Have you ever thought about hosting a function but don’t know if you can cope with the stress or worseâ€¦ no one turns up?
But you work so hard to build your business there comes a time when you need to celebrate it! Our event was celebrating two things. A grand opening and the 100th sign centre milestone. But your reason to party might be something completely different.
We had a wonderful night and we had a great turn out. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Do you want a sit down dinner, cocktail party, casual BBQ, Be sure to set the tone and expectations with your invitations. Start planning the theme, date, and target audience at least 3 months ahead of time.
Every business has a community. It might be the community you serve such as your clients, people in your local area or like-minded businesses or the community you serve with e.g. staff, suppliers or your bank manager! Write a list of people you want to come. Remember youâ€™ll need to invite 4 times as many people you want to come. If you don’t have a large guest list, try hosting your event at a cosy or crowded bar, so you can use the atmosphere of the place around you.
At the Signarama Mosman we actually used the Sign Centre itself. We cleared out the workshop and reception area. It was enough room for about 80 people, so it was very tight. We also needed to make sure everyone was safe. Having at your place of business, gives you the opportunity to show what you do! Let them see the process or specialised equipment you use.
Don’t do it yourself if you can help it. You need time to hang out with your guests. The time it takes you to put all the food together will be much more expensive in time than having somebody professional do it. But to keep the cost down, you can enlist some of your team to serve.
Keeping track of the all the RSVPâ€™s is often best left to one person, so there is no confusion.
They are painful to create but do impact the vibe of the evening as it allows people to comfortable talk to each other.
Ring your local council and find out about the parking and pop that information on the invite. You will get asked and it is an important consideration for busy people.
Itâ€™s nice to welcome everyone or thank them at the end of the night. Perhaps you can tell a story about the organisation. Keep it personable and light.
Perhaps you can invite a local dignitary like the local Mayor to come and say a few words. Yes they will take you phone call and they may even be available! You can also try local media and leaders in your business community like local Chamber of Commerce, BNI group and governing bodies and associations.
You could do a direct mail out, email invite, letterbox drop, social media post and an update on your website. Also arm your team with a physical invite they can carry around with them to deliver personally to the clients they may be meeting in person.
Don’t keep people long. Our function started at 4pm, so people could join us on the way home from work. Other functions work at the other end of the day. But we keep the timing to two hours long. People stayed longer, but having a short end time on the invite letâ€™s them know it wonâ€™t take too long and carve up the rest of their day.
Awards or Recognitions:
Is there somebody in your organisation that has been a stand out? Acknowledging these people publicly is a lovely gesture and will show your appreciation for them.
Capture the Moment:
Take some snaps and share them on your social media channels, blog and emails marketing. We also had a film crew.
A token of some kind is nice. You can pack the bag with knick knacks, like give-aways, hats, stickers, mugs, pens. If you have time and budget get really creative. Just don’t forget to hand them out at the end of the event as people are leaving!
Below are a few more pictures of the nightâ€¦