It's that time of year for Lifestyle Mag to start putting together their annual gift guide, which means one big addition to the busy schedules of everyone in the office: press events. And lots of them.
As one of the magazine's summer interns, and also as one with the most open schedule, I've stepped up to the plate to attend significantly more than my fair share of press events. Wait, I'm sorry, did that sound like I was complaining? My bad, let me start over.
I love press events. I think I'm the only person in magazines who does. I love knowing that I've proven myself as worthy enough to maintain relationships that the Lifestyle Mag views as important. Fancy dinners, movie screenings, and even just a simple walk through of the newest line of products get the wheels turning in my head of how we can possibly feature any of these products in the magazine. The reality is that most of them will wind up on the "free stuff" table with no possible use in the mag, but that fact in no way hinders my love of a good press event set up at a swanky venue that I ordinarily never would have gotten the chance to visit.
The importance of press events has become clearer to me after attending quite a few of them. Not only are you getting a sneak peek of some pretty cool products and concepts, but you're also representing yourself and your brand. Before this summer I had never really given any thought about what would happen if I were to skip an event or cancel at the last minute. They invite so many people, who am I to make a difference in their schedule? But recently my roommate, an intern in the fashion industry, had the experience of being on the PR side of a press event, and the comments she reported back to me about the invitees who were suddenly AWOL were nothing close to glowing.
Essentially, my roommate's company has black listed the no-shows, meaning that their invitation to future events and showings may conveniently become lost in the mail. This is a risk that, in my naive intern opinion, no one should be willing to take. Who knows what you'd be missing out on in the future by not being invited, and what if those representatives that you offended in the past move on to greener pastures? Significantly more well-known, well-branded, and flat out good-to-know pastures? You could potentially lose an important contact not only for yourself, but for the brand you're representing. These scary thoughts are most likely why I've been asked on more than one occasion to be a last minute fill-in on the day of an event.
Hey, I don't mind. More contacts, free food, and potential free goodies for me. Not to mention a chance to get out and enjoy the streets of New York during a season when the city is so full of life that it becomes difficult to imagine sitting inside all day.
How have your experiences with press events been? Any fun stories to share with your fellow Edsters?
Until next Wednesday,
Ed's Lifestyle Intern