Starting a new business is never going to be easy. But for many entrepreneurs it can also be one of the easiest decisions and journeys they embark on. You know your idea inside out, in fact it has probably been nestled in your thoughts for some time. So making the decision to start your business can often be the next natural step, but once you have your business in place this is when things can get a little dicey. Mistakes in marketing, not taking opportunities when they are presented, and basically not meeting the demand can all have a negative effect on your business which, in turn, can see it fail. We are all aware that only a small percentage of small businesses make the cut after the first 12 months.
So how do you do things different? Marketing can help, having a decent and in depth business plan can keep you on track, but one idea some businesses don’t try is to organise an event. It may seem like a lot of investment into something but actually it could really work in your favour. Many small businesses look to focus on their local community, and so creating a local event could be the natural next progressive step to take. But if you need some convincing, we thought we would share with you some of the ways an event could bring huge success to your small business brand.
Where and when will you hold your event
First things first, you need to consider where and when you are going to hold the event. This is important in terms of the future marketing and locality of the vent, to ensure that people will turn up and enjoy it. You need a place big enough to house everything you want. Outdoor events are always quite popular, and they also give you the flexibility of space. Looking into generator hire to ensure that things can work smoothly onsite is easier than you think, and you can certainly make the vent appear less sales like and more informal. Which enables people to relax a little more, and then be open to what is around them.
Understand your event goals
Deciding on having the event and where is all logistical, one of the biggest things you need to think about is your event goals. Setting out these goals and plans for the vents success is important. This is so after it you can determine how much of a success it was, how well it was received, and improvements you can make for any future events you want to hold. For example, if your goal is to create a bigger customer base, then at your event you could include online ticketing which means an email address will be obtained and it improves your chance of collating information.
Consider why people would want to attend
Sometimes it is hard to look past exactly what you want out of your event for your business. But you only get what you want if people turn up, so you also need to spend some time considering why people would want to be at your event? You need to think about what is in it for them. Look at your brand and what it stands for, could you collaborate with other local businesses maybe, or even consider adding a different dimension to the event. For example, you could focus on it being a family event, you may be a family run business so it would work well. This could mean additional entertainment for all the family to enjoy. It is important to try and have a unique factor to your event, especially if there are many events that run locally or in the area you work in. You need to be different so that people would choose to attend.
Could you convert digital visitors into attendees?
If you want your event to be a sell out, then your website and ticketing sales page is going to be your biggest asset and tool to get the job done. This is when you need to think about how you advertise your event from that one page on your website. Your website needs to be slick and informative, and easily loaded. You also need to think about the emotional aspect. When people first come across your event on your website they will ask themselves what they get out of attending? Will they enjoy it? Is it worth going? This is when pictures and descriptions can really help intertwine with that thought process. Turning those website visitors into attendees of your event. Also using social media will help drum up interest quite quickly, always linking back to your event page.
The customer experience is important
On the day your event is scheduled for, the only focus should be the customer experience. From the moment they arrive, they need to feel like they are the most important people there. Customers like to feel valued and appreciated, and this also opens them up for discussion on the main priority for you which is an introduction and relationship with you and your business. Good communication is key, but also encouragement for them to share their experience of the day on social media and the likes will also be important.
Maximise the opportunity during and after the event has finished
Once the vent is finished, the hard work really is just beginning. Having collated all of the information, gathered numbers and emails, it is now important for you to ensure that you maximise the opportunity and reconnect with those customers to follow up. Not just on the event, but to also find out their thoughts on the experience and you and your business. During the vent consider giving customers a fantastic deal and saving on certain things, this could then be the ideal opener to follow up. You may find that doing this helps you to generate some sales in the process.
I hope that this has encouraged you to consider creating an event for your business.
*This is a contributed post