Even in the era of social media promotions and digital marketing, hosting a small business event is one of the best ways of promoting your latest product, a new service or your small business in general. In this way, you get to showcase live what your company’s mission, vision and values are since all of these are vital components of your overall brand image. On the other hand, achieving all of this through a single event, while staying on budget, is an incredibly hard thing to do. Therefore, here are five vital small business event hosting tips that should help you achieve this with as little effort as possible.
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1. Start by defining goals and objectives
A small business event is not the same thing as a social get together, seeing as how it always has a clear agenda behind it. Still, how do you determine whether you were successful in fulfilling this agenda? Well, by setting your goals and objectives. Nonetheless, in order to set them, you must first clearly define them. The best way to do so is to take something easily measurable, like attendance, the number of collected emails or even the number of contacts you’ve made. At the end of the day, the end goal of most events is usually networking.
2. Send out invitations
The next thing you need to handle are the invitations and in order to get there, you need to clearly outline your target demographic. For instance, you could host a local event that is open to all. Here, you simply have to post information about the event on your social media accounts or even hire a billboard. On the other hand, if you plan to make a closed event, in order to boost your B2B outreach, you might want to go with something a bit more personal and even create some hand-written invitations.
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3. Set your budget
Keep in mind that a business event is supposed to generate value that surpasses the value of resources invested. Sure, it can be hard to measure up your effort and money against contacts made or a boon to your brand image; however, you need to give it your best to get as close to this as possible. The first step on this path lies in setting your budget and making sure you don’t go over it more than you absolutely have to.
4. Look at the schedules of your competitors
While hosting an event at the same time your competitors do might diminish the success of their efforts, this goes the other way around too. Therefore, it might be a smart idea to closely monitor what other companies in your line of work have scheduled before setting a date of your own. In order to do so, you just need to visit a couple of their social media profiles and their website and check. In weeks prior to the event, this information might even be on their homepage.
5. Don’t make it about yourself
Finally, people are always more concerned about their own interests than they are about you, which is why you need to shift the focus of the evening. Instead of boasting about your company’s accomplishments, you should instead praise your employees, partners and customers and make the evening about them. As a cherry on top, you might even want to have some corporate awards made and distributed among them, in order to show them just how deeply you appreciate their commitment to your brand.
As we already stated, the difference between a social and a corporate event is the fact that the latter one always has a clear and easily defined goal. Even when it seems like you’re holding a simple office get-together, there is usually a larger scheme behind it (boost in employee loyalty or an effort towards employee retention). So, seeing as how it is clearly a business move, you need to ensure that you’re getting the right ROI out of it, despite how hard it can be to measure something abstract and unquantifiable.