Hosting a Corporate Event for your Customers: Is it really worth it?
In a world of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is it worth going the extra mile to meet our customers face-to-face? With current generational shifts towards embracing the traditions of old, whilst maintaining the desire to maintain online networks, the customer-centric corporate event may just give your business a desirable competitive edge.
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From handcrafted beer to ethically sourced fabrics, consumers are becoming more interested in discovering the “persona” of the companies they exchange money with. No longer is faceless interaction enough, we want to know where your product comes from, who are the people behind your business and what it is you stand for. While the slew of social networking sites have given businesses a multitude of platforms from which they can speak to their audience, many are learning that the on-ground event can really revolutionise the customer experience and thus the business’ returns. Stripping away the corporate façade and hosting a personal event, with a targeted demographic insight, can help you build brand loyalty and generate interest. Done poorly, the company event can be pure financial folly. But done well, you may just find you’re the talk of the town with a customer more willing than ever to listen.
Hosting a Corporate Event: What’s your purpose?
When weighing up the decision to host an event or not it’s important to ask yourself one important question; why? Audrey Shedivy, founder of Henry Grey PR, is quoted in INC, online magazine says you have to ask, “Are you hosting the event to thank your existing customer and attract new ones? Are you launching a new product and want to create buzz among influencers? Whatever your goal for the event, identify that upfront. It will help guide your decisions in planning the event.”
The goal is essential to planning, budget and style of your event. If you’ve got a dynamic new product destined to change the world but a budget that can barely book a local hall, hosting your event might take a bit more attention, effort and lateral thinking. Getting your online community of customers participating in the event can be a cost-effective, but time heavy, way to generate interest. If your objective is to change demographics or to get noticed by a wider audience utilising public spaces, both online and IRL, can help create a dynamic and receptive dialogue with your consumers, generate media attention, and get your brand seen.
Hosting a Corporate Event: What’s your draw card?
The decision to host an event–be it for a wider customer base or a more industry based set–will often come down to what it is you have on offer. Securing a location people are keen to suss out or booking an act with some pulling power can make or break an event. However, it’s important every decision always remains on brand. A product marketed to parents should keep in mind the kind of hours parents keep. If it’s related to their children, it’s likely you’ll want to find somewhere kid friendly but also offer something special to the hard-working mums and dads who make up your customer base.
Alternatively, a product like a new app, record label or clothing brand may work better in a creative space. Fight people’s desire to rush on home after work and lure them in with a signature brand cocktail, a great band and some free food to really get them in the mood to have fun. Get people having a good time and they’ll think and talk positively about your brand.
Hosting a Corporate Event: How do you get them interacting?
A corporate event should encourage guests to engage with both your products and your company. Create plenty of comfortable spaces for people to sit down and talk, whilst also interacting with your product, brand or business. Samples of the new product should be made available for trail use or freebies given away – this way the purpose of the event lands straight in the hand of your prospective customer. ‘To get people interested, you need to give them a reason to show up,’ says INC, online’s Sara Hottman. Additionally, you need to give them an experience to walk away with. Utilise all you resources and make sure people know how they’re going to benefit by showing up. Track how people are discussing the event on social media and make sure you have enough in her marketing arsenal to fan the fire every now and then.
Hosting a Corporate Event: When to seek help?
It takes dedication, money and time to host an event so you 100% want to make sure yours is going to achieve everything you set out for and more. Hiring a professional PR company and event hire group can help you achieve the results you want without overwhelming your in-house staff. Everyone can throw a party, but it takes the right group of people with a spot on branding plan to through a corporate gig worth talking about.
(image from Pinterest)