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The Low Cost, High Impact Events Your Small Business Can Run
Events are a big deal in the business world.
Think conferences, retreats to sunny destinations, hot breakfasts including guest speakers, after work cocktails with canapes and mingling or product launches with fireworks and music.
For Small Businesses, organising and running these types of events can be outside of your budget both the money budget and the time budget. But you don’t need hundreds of people and an event planner to run a great event. As little as ten very interested attendees can be a fantastic event.
Your Small Business can organise and run a very low cost and high-value event, if you get clear on two things:
1. What problems do your customers want solved?
If you are crystal clear on the problems your customers face and your event provides solutions or help with those problems, the chance of your customers attending and raving about your business, goes through the roof.
An event, that has no clear or personal incentive for attendance, will be low on a customer’s list of things to do. If they do show up, they are likely to leave with no reason to rave about how they just spent their time. Word of mouth raving about your business is the best form of marketing, and it’s free!
2. Send an inviting invitation.
Make the invitation more than written. The best invitations are personal, i.e. face to face or over the phone, as you can use your engaging tone of voice and elaborate on how the event will help that customer specifically.
If you want to invite many; record a video invitation. Back up your face to face, phone or video invitation with something in writing so the details are clear and easy for the attendees to access.
Four bonus tips:
- If you want potential customers to attend, encourage your existing customers to bring a plus 1, 2 or a few. To thank them for bringing a friend, provide something special for their efforts, i.e. partner with a winery/florist/café/author/baker/printer and arrange free samples, give product or service discounts.
- If your customers are in business, allow them to include their products or services in a goodie bag that everyone takes home; this makes the goodie bags low cost and a great gift for all attendees.
- Consider a webinar event. They are a low-cost (can be free) option that allows you to share solutions without your customers having to leave their work/home. You can still provide gifts for webinar attendees, i.e. a recording of the webinar, tips brochures, lucky attendee (1st person to log in gets a prize) after webinar downloads.
- If you have customers with similar problems, running smaller customised events can be the best way to go. Tupperware has been doing this for years, and they do very well out of small events.
Personally, I love webinar events. Love them (This has a lot to do with my preferred home office uniform, my pyjamas). Some of your customers may love webinars too, but some will also love the face to face chance to engage with you and meet new people.
Whatever event you run, aim to provide excellent service before, during and after. Nothing destroys a well organised and well-run event than not following up or responding to customer enquiries, concerns or requests.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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