One of the best ways you can promote your small business is through running a business event. Big events catch attention, create word-of-mouth, and can endear you to your target market. However, running them can be an ordeal in itself. Simply creating an event is easy. Making a great one is much more difficult.
Here are a few ways you can do that:
1. Tailor It to Your Target Market
Think of your business event as a product. For it to attract the right people, it must be tailored to them. Take your customer profile and see what kinds of events and activities will get their attention. Remember that the occasion is for more than lead generation. Think about their interests and see what you can use as a hook. Alternatively, you can use the event to draw in an entirely new demographic. Loyal customers will attend regardless, so attracting some new blood isn’t a bad idea.
2. Create a Catchy Hashtag
Social media platforms can help you generate buzz, as long as you can create a conversation. Take advantage of the fact that most platforms now support hashtags by creating one of your own. Not only does it generate exposure, but it can also develop your authority. If you’re being discussed, you look more important, which can draw a bigger crowd.
The simplest way to get people to go to your small business’s event is to advertise. Promote the event wherever you also promote your product. If you have ads, sneak in a mention for your upcoming event. Create posts on your site detailing the occasion. Cross-post on other sites and ask for permission to mention your event. The more places you can advertise, the better.
4. Get Influencers in the Area Involved
Influencers aren’t just great for promoting your product- they can also serve as excellent event ambassadors. Inviting them assures that there’s coverage before, during, and after the occasion. It’s a win-win, because you get functionally free promotion, and they get content to share with their audience.
5. Give Out Gifts and Prizes
Nothing gets people buzzing like free stuff. Gifts, prizes, and swag bags can have customers leaving the event with a positive impression. Get creative with your gifts. Don’t just settle for a business card. Give them something to remember.
6. Have Presenters Promote the Event
It’s not just the people going to the event who can help you. Participants, such as bands and authoritative speakers, should be encouraged to promote the occasion. Doing so maximizes the event’s reach. Not only are you getting people who are interested in your product, but you will also attract fans of said participants.
7. Delegate as Much as Possible
Business events are massive affairs. Even a small gathering requires juggling contracts, checking up on participants, and generally making sure that the event goes as smoothly as possible. You can’t do that alone, so delegate as much as possible. Get the entire company in on the project. The more eyes on the project, the easier it will be for everyone.
8. Have the Master of Ceremonies Practice
The master of ceremonies is responsible for running the show and making sure the audience is appropriately warmed up for the coming events. If they can’t do that well, the event will lack impact. If you’re having someone from the office do it, make sure they get enough practice. Should they lack the skill or time, considering hiring a professional to make things run well.
9. Work the Numbers
Running an event for your small business is expensive. You must make sure you can actually afford it. They’re often more expensive than you expect, due to the number of moving parts. If you’re serving food, for example, you should have more than you expect to need to make sure that no one goes hungry. This can raise costs significantly. Talk to your accountant and make sure everything is on the level, and get discounts from sponsors if possible.
10. Stay Available
As the head of the business, you’re in the best position to put out fires. Make no mistake, things will go wrong. If you’re lucky, it’s light logistics that will trip up. If you’re not, you’ll face horrors such as missing speakers or a poor emcee. Be prepared with contingency plans, and be available to enact them if necessary.
Running an event could be a massive perk for your small business. It is a unique kind of promotion, one that can leave customers both new and old with a positive impression that can generate loyalty like no other. However, it has to be done right. Done poorly, you’ll have spent money for little to no return. Done well, and you could be on the path to scaling soon.