Putting on your own events can be a great way to showcase your products or services to existing or potential clients in a tailor-made setting without the distraction of other exhibitors. With your own events you can control everything, from the venue to the timing and the attendees. The good news is that you and your business are in the spotlight but the bad news is, if you get things wrong, there’s nowhere to hide.
A custom event can be anything from a product launch to a conference with gala dinner. You can host events in hotels and other venues or if you have the space, at your own premises. When deciding on a venue you need to consider your target audience and their location, as well as how many people you want to attend.
Holding your own event enables to you to reach prospective clients directly and let your existing clients know what else you can provide. It’s a great way to meet people face to face and bring your business to life.
Events are useful to demonstrate your expertise. Solicitors, accountancy firms and financial advisers, for example, can attract potential clients by holding seminars and workshops that explain issues and offer solutions.
Set the tone of the event in advance. Some customers prefer an appointment-based event, giving them a chance to get a hands-on product demonstration and personal attention. Others prefer the buzz of a well-attended event where there are opportunities for networking.
Planning your own event isn’t easy and can be very time consuming, especially if you have a day job to concentrate on and can’t give it the time and energy it needs. It’s vital to decide what you want to achieve and who you want to attend. Be realistic about your objectives and set a budget – costs can quickly escalate.
Attracting attendees can be a real challenge, you may want to consider joining forces with a complementary partner to run a joint event which could make a bigger impact and bring in more visitors.
The success of your event certainly depends on getting the right people to attend. You need to make your event attractive and convenient for your target audience. Think carefully about your invitations whether printed or via email, and ensure there is a compelling reason for people to come along. Exclusivity is a good incentive and holding a private sales event or an invitation-only launch can be a good strategy.
Sending invitations should be part of your promotional strategy even if your event is open to all. You should send special invitations to key decision makers and local VIPs as well as loyal customers, new prospects and the media. Distribute a press release in advance to get coverage of the event.
The logistical challenges of running an event are considerable. You have to find the right venue and organise catering. Other important issues are signage, seating, audio visual facilities, lighting, display stands and promotional literature. You must establish whether you and your staff are capable of producing a successful event or whether it would be better to use an events company.
On the day, you need to be visible and make time to meet and greet your guests. People often come to events specifically to make contact with the person behind the product or service so you need to ensure you speak to all your key guests. Brief your staff so they can answer queries and be ambassadors for your business.
Goodwill gestures are often appropriate. You could give guests a free sample or a branded promotional item. Offering deals and discounts can be a good way to attract customers and make sales on the day.
If any of this seems too daunting then Stages Events can help you through the process. Give us a call today and see how we can help make your next event a great success.