I have a great idea, let’s throw another corporate event for the holidays! Wait, why do we throw those again?
Did you plan a corporate event for the holidays? – Do you even know WHY?
- Who did you really have this holiday event for? What are your goals for them once they’re in attendance?
- How was your event different from your next or from the one up the street that was going on at the same time, with likely the same group of clients?
- How are you going to make your event stand out?
- Lastly, if you succeeded at all of those things, how did you maximize on your wins?
So let’s look at the bigger picture….
Did you leave the party planning to the professionals? I know, I know hindsight is 20/20 and you take pride in your event. But any of the above questions can easily be addressed by them so you don’t try to fancy yourself as this great planner extraordinaire. Sure you have a better idea of your client, but trust someone to help you put the right spin on your event. Beyond getting guests in the door, what kept them there? When they left, were they still talking about your event, or better yet were they still talking about your company?
OK so you had great food, wonderful wine and winning personalities, but realistically that only got you so far. Let’s talk about three magic little letters: R-O-I….Return On Investment. Make sure there is a return on your investment! If it’s not there, then perhaps just scrap the whole party and consider a more intimate lunch date. SERIOUSLY! If it’s not about ROI, it doesn’t make sense. Even a few selective lunches will ensure you actually get to start AND FINISH a conversation with your guest(s) and create solid leads.
When it comes to your ROI it depends on these major things:
- Collected Data – Emails, Phone Numbers, Business Cards Oh My!
- Did you introduce yourself to every person who walked in the door?
- Speech! Make a simple introduction keep it short and allow any relationships to grow naturally without any pressure for additional business.
- Follow up before the New Year if there truly is a connection. Then set up something concrete for first thing in January.
After doing these things not only do you have a whole new bundle of exciting new contacts but now, what would have been a daunting cold call before, is made easier by the soft introduction and relaxed approach you can now take. The client will be more receptive and business can grow. Return on investment! Say it with me R-O-I
If you’re stuck on doing the big splashy event again or if you’ve “done it every year, it’s expected,” try changing your approach. Change it up and truly show your clients that you appreciate their business. Try this next year, look into your partnerships – Is there a way to host an event that might be beneficial to a client or help expose their business to a greater audience? Showcase a new wine, host in a new venue or focus on a charity this can easily be incorporated to make your event a personal one.
Don’t feel the pressure to stick with the status quo. The status quo is your enemy and ROI is your friend. If you are going to host any event over the holidays take a moment to reflect on the reason you are doing so. If it’s to blow a bunch of money and say “we did it” – Then I wish you a Great 1st quarter! But if you want put a purpose in this process mull over these questions again.
Looking back, what is the most impressionable event you have been to? What about that event sticks out in your mind?
Written by: Knakeesha Samuels
Edited by: @AngelieWrites2