When part of your job includes being able to attend entertainment events and cover them on social media for a client, people think it’s all fun and games (understandably so). While fun times will definitely be had, make no mistake— there’s still a lot of work involved in making sure everyone (especially the client) walks away happy.
Event coverage isn’t for everyone, but the journalist in me loves the rush that comes along with covering events live. Red carpets are quick-paced and competitive, audience reactions to screenings are always entertaining, and everyone is in good spirits during parties. Friends of mine who know what I do think that I just get to show up to events and post on social like I would with a personal account, but the process is a little more in-depth than that.
Whenever I get word of a new event coming down the pipeline, the preparation begins.
Making sure you know who will be attending the event is vital. It’s easy to research the key players before you even show up, but there will be a little on-your-feet thinking required. Usually when there’s a red carpet, a PR person will give you a face sheet once you arrive so that you’ll know who all will be in attendance.
Having a game plan together ahead of time helps relieve stress as well. Prepping some general questions, knowing what social platform(s) you’ll be posting to, having a goal of how many updates you want to post throughout the night, brainstorming the kind of content you want to post (video, photo, Boomerang, etc.)—ironing out as many of these details ahead of the event as you can will help you cover it with ease and come across as the pro that you are.
When covering events for social media, a backup phone charger, backup phone, portable wifi hotspot or all the above will be your best friends. Nothing will cause you to freak out quite like realizing your battery is draining at the speed of light or that your phone signal is playing tag and you’re not it. Make sure that whatever the technological flub, you’re covered.
Keep your eye out for interesting interactions, fun moments, cool props, and anything else that you feel will help promote the event in a unique way that’s true to your client. Also, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to the talent in attendance and let them know why you’re there. Part of your job is to make them look amazing on social, so alerting them to your presence will only serve to help you both— it will also help you not look like a creeper when you’re lurking around with your phone throughout the night trying to capture shots.
Always remain professional and you’ll go far. This means remembering who you’re there representing and why. An open bar at entertainment events is a fairly common occurrence, but don’t take it as permission to get wasted—you’ve still got a job to do! Keeping your composure, kindly greeting anyone you meet, and maintaining a clear head are all important factors of a successful evening.
Enjoying yourself while working an event actually does help you perform better. If you’re having fun, it comes across on your posts and in turn, encourages your audience to engage. Enjoying yourself while actually getting the footage you were sent for is an important balance to maintain and the better you get at it, the more success you’ll have covering entertainment events for clients.