Relationship Marketing: Meet Business Objectives with Your Next Event
We’ve heard you’re a person.
You aren’t a jumble of statistics—age 30-50, reads marketing and tech news sites, occasionally sifts through the Every Marketing Thing blog and monthly Redletter article. You’re a person, not a demographic, and your clients and customers are people too.
Meet-and-greets might be a retro marketing technique, but against a sea of impersonal mass marketing tactics, events can be surprisingly refreshing and effective. Whether you’re looking to generate new leads, retain customers, get press attention, or launch a new product or program, an event would be your ticket to an improved brand image for years to come.
Consider this before you send the invites.
Brainstorm and Define
They say every great party starts with a kickin’ theme. (Take this one from my sixth birthday party. It was Hawaii-themed, and to this day, old schoolmates remember the coconut/pineapple bowling tournament.) You might say that every great company event starts with real business objectives. For instance, our Mad Men and Women open house premiere might have been all about celebrating and having fun, but we were more particularly celebrating our growth and new membership in the Lombard community. In our case, showing off a little bit was not only fun, it was a smart business move. Your objectives might be focused on launching a product or service instead of impressing people, and making it will be even more important to understand what exactly you’ll want to get out of the event, and what metrics you’ll use to quantitatively measure its success.
Give Them a Reason to Come
Your guests need a reason to go to your event other than because you want them to. Whether it’s the free food and drinks, a karaoke hour, an interesting speaker, a raffle, or a charity component, you’ll need some sort of hook that will interest both your guests and the press.
Prep Your Staff
Events don’t just nurture your relationships with your customers, they improve employee relationships. Getting the whole team involved, regardless of function group and level, can boost employee morale, not to mention allow them to have fun. Every member should know to mind their manners at an event, but it doesn’t hurt to hold a staff meeting beforehand to educate employees on dos and don’ts. Necessary materials like business cards or sell sheets should be located centrally so employees working the event can easily access any information they need to meet event goals. Your staff should also know beforehand who will be at the event, which brings us to the next tip.
Know Your Lists
Hosting an event without knowing your invite list is like having an open wedding invitation with no R.S.V.P. As a good host, you should be prepared to make introductions, and with that comes knowing people’s names. Logistically, it makes sense to understand your list for the mere fact that without knowing who is showing up, you won’t be able to adequately order food and drink, party favors, etc. Like a wedding, you’ll need to be mindful that Aunt Betty isn’t talking to half the family, or that your sister’s grandfather-in-law twice removed flirts after too much Pinot Grigio.
Crisis prevention aside, you should also have a game plan for pairing people off in a way that meets business objectives. A client praising your new product or service might convince an uncertain client that it’s time to invest more into your business. A smart approach is to think of your event as word-of-mouth marketing, like one-minute speed dating. Finally, remember that the more fun all of those people on the list have, the more fondly they will think of your company.Your event checklist should influence everything from the theme to the entertainment.
Everyone’s a Kid
As business-oriented as your clients may be, they likely didn’t come your event thinking they would have to talk business the whole time. We might have had a very grown-up open house theme, but that didn’t stop us from handing out candy cigarettes and playing dress up. Our point was proven in the pictures: a majority of our guests looked the part and smoked a full pack of spun sugar. Your event is the perfect time to show your customers your sense of humor.
Convinced yet? As long as you know what your end goal is, you’ll have no problem pulling off an event that’s actually worthy of the time and effort. If you’re not sure what your business objectives are, then you might be in need of the services of Desert Rose Design. Contact us at email@example.com to learn more about our services.