Maybe you’re celebrating a milestone or expanding. Or maybe you have a new product you’re carrying or offering a new service and you want some attention. Whatever the reason for your business event, if you’re going to go to the trouble and cost of hosting one, you want to make it memorable. Here’s how:
1. Use a Fun Theme
It’s easy to make the event all about you, especially since you’re the one footing the bill. But guess what? People only come to parties that are all about the host when they know the host well, like a birthday for instance. In a business situation, you want something that will appeal to them. If you’re having an anniversary party for your business, why not choose a theme from the decade your business was founded? This adds a fun, unique touch to your anniversary celebration and makes it more memorable.
Even if you forgo a fun theme, make sure your attendees are having an enjoyable time. And just so we’re clear—handing them a sales brochure and some chips, isn’t a fun time.
2. Offer Giveaways and/or Contests
Even if your customers love you, they may not come to your event if there isn’t something in it for them. Giveaways tied into your theme, a contest for prizes, and discounts will cause people to make a special trip out for your business event.
3. Market Your Event
It’s important you use every form of marketing possible for your event if you’re looking to draw a crowd. Use your social media channels, add it to your email signature, run a targeted Facebook ad, email your list, tell your customers, invite people who visit your business, and add a flyer to their packages. Don’t forget to tell your chamber of commerce. They are one of the best-connected resources in town and may be able to add your business event to their calendar/website. The chamber may also offer email blast services to their membership that could expand your reach.
4. Remember a Call to Action
When people come to your event what do you want them to do? Is it purely an event to thank them for being a customer or are you looking to boost sales at the event itself? Whatever your goal, make sure you have a call to action to achieve it. If increased sales are your goal, think about an attractive offer you could pose for just that one night. If you want to thank your customers, how will you make them feel truly appreciated? Focus on the goal and create a call to action based on it.
5. Get Them on Your List
Finally, if you’re hosting an amazing event you don’t want to let the opportunity to get to know your visitors better pass you by. It’s impossible to do at the event so make sure that those who are interested are added to your email list.
Your list could be a newsletter list, a flash sale list, recipes, etc. What kind of list you maintain relies heavily on the kind of business you operate. For instance, an accountant might send out an informative newsletter on timelines and deductions. A florist may have a flash sales email they send for deep discounts on extra flowers. Whatever you sell, you should start keeping an email list and providing something of value so that you can stay in touch with these people who took time out of their day to be at your event.
Always make sure you have their consent. You don’t want someone receiving an email from you and marking it as spam. That will negatively impact your send rating.
There’s a lot involved in hosting an event for your business. If you’re struggling, why not ask the chamber for some best practices? They host events on a consistent basis and can provide information on what has worked for them.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.