Nicole Rodrigues

Red Carpet Rules: How to Orchestrate a Flawless Event

By: Nicole Rodrigues | August 31, 2016 | 
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Red Carpet Rules: How To Orchestrate A Flawless Red Carpet Event

It’s one thing to take a client onto the red carpet.

It’s a completely separate story when you host your own, or one for a client.

From design, to preparation, to communication and execution, there are several small steps that must be taken before that scarlet walkway can be rolled out.

Last time I wrote for Spin Sucks, we discussed how to avoid tripping up on the red carpet.

Now, let’s discuss how to orchestrate and organize a media-friendly red carpet that is social, sophisticated, flawless, and fun.

A red carpet event is the prime opportunity to bring together the top talent, media, influencers, and audience to create buzz for your event and broaden your brand (along with the brands that have sponsored you).

It is the job of PR pros to ensure their clients have been seen, photographed and interviewed, yes, but their job doesn’t stop there.

Ultimately, the goal of any event is to connect clients to other influencers, executives, or media outlets for future collaborations, and to give their clients the opportunity to speak on timely issues in a meaningful way.

That is not easily done, however, without knowing the details of who will be attending, which media outlets to expect, the end-goal of the charity or organization, and the schedule of events for speaking opportunities ahead of time.

This is why, in my experience, these best practices have been the most effective way to accomplish a winning red carpet for everyone involved.

Red Carpet Event Rule No.1: Don’t Be Shy to Share Your List

Providing other publicists with the names of media and influencers who are expected to attend can only help your event go more smoothly.

Obviously, use your discretion (if you are expecting Angelina Jolie to show up and you don’t want her appearance to be leaked to the paparazzi, we understand that).

However, giving attendees enough information ahead of time will allow them to plan accordingly, make strategic introductions, and get the most out of your event and guest list.

Red Carpet Event Rule No. 2: Keep Up Communication

Effective and consistent communication can make or break an event.

Confirmations between publicists, clients, and media will give you a workable blueprint for what to expect.

This boils down to deadlines, directions, organization, and preparedness.

Translation: Email guests—both talent and media—once they’ve confirmed, the day before and the day of, to ensure details are clear, and to give them ample opportunity to tell you if they’re no longer coming.

Red Carpet Event Rule No.3: Be Prepared for Surprises

You want your guests to arrive knowing they are in good hands at a high-class, exclusive event, which translates into over-preparedness.

Arrive hours ahead of time with pre-printed materials.

I once saw a PR team who didn’t have name sheets printed out for all the confirmed celebrities before they arrived, so they scribbled out those names on sheets of spiral notebook paper and walked them across the carpet.

It looked unplanned, unprepared, and unprofessional.

Avoid this and other faux pas by bringing clear name tags, pens, tape, and even a white board.

In the event that a celebrity unexpectedly shows up, or their name tag is carried off in a windy gust, this allows you to write their name clearly on something and erase cleanly (so you don’t end up with Tom Cruise’s name penciled in on the frayed edges of a spiral notebook tear sheet, announcing to those gathered that you really didn’t know he was coming).

Red Carpet Event Rule No. 4: Show Gratitude to Your Guests

An NRPR Signature Move: Before the event, make sure to take the time to write out thank you cards to the media who attended.

The reporters come out on their own time.

They didn’t have to be there.

Many media professionals are undervalued and under-appreciated.

By personally thanking each one of them for their time, you will stand out.

Hand them their tip sheet, give them a smile and a thank you card.

They will remember you, appreciate you, and likely attend your next event.

When you are able to combine these tips to come together, look prepared, and execute a successful red carpet event, you will build a reputation among influencers and media alike for being prepared, organized, and on-point.

This will also help you get more business for future events and collaborations.

Always be pleasant, even when things are on fire.

Maintain your smile and composure, knowing you took the necessary steps to ensure everything will work out in the end.

Because with preparedness, comes efficiency, effectiveness and success.

Oh, and one last tip to take with you: Always wear black on a carpet you’re hosting.

It is considered the ultimate, red carpet ninja uniform.

And it never goes out of style.

image credit: shutterstock

About Nicole Rodrigues


Nicole is the CEO and founder of NRPR Group. She’s a seasoned publicist and social media marketing pro who loves helping individuals and businesses define their brands, and effectively network themselves both on and offline. When she’s not working, networking or spending time on social media channels, she golfs, watches sports, movies, and as much TV/Hulu/Netflix/YouTube as possible.

  • Great Points! I love the idea of the white board. So easy and simple, yet looks great and much better than a piece of paper.

  • Fantastic “how-to” piece that I definitely will share with my Curry College PR students who think that “event planning” is all about standing around in a nice suit sipping margaritas.

    • Goodness… don’t we all wish?! lol Please share and let me know what they think. Glad you liked the tips.

    • Gini Dietrich

      Wait. It’s not? I’ve been doing it wrong all these years?!?

  • Corina Manea

    No.3 is SO important. Nothing goes as planned. There is always something. Being prepared with the right attitude, but also with a B plan, makes the transition smoother. Plus the guests won’t notice a thing.

    Love this: “Always wear black on a carpet you’re hosting…it never goes out of style.”

    • Totally! Smile, know something will happen to throw you for a loop and be double, triple and quadruple prepared to handle it physically and mentally. 🙂

  • Gini Dietrich

    Hi, gorgeous friend! I’m here to remind you I need an introduction to RDJ. Keep that in mind at your next red carpet event. Me + RDJ = happy, happy Gini

    • Hi!! Remind me… RDJ? Happy to connect you to ANYONE I promised. 🙂

  • Laura Petrolino

    Love, love, love the thank you card strategy. Writing them ahead of time is genius!

    What do you think is the biggest mistake people make for red carpet events?

    • SO glad you like the card strategy. A little bit of planning goes a long way. Things like that are really appreciated by media. Hope you’ll incorporate that into your red carpet strategy as well. If you do, keep me posted on reactions. 🙂

      In terms of mistakes, honestly, too many people think they can pull together a flawless red carpet at the last minute… without weeks in advance, media are busy and their calendars book fast. No one wants an empty carpet on the media or talent side. Last minute planning just doesn’t work. A healthy 6-8 weeks is minimum… for invites, planning, details, material creation… Hope that helps!

  • GREAT TIPS! I don’t know of any red carpets I’ll be organizing any time soon but these are fantastic principles that apply in other scenarios as well. Preparation paired with the “be pleasant even when things are on fire” idea is a fantastic combo.

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