Who doesn’t love a party? Food, fun, and favours are a great way to draw attention to your business opening or anniversary. If you are a new business providing services within your local area, hosting an event can build your brand awareness and attract new clients or customers.
The key to a successful celebration, be it an open house, or an event tied to a specific milestone, is to plan, plan, plan. Planning well in advance gives you enough time to work an event into your budget and ensure that any special party items, such as food and giveaways, can be arranged without a hassle.
Of course, every successful event needs promotion—and a solid promotion budget to go with it. Otherwise, it can be an epic fail, with only your closest friends and family in attendance. In my 15 years of marketing career, I have attended many grand opening events. Some were good and some were, well, dismal. Both have given me insider insight into what makes and breaks a business event’s success. Lucky for you, I’m passing my insight on, in the hopes it will boost your event know how and your business success.
# 1 Set a date and time that will work for most people. This is important. The time and place needs to be convenient and effortless so your guests will want to come. Avoid long weekends and holidays. People want their holiday weekends for family events. They are often packed with activities, which makes it difficult for them to attend your business event. Make it a convenient time and people will put it on their calendars. If it’s a family event, an ordinary mid-day weekend will be more suitable. For an adult affair, chose evening hours.
#2 Have a vision for the event. From swag bags to guest speakers, and ribbon cutting to entertainment, food and draw prizes, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to offer and why. Your ideas need to draw your market in and leave everyone talking about the event after words.
#3 Direct mail campaign – Create a custom invite with matching envelopes and mail them out to your community about two weeks in advance of the event. Tell potential clients what they can expect and why they should join you.
#4 Start promoting the event on social media platforms at least four weeks in advance. Use paid ads to help boost the exposure of your event.
#5 Promote the event on community social groups and popular mom groups that might be your ideal target audience.
#6 Contact your local mayor’s office to see if you can arrange for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Having your mayor at the event will add local credibility to your event and your business.
#7 Contact local newspapers and invite them to the event. You may get some free press as a result.
#8 Give back – think of a local charity that you can donate to. It doesn’t have to be a dollar donation. Anything from a food drive to a winter jacket collection will gain community allies and exposure.
#9 Promo items and swag bags – Thank your visitors for taking time out of their busy day to stop by your grand opening or special event. Make sure your swag bags include a special offer to bring visitors back to your business.
#10 Send out an e-blast to your family, friends, and industry contacts to invite them or remind them of your event. Having a big turn out for your event creates the right kind of buzz around your business.
And lastly, have fun!
You have worked hard on setting up your shop. It is likely that you have lost some sleep over the last couple of months in making your start date a reality. It’s now time to relax, have fun, and connect with people and potential clients.
Make your next community event or marketing campaign a success by reaching out to the experts at Vitamin D Marketing & Design. We’ve got lots of ideas and would love to talk to you about them.