It happens to the best of us. Despite the best-laid plans, an event flops. No one comes, or next to no one comes. For example, I once planned a focus group with members and had 45 RSVPs. How many people do you think came? Just three. I never did figure out why that happened.
Despite all of this, there is always a silver lining, and I am going to tell you how to create it: Squeeze every inch of post-press out of an event that you can, even if it was a “flop.” And there are a variety of ways to do so.
Write a story about the event afterwards for your online blog, a press release for the media or a Facebook posting for your page (or all three). Even if few people attended, talk about the person who presented and how exciting the subject matter was. Take pictures of whoever was there. When taking photos, be strategic if necessary, such as urging whomever attended to sit close together.
I recently had a lecture from a local partner on wellness that “flopped.” I had an audience of 25, but had wanted an audience of more than double that. Afterwards, I posted pictures on social media and wrote a press release for the local press.
I also grabbed a video from YouTube that was shown during the event and shared it online. This video was very emotional and tugged at a lot of heartstrings, so it received tons of plays online. In the meantime, I promised a return of the event at a later date.
I had none of this great material available leading up to the lecture, but I can guarantee you that the next one will have triple the number of participants.
Of course, after any event — flop or not — you have a debriefing of the good, bad and ugly, even if it is only with yourself. If it was a flop, pull yourself up, brush yourself off and get right back on the horse.
Keep on planning and promoting and remember: A flop is never really a flop, because it can always be flipped.
Linda Mitchell is the director of public relations and community partners for Newtown Athletic Club. For questions on marketing, she can be reached at email@example.com.