Host an Event5 Sep, 2006 By: Sand Sinclair imageSource
Host an Event
It doesn’t matter if you own or work for a large or mid-size dealership, or
are a small firm compared to a global enterprise – you inevitably should host an
event to promote your dealership.
First, you need to understand what events can do for your business. Second,
you need to understand how to launch a successful one. No matter how substantial
your marketing campaign of brochures, mailers, email broadcasts is or how
powerful a website you have, people still network best with people in person.
Call me old-fashioned but events such as a conference, a forum, a community
function, luncheon or well-planned cocktail reception give the company a chance
to network with new prospects and further existing relationships.
First Steps to a Great Event
Understanding your company’s objectives for a successful event is a fundamental
necessity right from the get-go. The applied principals to either an internal or
external event are about the same. The approach may differ slightly but the goal
is to increase company awareness or brand recognition that results in lead
generation and profits. The approach to set-up will first include these
- Anticipating client needs and expectations
- Creating a memorable experience for your target audience
- Providing a thorough business opportunity
- A forum to network within a sought after market.
Since event planning usually falls under the heading of marketing, there
should be an integrated, complementary effort to mix all or most of your media
communication tools: advertising, direct mailers, website, sponsorships, ads and
such. Basically, event strategy demands that you utilize all your company’s
marketing tools to aid in announcing your event while citing the benefits to
those who attend. Your attendees/clients/prospects require mega-doses of
information to peak their interest before decision making takes place. In other
words, if you want to accomplish your intended mission, keep your media stream
constant, cohesive and consistent.
There is nothing wrong with in-your-face branding. Pre-event marketing
requires lots of this tactic. Once the event is underway, your company’s name
and/or representative logo(s) should still be everywhere. Pay attention to
details. Depending on the type of event, consider logo cocktail napkins, table
tent cards, banners, signage, pens and giveaways. These creative touch points
relate back to name or brand recognition, being part of the process in lead
Two Types That Yield
The Proprietary Event: is hosted by you and/or partners to directly focus or
command attention in a controlled environment, with direct contact to clients.
The Tradeshow Event: gives attendees a forum to explore potential products and
services, qualifying information in the process.
Either event should let you connect with your customer in some physical form
to establish a brief relationship for further follow up by phone or email.
Personalized communication has now been established with a business proposition
Your event does not have to be the size of a national conference to make an
impact. Depending on the partnership or relationship you are after, you can
develop something that fits your budget and scope. If it can’t be caviar at the
Ritz-Carlton, let it be hoagies at a charity bash you’re sponsoring, or even a
friendly luncheon to launch your latest product offering. There is no cost for
imagination. Separate from the high level of buzz you will get from hosting an
event, you will position your company as a regional leader in your dealer