When it comes to organizing special events it is all about creating memorable experiences.
In this blog we will discuss planning an Open House event.
Open houses can be an excellent way to show appreciation to your clients, grow your business network, and engage knowledgeable suppliers with end users. It can also be an opportunity to launch a new product line, or show off your new space. With careful planning and management it is an excellent way to advertise your business.
Before embarking on this project I strongly suggest that you don’t try to go it alone. Choose a lead planner that is experienced with event planning. Then form a solid team to work with the lead planner and begin brainstorming. Here are some key questions to consider:
- What are the objectives for your open house?
- Who is your target audience?
- Is it possible to involve your suppliers in hosting the event? Would they offer advertising funds, keynote speakers, or other support?
- When is the optimal time of year and day to host the event?
At the very beginning establish a meeting schedule. Timing is critical so start to plan early . Six to nine months is not too soon to begin the process if possible. Meet monthly until the month of the event. Then ramp up the meetings to ensure all of your bases are covered as the big day approaches. Here are some key topics your committee will likely need to cover:
- Task Assignment: Start task listing and assign an accountable person for each component of the event.
- Establishing attendance and attendee goals.
Here are some of the categories of invitees to consider:
longtime clients and their guests
community members and officials
Don’t forget everyone who works in the business can be a contributor. Depending on their role they could be involved, be present, or mingle.
- Establishing the budget: Determine the overall budget for the event by breaking it into the sum of its parts. These will include some of these key categories and others you deem valuable to the success of your event.
- Branding and advertising
- Signage and print materials
- Catering of food and beverages
- Equipment and furniture rentals
- Contests and swag
Once the budget has been established with no stone unturned, micro manage it to the finish line.
- Promoting the Event: Time to promote, promote, promote! Develop a very relevant contact list, refine, define, update, and purge. Establish contact with personal invitations and RSVPs. Use social media and email marketing to create hype for the event. Engage and communicate with your contacts up to and the week prior to the event to boost attendance.
- Post-Event Roundup: Don’t forget to schedule a follow up meeting post event to evaluate your successes and and challenges. Consider the following topics.
- Was the attendance as expected? Why?
- What opportunities have been created by the event?
- What would you repeat or change?
Using these basics, with a solid planner and team you are on your way to hosting a memorable Open House. Have a wonderful time.