It’s long been known that taking clients out for lunch or treating them to drinks in a fancy bar can be the winning formula for sales teams looking to close a new deal. After all, we’re all much more likely to warm to someone offering to remove us from the office for an afternoon of delicious (and free) food and drink. Once this personal relationship is built it’s a simple step from there to get the deal signed, and the business wins a new client. So, is it possible to scale this up to work for larger events with multiple client prospects?
Firstly, when planning an event to promote your brand it’s important to get the guestlist right. It’s a good idea to invite current and past clients who will act as your promotors when talking to the other guests. It’s also a way to thank loyal clients and big spenders, which is an important way of staying in touch with them and ensuring their custom in the future. If you’re inviting people who haven’t ever had contact with your company before then make sure they fit your target market and have the potential to become customers at a later date. Anyone can come along and enjoy an event, but you need to make sure you’re going to get return on the investment you’re putting in.
Once you’ve got an idea of who will be coming you can plan the event itself. The venue can have a huge impact on the image your guests will retain for your company, what may seem grand and extravagant for a Law firm’s day out may seem stuffy and outdated for a tech start-up company. Add to this the food, entertainment and drinks choices and you’ve got a whole lot of decisions to make. This is where an experienced event planner can step in to make sure your event is a success.
During the event there are multiple things you can do to ensure the legacy lives on, to be used for brand promotion long after the final guest has left the building. Hire a photographer to take candid photos of your guests as well as any important speakers. A videographer can also record and edit a film of the highlights. Remember, sharing these on your website and social media accounts is all part of the brand marketing – and why not advertise an event hashtag on the night so your guests can get involved too?
As you wave goodbye to your guests at the end of the event, make sure they have a small token to take with them to remind them of your company and brand. If you’ve done everything right they will be left with a good impression and will soon be knocking on your door to become customers.