegan options more accessible and appealing to everyone – we were also pleased to invite local food bloggers who were not vegan, to see how they would interpret the plant-based fare.

Photo credit: Instagram, @plantsomepeas

The COVID-safe plan

The terms ‘social distancing,’ ‘contact tracing’ and ‘COVID-safe’ have now become part of our daily vocabulary, and taking on appropriate levels of precaution have become yet another consideration for our PR team.

In order to ensure that everyone at the Made With Plants x Yavanna event felt safe, we took the novel approach of choosing an intimate, sit-down event instead of a cocktail-style mixer.

This meant that each guest was welcome to bring a plus one to enjoy the evening’s degustation menu with – and each table of 2 was spaced apart from the next. The following house rules also applied:

  • All guests were asked to sign-in upon arrival, for contact tracing purposes.
  • All guests were invited to sanitise their hands, and there was sanitiser available at each table throughout the event.
  • Guests were to remain seated for the duration of the event, with full table service provided.
  • Signage and reminders were in place to encourage COVID-safe practices.
  • Specific points of entry and exit to the restaurant were pointed out to guests.
Image credit: Instagram, @thebrisbanelifestyle

The outcome

Our guests posted live Instagram stories to their collective audiences, reaching over 180,000 people at the time of the event! These stories further served as valuable content for both the Made With Plants and Yavanna Instagram and Facebook channels.

Local lifestyle media also covered the event, and our guests called the occasion one of the most “generous, energetic and engaging” evenings they’d attended. The evening had a genuinely positive and celebratory atmosphere, complete with live music and entertainment.

In addition, every guest received a ‘swag bag’ filled with new Made With Plants products to take home and enjoy. Our team is already fielding a significant volume of organic posts and stories that promote the new product range, and this content will be repurposed across our client’s brand channels.

We were incredibly satisfied with the success of this event, and were pleased to use creative and strategic solutions in the face of COVID-19 restrictions. Not only did our event help to build the Made With Plants audience for a highly successful new product launch; it also helped our team to consolidate and continue long-lasting relationships with our growing influencer and media network.

If you’re looking to host a successful public relations event amid COVID restrictions, you need an expert team that understands you. Contact us here to learn what Plant Powered Press can do for your business.

AUTHOR: Nicole Odviar

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