Make a splash with an unforgettable bash. From planning the launch of a new menu to opening a new location, we have the best tips to help you prepare for the big day.
1. The Purpose.
Do you want to create brand exposure? Promote a product or service? Generate more leads? Narrowing your objectives will help produce a consistent message to market, which your event can then be tailored to.
2. Your Audience.
Who you invite to your event will dictate a lot of how you go forward in planning the time, location, theme and venue. Invite the right people to your event – keeping in mind that one size does not fit all. Potential key investors, potential clients, PR contacts and local bloggers who will help spread the message. Invite at least a third more people than you are able to accommodate to account for no-shows. Send out a media advisory alert and press release that will persuade media outlets to cover your event.
3. Set a Date.
Arrange the date as close to the release of the product or service as possible and use the remaining time to build excitement and momentum. Select a date that will work for your guests – what are your guests working hours? When are they likely to be busy? Make a note of other industry events that may compete for your audience’s time. Consider a day in the week when most people would be available rather than the weekend.
Even the best-planned budgets can fail to account for unexpected events. Assess potential risk factors and strategize a cost contingency – usually 10-15% of your total budget. Consider sponsors and partners who might defray the costs and increase the value and experience for your guests. Approach national organisations as well as local businesses. Don’t go overboard however, as you do not want your brand to get lost in a barrage of promotional messaging.
5. Location, Location, Location.
Location is everything when it comes to exhibiting and should be relevant to your demographic. You don’t want the venue to be too big or else it won’t fill up; too small and it gets cramped. Consider the impact on your budget and how the location will reflect your message and your brand voice. Don’t be afraid to be innovative and think outside of the box to stay ahead of the competition – think mobile marketing, cyber events, flash mobs etc.
Marketing your event begins with the keystone of your promotional plan – an initial notice on your website, as far in advance as possible. This then builds to include both online and offline publicity with ongoing outreach. Social media almost goes without saying. Create a hashtag to encourage social media engagement, place links in bios, tweet regularly (many tweets get missed in newsfeeds), and links to share from invites and event pages.
Follow with post-event blog posts, emails, tweets, photo galleries and sponsor acknowledgements with mentions of the event’s success.
7. The Experience.
Keep guests engaged, not only in the party, but in your brand as well by allowing them to try your product or service. Address the audience’s needs by giving them something of value that resonates with them – live demos, raffle prizes or discounts, and brand activities alongside your theme/product. Raffle prizes allow for increase in the overall retention of your event by letting them know what time a giveaway is scheduled.
Alcohol encourages people to stay and interact, and allows for good brand tie-in opportunities: branded cocktails with branded garnishes, for example. Send your guests home with branded swag in a gift bag, this can include free samples or anything unique that will remind them of your business.
8. Keep Up to Date.
Using intelligent event apps and check-in features will not only enhance your guests’ experience and keep your brand up to date with mobile trends and technology, but they can provide you with information that can be used to improve future events.
Planning an event on any scale can be a stressful and time consuming process, but the potential to generate buzz to drive your business forward is enough to make it worthwhile! If you are planning an event this year and want to give your guests something extraordinary to GAB about, then get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org