With advance planning, you can host a successful event no matter the size of your business. Here are the basics:
1) Define your audience.
We can’t design a print ad or a brochure or a website for a client who has never formally identified the business’s ideal customer. (Although the Infusion Studio team can help you with that definition!) Nor should you plan any business event – even the fun summer kinds we mentioned in a previous post – without defining who you want to attend. This information will direct everything else about the event: from budget and timing to whether you want a printed banner (less spontaneous, more business-like) in front of your building or dozens of colorful balloons (which scream “stop here for fun” to passing cars).
2) Take advantage of New Hampshire’s free event websites.
One colleague uses at least three New Hampshire event websites to promote activities at her church. Each has its pros and cons in terms of formatting events, but set-up is easy and one allows an accompanying image at no charge. All the sites are highly trafficked by locals looking for activities ranging from family fun to wine tastings to business networking. Their last fundraiser event even brought in several groups from Massachusetts who spent a nice sum of cash – all thanks to the searchable sites.
3) Partner with fellow small-business owners.
When listing what you would like and what you need for your event, look around. What businesses in the area provide such products or services? How can you provide them the platform for promoting their businesses while getting what you need?
If you’re holding a business seminar at your office, try to team up with a new lunch spot that caters to the office crowd to get the food you need. Give the owner a few minutes stage time to promote her establishment in return for a nice discount on your sandwich platters. Just remember to open the conversation by making it clear this is a win-win arrangement. You’re not just looking for a freebie, but for a chance to exchange what you can offer (a ready-made audience, event space, time/money invested in advertising the event, etc.) with what they have to sell.