Up until now we’ve discussed how PR events can be a very important part of an overall campaign strategy, a great tool for launching a campaign and most importantly, for connecting with relevant stakeholders. We’ve discussed various forms of PR events including digital events, media & influencer previews, new product launches and media famils.

This week, we’re going to talk about the differences between consumer events vs. trade events, and how both can play a significant role in your PR campaign!

Consumer Events

As the name suggests, the purpose of a consumer facing PR event is to connect with consumers! The goal is often to drive demand for your product amongst consumers, and also entice media to cover the activation in relevant publications. You can use the event to generate buzz by encouraging attendees to share content on their social platforms and inviting strategically chosen influencers with highly engaged audiences is a great way to create social media momentum!

Case Study: ‘Thanksgiving Hour’

As a PR agency we frequently plan and execute consumer events as part of our campaigns- especially for many of our food and beverage clients! One of my favourite consumer PR events that we’ve run recently was ‘Thanksgiving Hour.’ This one was an Australian activation on behalf of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS). The purpose of the event was to promote the quality and versatility of American Spirits amongst Aussie consumers. Given that lockdown restrictions were easing and the hospitality scene was opening back up at a similar time to Thanksgiving, ‘Cheers! Spirits from the USA’ partnered with venues around the country for the week of Thanksgiving to turn ‘Happy Hour’ into ‘Thanksgiving Hour’.

The objectives were to:

  • Encourage people to support their local venues when they re-open.
  • Increase the number of people opting to sample/drink American spirits.
  • Increase awareness of the ‘Cheers! Spirits from the USA’ campaign.
  • Connect with key venues and brands, to open doors for new partnerships.

The execution:

To bring this concept to life, Agent99 partnered with premium award-winning venues across Australia to turn ‘Happy Hour’ into ‘Thanksgiving Hour’ from Monday November 22 until Sunday November 28. Each venue created a special cocktail to have on their Happy Hour menu during that period which used a DISCUS member-brand as the base. Details about the activation were housed on a microsite and were promoted heavily through media, influencers, and social media ads.


The PR event had a total reach of over 7.5 million consumers, via media editorial & advertorial, and social media content. Editorial coverage was secured for the activation in a range of top tier media, including Concrete Playground and Timeout. 20 premium venues participated, including Maybe Sammy which was awarded Australian Bar of the Year in 2021, and World’s 11th Best Bar in 2020. The participating venues created a range of content for the activation, and shared it across their social media channels, to amplify reach.

Trade Events

On the other hand, the purpose of a trade PR event is to build connections between your brand and other relevant stakeholders in your industry, for example distributors, retail etc. If your business has a B2B component, then trade PR events might be an option to consider pursuing. Inviting relevant trade media to these events is also an important part of the PR strategy and generating industry buzz for your brand.

Case study: DISCUS Trade Event

Earlier this year we planned and executed a trade PR event for DISCUS, called the “Cheers! Spirits from the USA” Trade Showcase. To build brand awareness of member brands that wanted to secure distribution and representation in Australian with key distributors, retailers, and trade, Agent99 hosted an intimate ‘US Spirits Showcase’ event.

The event was hosted at a premium venue in the heart of the Sydney CBD. To bring this event to life, Agent99 grouped the featured brands into where the distilleries were located and partnered with a local spirits expert to speak to the brands/ the region they were from. To ensure that the DISCUS brands were represented correctly, they were given the opportunity to meet with the local spokesperson representing their distilleries’ region. To ensure that the attendees had the information they needed from the brands about the sample products, a booklet was designed and provided for all attendees at the beginning of the event.


The event showcased 13 products from different member brands and was attended by 20 individuals from 10 key retailers/ distributors, including General Managers, National Account Directors, Marketing Directors and Key Sales Representatives. The feedback we received from attendees was excellent, and led to new relationships between the DISCUS member brands and Australian distributors/ retailers.

To sum up, both consumer PR events and trade PR events play an important role as part of the overall PR strategy, and will help your brand to generate buzz and forge connections with key stakeholders. If you would like to speak to Agent99 about our PR event services, please email info@agent99pr.com.

By Agent Kath