Wednesday, July 27, 2011

3 Tips For Producing a Red Carpet Event

I have been on the red carpet quite a bit this year and I've seen it all from the grandest red carpet to one of the most laid back red carpets.  Even if you are having a small press event, it is important to have a well run red carpet that not only pleases the talent, but also pleases the media. I've given my helpful hints on how talent can shine on the red carpet here and here, but I haven't offered up a few suggestions for producers of red carpet events. Here are my Top 3 tips for running a top notch red carpet.

Press Release:  Ringling Bros PR was great at updating their press release several times before the event.

1.  Press Releases:  This is one of the most important aspects of your event, so make sure to write a compelling press release that will get the media excited about coverage.  It should include the pertinent information about when the event is, expected celebrities, and types of media opportunities. (red carpet, VIP party, Meet and Greet, awards show press room access, interviews with producers, etc.)  Get your press release out about 2-3 weeks in advance.  This gives media outlets time to plan their coverage and line up reporters for the event.  If you put the press release out 3 days before the red carpet happens, you run the risk of having a low media turnout.  This is especially important if your red carpet is happening during summer movie premiere season or during Oscar season, it's hectic...plan accordingly.  Check the Hollywood Calendar or the trades for important awards show and movie premiere dates, you don't want to schedule your big night the same night that the Academy Awards occur.  Finally, if you are announcing nominees for an awards show, have the press release ready to go BEFORE the announcement. (Honestly, this is PR 101.)  Once the announcement is completed, email it out to your media contacts,  place the nominees list on your website, and tweet it out.  If you want the media to cover your event, be prepared, otherwise we grumble (Trust me, we are good at grumbling.) about the lack of preparation and it is noted for next year.

2.  Tip Sheets:  These are imperative to any photographer or reporter's job on the red carpet.  They include a picture of the confirmed celebrity and their latest/most notable credit.  For me, I see so many faces and talk to so many people in any given month.  I may recognize a face, but I forget what show I've watched them on.  Having that tip sheet in hand lets me do quick research on my iPhone as I see them walk down the red carpet.  For up and coming talent, it is great if a publicist is escorting the actor down the carpet with a sheet of paper that includes the correct spelling of the actor's name and their upcoming movie or TV show.  If they are making their debut in the Twilight series or in a new Disney Channel show, chances are I will jump at the chance to interview them.  It's fun to break a new actor to the public before they are wildly famous.

3.  Placement:  A typical red carpet places photographers first, then video crews, and then writers/bloggers at the tail end of the line This is done for a reason.  The photographers grab their shots and then send the talent down the line to be interviewed.  After the video crews grab the interview, the writers will ask more in depth and longer questions so it is okay if the back end of the red carpet crowds up a bit.  Each media outlet is assigned a spot where the bigger the outlet, the better the placement.  You can expect to see E! News, ET, and Access Hollywood up front and the online media outlets closer to the back.  Honestly, it's a fair way to do it and I never hear anyone complaining about this system.  What can be a problem is the amount of space given to each outlet.  A piece of 8x10 paper is placed at your feet to indicate your spot.  The problem is that the next piece of paper is laid down side by side for other media outlets.  Uh....I don't know about you, but my body is not built in 8x10 dimensions.  It can be so frustrating for all of us to jostle for space, keep out of other network's shots, and interview at the same time.  Now, I don't expect a plot of land, but placing each piece of paper even three inches apart would make a huge difference.

I hope these tips help if you are producing your next red carpet event.  Feel free to leave me comments or questions on an area I might have missed.  I am always happy to do a follow-up to this article.

Don't forget to enter to win my Red Carpet Gift Bag.  Enter before July 31st for a chance to win!


  1. If and when I run a red carpet event I am going to remember this post. Very good advice.

  2. Thanks for the tips!


  3. Thanks! I've been mulling over this topic for awhile, so I figured it was time to write it!

  4. This is awesome. Thanks a million!

  5. This is awesome. Thanks a million!


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