Archive for the ‘Hosting Events’ Category

A Full Boat – Planning an Event

A number of companies have come to me seeking out help with promoting their business through an event. Some successful events include business after hours cocktails and h’ordeuvres, a dinner, or night of entertainment. While these events can be great for boosting your company’s momentum and create extraordinary word of mouth marketing for you, however, they can also be quite cumbersome and expensive. If I told you that you could put on an event that everyone talked about, made the fire marshal nervous at the turn out, one that not only promoted your business, but also gave back to the community, you might find that hard to believe. While I’m making this sound almost too good to be true, I’ll throw in that you can also get other businesses to promote the event for free and when it’s all said and done, you’ll have a few lures left in your tackle box for your next project.

Idea Anglers is all about sharing ideas and collaborating on them, so I’m letting a few of my secrets out of the bag. It’s more rewarding for me to hear feedback from you guys that you had a phenomenal event than to take a check to the bank. So let’s get on to the meat and potatoes of setting up a knock’em dead promotional event:

The key to a successful event is the part I mentioned about giving back to the community. What you want to do is sponsor a charity event. This could be a cancer research event, give back to an organization like St. Jude’s or Victory Junction Gang Camp. If you do business in a college town, or simply want to support your local high school students, create an annual scholarship. Choose a charity or scholarship event that makes sense to your business. For example, I worked on a promotional event for a hair salon in which they created a scholarship for an aspiring cosmetology student and the event was a hair and fashion show.

Most people enjoy an evening of drinks and mingling with their peers and colleagues, but they are going to be much less likely to attend if there‘s a cover charge. That‘s the beauty of a charity event: You can sell tickets to the event! This promotional event not only gives back to the community, but is also a tax write off for the patrons.

This idea is forming in your head and starting to sound pretty good, doesn’t it? It’s going to keep getting better. Radio stations and newspapers are typically willing to offer free or deeply discounted advertising rates for scholarship and charity events. Getting the word out and the buzz started is much easier and more affordable. Businesses around town are typically willing to help you sell tickets if your advertising includes them in the spot. You can sweeten the deal for both parties by talking to various other businesses and getting them to donate a good or service for the event. This could be part of the catering, the entertainment, or even collect items for door prizes or a silent auction.

These events are certainly a lot of work to put together. Take your time and plan well in advance. Be sure and do your homework on permits, codes, taxes etc. Many chambers of commerce offer extensive help in planning these events, and there are certainly companies and individuals out there who offer event planning services. Don’t let the complexity of promoting your business scare you away from actually doing it. We wish you luck in your event planning and invite you to enlist the help of our guides when our member section goes live. Be sure and send us an invitation!