Open houses are a great way to strengthen relationships with customers and kick-start sales. An event that runs smoothly can turn open house attendees into lifetime customers. Spiral is excited to help provide marketing support to make your event a successful one.
Make A Checklist
Checklists help provide a step-by-step guide to organizing and executing a special event.
Develop a Budget
This will provide you with a financial “blueprint” for the event. The budget should be specific and include revenue opportunities as well as expenses (printing, permits, insurance, speakers, food, supplies, security, etc.). Also, expect the unexpected. Extra expenses will come up so plan ahead. Maintain good records by keeping track of all income and expenses.
The location and site of your event is critical for success. Selecting a site is more than just finding out what rooms are available. There are many factors to consider.
Here are some things to keep in mind for an event:
- Room Capacity
- Will it be an indoor or outdoor event
- Do you have a need for ramps or elevators
- Will you need a podium, stage, or any special equipment
- How many chairs and tables will you need for guests
Have Plenty of Food & Drinks
Having food and drinks available for customers is a great way to keep them happy. What kind of food will you serve? Does your event call for lunch, snack foods, dinner, a buffet set up, or a sit down? What kind of beverages will be available? Will you provide drinks in a can, punch bowl, or some other way. If you intend to serve alcohol ensure plenty of designated drivers are available to transport those who may be unable to drive home.
Great publicity and marketing are key components to having a successful event. There are many different methods you can use to get the word out about your program. Determine who you want to attend and target your advertising accordingly. Consider supplementing paid advertising with inexpensive fliers, handouts, email messages and word-of-mouth.
Arrange for Parking
If you’re expecting a large number of guests, ensure there is ample parking. The parking you select should be easily accessible to the location of the event. If you have delivery trucks, caterers or special equipment being brought to the event, you will need to make sure everyone knows the best location for unloading.
Open houses should be fun! Human interaction creates a personal experience for people and is the most important part for a truly successful open house.
Evaluate the Event
One of the most ignored, yet important elements of project planning is evaluation. If you want to determine how successful an event is you’ll need to collect feedback from the participants. Following up after an open house can be good for business. Have a sign-up pad available to write down all of the customers that attended. If the open house features some type of giveaway, you can get the list of attendees from the giveaway sign-up. Create an evaluation form to hand out. To encourage participation, your evaluation form should be anonymous and short.
Once your event is over take time to reflect back on it. Consider the entire planning process and the feedback provided on the evaluations forms. Reflecting back will help you improve the event for the next time.
When done right, an open house can be a great way to create or maintain ties with your customers while still preserving the bottom line. Make sure to speak with your Spiral Dealer Program Account Specialist when planning your open house. We look forward to the opportunity to help make your open house a great success.