Don't Wait - Create Your Own Event!

January 4, 2021
Don't Wait - Create Your Own Event!

Are you waiting for trade shows and events to come to life again or are you taking matters you’re your own hands? Hopefully if you are reading this you probably fall into the latter group. Sure, a lot had happened over the last 6 months and it may seem safer to do nothing and ride it out, but how long can you put your business on hold? Given all the new precautions we are all learning to take everywhere we go, is it crazy to think it is too soon to create your own event – like an Open House, Road Show, etc.? Maybe not!

There are numerous things you must consider, and extra steps you will have to take, but I think the results will make it worth the effort. Even if you aren’t ready to hold an open house in the next couple of weeks, it is something you should start thinking about and planning.

So let's start planning your own event. Here are some tips to help you get started:

WHERE:

The term open house means “a place or situation in which all visitors are welcome.” Most people associate this with a gathering at your home or office. If the powers that be have decided not to open the office back up yet, then you may have to be creative with where and how to hold your open house. In a blog earlier this year I mentioned the idea of taking your show on the road or setting up regional hotel meetings to meet with groups of clients. This could be your alternative option.

If you can’t hold your Open House at your office, then you need to find a space that makes sense. If you have a lot of customers in specific regions you could consider holding small hotel meetings in those areas. Depending on your type of business, product and service, another idea would be to pack up your demos and marketing materials into a custom wrapped car or van and visit your clients for personalized face-to-face. No matter what, you need to take matters into your own hands and do what makes the most sense for your clients and business.

WHAT:

Treat this event like you would a trade show. Present focused content or roll out a new product you didn’t get to roll out at the trade show you missed this year.  Bring in smaller marketing displays, signage, and product experts to add value to the conversation and answer any questions your guests may have. If your company happens to manufacture large equipment, or something that is not easy to take on the road, make sure you have up-to-date content to show product capabilities, like quality demo videos. If you do not have videos ready to go another simple alternative is to schedule live streaming sessions with someone back at your facility who can walk your clients through the products remotely and answer questions, really personalizing the presentation.

You should also consider offering special discounts for anyone who attends your open house event.  And make sure you send them home with some really cool SWAG!

HOW:

Now let’s discuss some ideas and extra steps you might have to take under current circumstances and expectations. Regardless of where you are holding your open house event, I recommend that rather than holding a traditional floating open house for one day that you extend it throughout the week and require scheduled appointments. This will allow you to control the number of people attending at a given time to practice social distancing. You can accomplish this by creating a special landing page for the event with a sign-up sheet where the guest can select a date and time that works for them.

You should also make sure you have hand sanitizer stations ready to use and proper social distancing graphics. If you have different demo stations set-up you can place strategic graphics and rotate people giving them an appropriate amount of time at each station. You may also want to pe prepared with face masks, in case someone shows up without one. Also consider only serving prepacked food and snacks vs. open platters and buffets.

If you plan to host a topical seminar as part of your Open House Event, consider spacing out the seats and offering a live streaming option for those who cannot attend. You can also move the topical webinars to a separate online event, giving you another touch point and lead generator.

Remember, the goal is to stay in front of your customers. Rather than wait for things to get back to normal and trade shows to resume, take matters into your own hands and create your own opportunity to engage with customers and prospects. We can help! Connect with us today.