There’s music playing, delights being served and laughter in the air. If you think this is just a celebration and not part of a strategic, well thought-out marketing plan, you are half right. You should love what you do and do what you love; by hosting an event you can showcase what you love.
Events are an opportunity to educate your customer on why you are different from the rest, how you genuinely care and want to build a relationship with them. You want to entice your guests to want to know more about you. Through strategic partnerships and a well thought out plan, you can create an experience for your customer that will immerse them into your brand identity and transform them into a true brand advocate.
There is a process that has to happen in order for your business to grow. It requires customers to come through your door, take notice, buy, create buzz, and have them want to come back (hopefully with friends). Hosting an event is a great way to make all these things happen in just one night and below are some tips on how to make that night as successful as possible.
Be clear on your goals
It is important to know what results you want out of an event. If you do not have a clear goal in mind, you will be just ‘throwing a party’ which may be fun but not ideal in learning and growing from the situation. You should ask yourself what you are looking to gain from this event. Is it emails, sales, press, social sharing, customer acquisition? Deciding exactly what you want will help you bring in brand partners and other vendors that will help you make what you decide upon come true.
Decide on the topic and theme of event
Everyone involved will need direction. Having a clear topic and theme for your event will keep everyone on the same page and remove any confusion that may arise. For example, we recently did an event with our pop-up client, BeautyKind this month where they decided their first event in their space inside of Bloomingdale’s would focus on American Heart Month in February. They then decided The American Heart Association would be the best charity to partner with for this event. Being that the color for February and heart month is red, it became the theme color of the event allowing everyone to plan accordingly. We ordered beautiful roses from Ode a la Rose in the appropriate color. The yogurt partner used red cups to distribute to their guests. Everyone was on the same page to deliver a consistent message for the night, which in turn translated to the guests that attended on how their purchases would help the cause. A clear topic and theme is needed for everyone involved to work together towards your vision and success.
Make it shareworthy
A shareworthy event is free marketing. Having an event where people are incentivized to share on social media will create engagement and start conversations about your brand that would not have happened before. In order to grow your customers and make your presence known, you must create buzz and make people want to post and talk about your brand.
In this recent event with BeautyKind we brought in Fotofwd, a social sharing software that with the use of a hashtag on social media, collects all the photos that were posted. Guests could then see their photos on the screen and have the option to print them out. It is not only fun for the guests, it makes them want to share more and also allows for the brand to collect emails from their new potential customers. As a brand, you want to create buzz and have people share their experience that you created for them. It also creates for nice marketing and will make people take notice allowing for a greater turn out in your next event.
Appeal to your target customer
It is very important to know who your customer is and who you are targeting. This also applies in influencer strategy, going after the wrong customer will not allow for the right one to take notice. Even though you may have a packed house, if it is off brand or filled with people who do not care about what you stand for, you will be creating a disservice to your time and money without achieving the goal of the event.
Spend time on logistics
No one likes to see a host running and scrambling like a chicken without a head. Having a plan and being prepared as much as possible allows for a buffer in case something goes wrong and allows for everyone to have a clear head in knowing there is preparation. Keeping a ROS (run of show) for example, is one way of knowing exactly when deliveries are happening and a list of what and who you are expecting from partners and guests. Thinking and planning on logistics will be beneficial for all who are involved.
Measure the impact and success of the event
Was your event a success? Going over all the data gathered, email acquisitions, social media engagement, sales, will allow you to learn from your event and make the next one even better and more successful.
Planning an event is a great way to keep your customers engaged and a great moment for discovery. Done correctly, it should allow guests to be introduced to the brand in a new way and be aesthetically stimulating enough to organically create brand ambassadors. A shareable experience is a goal you definitely want to bring to your new potential customers. With a proper plan and the steps above, you will optimize your opportunity for success and brand awareness.
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A version of post comes from Aliana Galán, Senior Account Manager at The Lionesque Group–the premiere pop-up experts–from the teams blog.
Artwork Credit: Taylor White