When I was marketing director at the New York Observer, we launched a unique event that had never been done before – a New York City Consumer Real Estate Showcase where we brought together more than 50 residential buildings with condos for sale and housed their sales offices all under one roof. Here’s a link to the New York Times article about the event where several hundred home buyers attended this one-stop “Open House” and were able to view hundreds of properties in just a few hours. The event was a success but I had migraines for weeks before and after. Let me save you some aspirin and share with you some lessons I learned:
- Start with “Why”: Why are you holding this event? Is it for revenue, to raise your profile in your industry or community, or maybe a grand opening? Whatever the reason, the “why” will tell you how your event should be designed. For example: if it’s a grand opening, you want to make sure people know what your new venture is, what it means to them, how it positively impacts the community and most of all, a reason why they should return.
- Don’t Try to Go It Alone: If you don’t have a staff, try to hire some, find an experienced event management company, or have colleagues or friends support you (depending on event size and complexity). There are a lot of moving parts and you don’t want to forget anything important. Determine who can handle the food & beverages, music, decor, venue and invitation distribution. But remember: you’re delegating the tasks, not abdicating the responsibility for the event’s success. It’s still on you to make sure everything runs smoothly.
- Don’t Be Cheap: There’s nothing worse than your guests leaving your event hungry or thirsty. You don’t need to provide rack of lamb and champagne (even the simplest seminars have coffee and cookies), but make sure your appetizers or snacks are right for the event. If you’re holding a party for high-income guests, store bought cookies aren’t going to cut it. The impression they leave with is the impression that will stay with them long after the event is over.
- Include Local Vendors: If your budget is very tight (and whose isn’t?), look to local vendors to help supply the food, beverages, or gift bag items. They might do it for free, especially if they’re just launching their business or want exposure to a new group of potential customers.
- Market, Market, Market: How are you inviting people? Social Media, EventBrite, printed invitations, print or digital ads, radio, blog, e-newsletter, emails, or word of mouth? You must understand your target market to know how and where present your invitations.
I’m an experienced Event Development and Management Consultant. Let’s discuss how I can help you create an engaging and successful interactive experience for your guests. From general guidance to step-by-step plans, remember, it doesn’t have to be hard.