Part 1 Why Events?
But first, why are news events gaining such popularity?
For newsrooms, events are a proven way to diversify a publisher’s revenue stream. Live events are hard, and there is no guarantee of success, but the event model has clearly proven itself in a range of settings and styles. We’ll look at each kind of news event in the sections that follow. At a time when too many of our relationships with audiences are mediated by platforms like Facebook and Twitter, events can create a direct connection with your community. They are places to get feedback from local residents and foster their involvement. Events can build affinity, be linked to a membership model, and produce more content for your website.
In communities, event attendees talk about wanting a sense of connection with their neighbors. In some cases, attendees are looking for a social activity to meet people offline; others want professional opportunities for networking. From film cameras to vinyl records, there has been a resurgence of analog media, and events play into that trend. But people don’t attend events just to meet others, they are also interested in deeper connections with individual journalists and news organizations. Finally, people report wanting news that connects to their daily lives and helps them learn something new.
Advertisers are drawn to news events because they are guaranteed to be seen (unlike some ad formats) and because they get to associate their brand with something cool or fun. For a local business, an event can prove to be super-targeted advertising. Businesses know whom they are reaching and have the opportunity to connect with them face to face. Many newsrooms report that advertisers who had turned them down for web or print ads were excited about event sponsorships.
At its best, a good event strategy can reinforce other parts of your business model and help produce great content, engage readers, and market your work. Events can help publishers and media companies reclaim their vital role in supporting and expanding the public square as a place for meaningful conversation and connection.