One of the more common questions I get about Peek (and my other Food Fete press event) is whether we can guarantee media attendance. Boy, how I wish! Among all the elements that must come together for an event like Peek (most of which can be controlled), the one thing I CAN promise is that some of the editors on the RSVP list won’t make it.
Did you ever RSVP for a party or social event having every intention of attending, and then for whatever reason, didn’t go? Of course you have. We all have. The same thing applies to journalists who plan on attending press events.
Something will invariably come up — sickness, shifting deadlines, having a bad day at the office, or just being too tired — that can lead to no-shows. We’re clearly disappointed when it happens, but don’t take it personally. So why draw attention to an issue that event planners usually wish to avoid? It’s about setting expectations.
Despite doing everything right, events have inherent intangibles that can throw things off plan. We know it, and make sure that our participants know it. We do confirm, remind and re-confirm media RSVPs up until the morning of the event, but despite those efforts, some simply won’t show.
Fortunately, a vast majority of the PR agencies and their clients we work with get it.The flipside is that some media will show up at the door who did not RSVP, often creating an unexpected, but pleasant, surprise.
While we always encourage advance RSVPs (it helps with the media vetting process and other logistical planning like food & beverage), we’re glad to register qualified media on-site who did not let us know in advance.It’s part of what keeps things interesting.