Business events count as a solid way to boost your marketing reach. They allow you to capitalize on events that are already taking place like a local fun run or to partner with some local businesses in your area. In other words, they extend the reach of your marketing in ways that you might not be able to accomplish otherwise.
If you have an upcoming event, you’ll want to take a careful look at why you’re doing the event and what you hope to accomplish from it. Here are five tips that will help you clarify your thinking about your event goals and help you make the most of the event.
1. Know Your Market
The most well-advertised, expensive event will make you little money if you haven’t figured out who your target market is. According to Small Biz Trends, you shouldn’t even proceed with your event planning until you know who will buy your products or use your services.
For example, if you’re a local restaurant that caters, logical venues for you to advertise in would be events like bridal shows or business trade shows. You can set up a booth to attract customers and offer them food samples and business collateral.
The reason why a venue like this would be so effective for an event is because brides look for caterers as do businesses (for their own events). You should select all of your business events based on this kind of logic: Ask yourself who can use your services?
Your chances of being successful are high, because you’re tapping into a marketing event where your potential customers will attend. As with any type of marketing you do, your event should be an extension of your marketing plan.
2. Hire the Necessary Professionals
The success of your business event will depend largely on the professionals you hire to work the event. If your big event takes place at a big trade show, then chances are the staff you have currently will be enough to man the event.
However, other events will take place away from conference centers. They might even take place at your office building. For example, say you own a large real estate office and each year you hold a juried art show for your clients. In cases like this, you’ll probably need extra help for security or to log in visitors.
The challenge that this staffing issue brings is one of budget and expertise. You probably don’t have the training to do security yourself. It’s also likely that you don’t have the budget to keep a security person on year-round. To solve this type of problem, look for companies like Fast Guard Security Service to fill temporary staffing needs of this nature.
3. Choose an Event Theme
HGTV recommends that event planners choose a theme for their big events. Some event themes are easy, such as when you have an employee birthday or retirement.
However, even these events could be livened up a bit with some creativity. For example, if you run the local library and the employee in question loved the Harry Potter books, then a Harry Potter-themed party would be a great event to plan.
When you plan your event, think about ways to incorporate a theme to boost the fun factor and to help you better choose the elements of your event.
4. Determine Your Event’s Purpose
While not all events are intended to bring in business, a majority of them will be. You’ll want to make sure that you know what you want your event to do for your business.
For example, many business owners will have booths at trade shows. Many of these businesses will offer coupons or prize giveaways such as gift certificates, dinner for two, or even big prizes like cars. The purpose of the event in this case was to garner more business leads.
Your goal for the event may just be to network or make money. Regardless, you need to know why you want to do the event. Once you do, create all collateral materials and business plans for the event with your event goal in mind.
5. Expand Your Network
In-kind donations are a great way for you to not only cut the cost of your event by a considerable amount, it’s also a way to network with other businesses. This expands the reach of your own business.
Here’s the best way to do it. If you have an event like the art show spoken about in previous paragraph, see if you can find a catering company and a beverage company to partner with. Or perhaps, you’ll partner with local furniture stores or the artists themselves so that you can have prizes for the guests.
By including these vendors in your show, you’ve now put your business’s name in front of their customer lists. You’ve also saved money on some big event elements like food and beverages. Doing this sort of thing should be one of the goals of your business events as often as you can swing it.
Final Thoughts on Events
Business events expand the reach of your marketing. They also help you gather business leads and to create a sense of fun for your important clients.
Many events take place at conference centers. These events already have staff that you don’t, like security. However, if you have an event away from these venues, you’ll want to hire some temporary workers, including security to work the event.
Finally, partnering with other local businesses helps you save money on your next big thing. If you take advantage of a temporary partnership, make sure that the business you partner with complements your business and doesn’t compete with it.