Modern marketing efforts are often heavily focused around the online world to the point where a lot of business owners neglect traditional forms of marketing. But some of those tried and tested methods are still incredibly effective, especially hosting a marketing event, whether it’s a party, networking event, launch, or a trade fair.
There are a few reasons you might decide to put on a marketing event of your own.
If your sales are slipping and you’re struggling to reach potential customers online, you might decide you want to put on an event to attract new customers. Unlike bringing customers to your store, with its focus on purchasing, a marketing event attracts prospective buyers to learn more about you and your product in a non-threatening environment and, if you bring in other brands, you capitalize on those interested in them. Thus, it’s also a good way to make connections with other business owners that you might want to work with in the future, perhaps on a joint marketing campaign, for example. A lot of businesses also put on events when they’re launching a new product so they can showcase it and build a bit of a buzz around it.
Whatever your reason for hosting a business marketing event, you’re taking on a big task and there are a number of things that could go wrong. Putting on an event like this is expensive, as well, so it’s important that you see a return on that investment. If the event is a failure and you don’t find any new customers or make any good business connections, all of that money is wasted. Plus, a poorly organized event or one that isn’t done right reflects badly on your brand.
If you’re planning a business event of your own, here are a few important tips to help make sure that it all runs smoothly.
Decide On A Goal
Creating a goal is so important because your event will be different depending on your end goal. The people that you choose to invite also depends on what you’re trying to get out of the event so you need to know what your goals are before you start planning.
- Are you launching a new product that you want to publicize?
- Do you want to meet other business leaders and form relationships with manufacturing companies or even find somebody to do a joint marketing campaign with?
- Maybe you just want some more new customers and you think that an event might help you to reach a different demographic?
Whatever your goals are, you need to have them clearly defined before you put the event on. If you can’t do that, you need to question whether you actually need to put an event on or whether you’re doing it for the sake of it.
coming up with goals, you need to be specific about it, as well. Don’t just say, we want to make business connections. Instead, say, we need a new manufacturer because our current one is costing too much and the quality of the product isn’t good enough. Having these specific aims will help you to plan the event more successfully and will also make it easier to measure whether the event was a worthwhile way to spend your money or not.
Hire The Right People
Putting on an event takes a lot more work than people realize. You need people to set up the venue, build stages if you’re having speakers, and deal with security and guest lists, etc. If your event is going to run smoothly, you need to hire people that have expertise with these kinds of things and you also need to make sure you organize your people properly.
You should make use of scheduling software as much as you can because it will help you to source the best people for the job and organize their schedules effectively, so everyone knows exactly what they’re doing and when. It’s a big mistake to think that you don’t need professionals because you can just do all of that stuff on your own. You won’t be able to handle the workload in addition to conducting your normal business and the event will be a disaster.
Invite The Right People
Inviting the right people sounds like an obvious task but you’d be surprised how many people get it wrong. One of the main reasons that you need to have clear goals for your marketing event is that the goal will help you decide who you need to invite. For example, if you’re looking for new marketing opportunities with other businesses, you need to invite local business leaders that operate in a relevant industry. There’s no point in inviting members of the general public or your existing customers. However, if you’re looking to increase sales and find new customers, you do need to invite members of your target audience and you don’t really need to bother inviting other business owners. If you’re doing a new product launch, your focus should be mainly on your existing customers.
It’s also important that you start inviting people early on and don’t leave it until the last minute. People aren’t going to drop all of their plans at the last minute just to attend your event, so you need to give them plenty of notice. It’s also a good idea to send people reminders in the lead-up to the event so they don’t forget.
Consider Your Timing
The timing of the event is something that a lot of people forget to consider, but it’s so important. If your event clashes with a public holiday, for example, it’s likely a lot of people will already have other plans and you won’t get as many people attending. The same goes for other business events that are happening nearby. If a rival company is also hosting an event, you shouldn’t do yours on the same day because it’s likely that people will be interested in both and there’s always the chance that they’ll pick the other event over yours. If you want to maximize the number of people that attend, you need to pick a time when people are likely to be free and there are no other competing events going on at the same time.
It’s also important that you think about the nature of the event and the time of year. For example, if you’re hosting an event that is mainly outside, you need to ensure that you do it when the weather is nice, not in the middle of winter. Bad weather is something you can’t plan around but it may have a negative impact on attendance.
If you can make sure to get these things right when you’re planning and hosting your own marketing event, it should be a huge success.
Need marketing help to support business growth?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.