“Create an event that draws your ideal client. Consider what their needs and desires are and what kind of event they’d like to attend. Events don’t have to be traditional business events. You can host parties or retreats sponsored by your business-be creative with your planning.
Events can be as small as a dinner party or as big as conference. Events can give your business brand recognition, attract clients, and capture leads. The overall goal with events is to create sincere and genuine events appealing to your ideal client.” ~ Stephanie Raines~The Offline Branding Strategy for Women Entrepreneurs
The purpose of this kind of event is not to sell, but to build rapport and develop brand recognition, to have fun and not necessarily be “all business”.
To promote opportunities and create partnerships, create a networking opportunity in the event such as a 30 second elevator speech, business card exchange, or an icebreaker. You want people to have a good time and talk about how enjoyable the event was when it ends.
Invite other business owners who share your ideal client and offer sponsorship opportunities and/or assistance in organizing the event; doing so will also broaden your access to individuals you may not have reached on your own.
Your event can be online or local/off-line. Online businesses host twitter parties, online conferences via webinar technology, and unique contests that require live interaction on social media.
Here are a couple of event ideas for your business. To illustrate some of these ideas I will refer back to our fictitious business owners Kandi, Stacey, and Diane.
Consider several bestsellers in your field and host book discussions. Your book club can meet online or off-line. Remember, even though this is a book club and you want to develop your business, it must be FUN! Make it a great hangout and community development effort- first and foremost.
Structure your meet-ups with short networking games and create ways to liven up the atmosphere. Theme nights, color of the month, or gift exchanges. Collect monies to help a cause connected to your field or your local library. Raising funds creates great PR for your club and the businesses involved. Choose PRWeb as your news release distribution service.
For local events you can host at coffee houses, restaurants, or event rooms at the library.
Host a party at a salon or spa with food and a theme décor- complimentary to the venue and your business. The star of the event could be makeup applications, massages, manicures and pedicures. Make this an opportunity for mingling and networking. fashion and beauty vendors could be present also.
Remember Stacey, the life coach for teen girls? She could host a girl empowerment day; and do beauty clinics/seminars and present motivational speeches. Not to mention party favor bags, music, and lots of pictures.
For a small fee you could host a bowling night for your ideal client in a private section of a bowling alley. This could be just an opportunity to hang out and connect with new people.
Creating friendly competition between teams would be a great way to network without doing a lot of work. Of course, cater food and deserts; and add lots of memories with pictures for blog posts and social media.
Group Fundraiser for a Cause
Gather several business owners that share the same ideal client with you and make a commitment to raise money for a cause; for example participating in a 5k run/walk event hosted by non-profits.
Ask their clients and your clients to join forces to raise monies and walk/run together as a team. Training together would be a great way to get to know everyone and build genuine relationships.
Remember Kandi, our accountant for interior design businesses? She could unite her audience to join the effort and represent the local interior design industry. Imagine having the attention of your local area and the feeling of raising funds for a worthy cause as a team. Priceless.
Create an inspirational theme and host a weekend brunch that features a dynamic speaker-local or national- that would inspire your ideal client. Create awards to recognize individuals, organizations, or businesses that have empowered your community (local area &/or industry). This event can be formal or informal, whatever is appropriate for the community you serve.
Remember Diane, our author and ecommerce business coach for start-up fashion & beauty businesses? She can host a fashion show brunch with a short keynote speech by an influential entrepreneur in the fashion & beauty arena. Getting sponsorships and giving away gift bags would make the occasion memorable.
Let’s Stay Connected!