Event Planning for Your Business: Preparation and Follow-up
The first step in preparing for your business event is determining what your goal is and setting up a method to track your success. Be specific! For example, if your goal is to elevate community awareness about your business, then set a specific number of promotional activities you want to engage in for the run-up, things like tweets, Facebook “likes,” newspaper blurbs, etc. These pre-event activities can generate as much buzz as the event itself!
Maybe your goal for an event is to generate a specific number of new clients, attendees, newly booked appointments, or total revenue dollars. Whatever your goals are, set them and determine how you will measure them.
A word of caution: Success in achieving your event goals declines when there are more than two goals per event. Stick with one or two goals so that your focus is maintained and your measures of success are accurate.
Let’s look at the activities you should be engaged in prior to, during, and after your event.
Word of Mouth
This is the usually the best form of promoting your event — not to mention it’s free! Be certain that you and your staff are “talking it up” inside and outside the business.
Be sure to heavily promote your event on all platforms and mediums. All those clients who ask you to post things in your business — well now you can give them flyers to hand out at their meetings and ask them to repost your event on their Facebook pages.
Have a staff meeting and inform team members on all promotions at least four weeks in advance. Think about your client cycle and make staff aware so they can let clients know.
Focus on one or two key services and/or products so as not to cut too deeply into your profits. Consider alternating your discounts among your different events instead of doing only one event where you are giving deep discounts.
Be sure your team understands expectations, responsibilities and sales goals you expect to achieve by holding this event. Getting the team to buy-in to the event is the only way to make it truly successful.
Your meet and greet person is key! This person is the first one to make an impression on your attendees. It doesn’t have to be the owner, and probably shouldn’t be. It should be the most enthusiastic and welcoming person in the business — save the owner’s role for the “Thank You and Goodbye” person.
Event preparation should be completed the day before the event. Anything that can be done the day before should be done the day before. Gift bags stuffed, name tags written, displays completed. Leave the day of the event completely open for last-minute emergencies and to make yourself ready.
Do not do full services on the day of the event (in most cases). Certain events will call for full services to be done, but perhaps not on every attendee. Other events will lend themselves to allowing partial or “mini” services to be done, with a full-service appointment as a follow-up to the event.
Send “Thank You’s” within two days after the event. Thank your staff. Thank the attendees via email and social media. Thank any vendors you worked with, as you will need their help for future events.
Following up after the event is key to keeping the revenue generated by the event an ongoing thing. Post photos and videos of the event on your website, Facebook page, and other social media. If there was not a local reporter at your event, then send a follow-up press release to the local paper. Have one of your staff make a small photo gallery somewhere within your business (even back near the restroom) that contains photos of your recent events.
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