I recently moved into a new office space in Cambridge and decided I needed to hold an event to let people know we’d arrived! Your business may need a lift to attract more customers. You might be a new business owner who needs to develop your client base. Whatever your reasons, corporate events are a great way to get people talking about your business and put you on the map. You should consider corporate events to be an integral part of your marketing plan. Events should work hand in hand with advertising and PR towards an integrated marketing plan rather than as a stand-alone. The beauty about holding corporate events is that they have the potential to sell, market, build brand awareness, increase profile, provide PR and a face to face client meeting all in one hit. Now, that’s impressive marketing.
Whether you are a small start-up looking to plan a business lunch in your own office space, or a large company designing an elaborate charity ball, these tips will help you to succeed.
1. Start at the End
Imagine your guests are leaving your event. They’ve all had a fabulous time. What do you want to hear them say? Decide on your end goal. What’s your definition of success? Whilst analysing the components that will make it such an achievement, you’ll be working your way towards your beginning. Why? Because a specific brief is your route to a successful end goal.
2. Target Your Audience
Your event is only as good as the potential customers it brings in and the value they will bring to your business. Maximise the important clients and prospects and minimise those out for a good time. Focus on quality before quantity. Likewise, a big budget doesn’t necessarily achieve greater success – being targeted and focused will.
3. Match the Event to the Audience
Your event needs to excite and attract your target audience so make sure you’re aware of what your specific audience wants, not just of what the boss knows and loves. Not everybody will be attracted by the same thing, so you may need to consider a series of smaller events, rather than a large universal one. That way you can tailor each of them to your specific demographic. That said, there’s not a person alive who doesn’t love some free food and drink!
4. Set Objectives and Measure Success
Be sure of what you want to achieve and what criteria would make your event successful. Remember the event has not finished when the last guest leaves. It’s imperative that you follow up on any leads you may have generated on the day. It’s this follow-up process that brings the real return on investment, so it absolutely must be completed. Be laborious in the invitational and follow-up process and have a plan in place for those that are unable to attend.
5. Reflect the Company Brand in your Event
Your event is a representative of your brand so make sure that every element of the event reflects the brand, from the invitations right through to the decorations. Be creative – don’t just stick a poster of your company logo on the wall.
6. Keep Your Eye on the Goal
It can be easy to get lost in the planning and logistics of your event. Try to remember that whilst they are fundamental to the smooth running of your event . . . they are only a part of the game. The winning goal is beyond a well-run event. What you want is an intelligent event that is able to generate return on investment and contribute to your successful working marketing strategy.