Company Events: Make Them Completely On-Brand
When you have a company event whether for clients or employees, are you helping to connect the dots in your audience's heads?
Because if your event is not connecting the dots, it's not worth it to even have the event in the first place.
Most businesses will host an event at some point. Whether it be an anniversary, a new product, something educational or another type of celebration, it is a great tactic in your business. It is part your marketing and brand-building.
However, if you don't create events that spread your brand message and generate the desired outcome with your customers, why are you spending the money and the time?
Can you create events that help your attendees become even more loyal and talk about you more?
Of course you can! This is Part I on this topic and covers the structure for how you plan a company (or personal) event that isn't just a good time, but strengthens your relationship with your clients and customers.
So many articles are out there about creating beautiful, magical, post-worthy events. And I LOVE those articles, The decor! The tablesettings! The invites - oh my!
And the logistics/operations are fun, too - looooooovvvvve a good production schedule.
But before we get to any of that, please take some time to think about your why. (and remember, this applies to your personal events, too.) Because even if you customers at your event are snapping and posting away, parties are more than pretty posts.
Rare is the business owner who one day randomly thinks, "I'm sort of bored and we don't have enough going on - let's plan a party!" There is always a reason - an occasion - a spark. This is your anchor.
1 | So, the first question is, WHAT IS THE REASON?
- An anniversary
- New artist coming into the gallery.
- A new product line.
- The president/owner is coming to town.
- The winemaker is coming in - a wine tasting.
- We need to move inventory.
- It's time for the annual meeting.
- An open house.
- A fundraiser.
- A conference or retreat.
- Employee training or thank you.
- Someone is getting married.
- Someone new moved to town.
- A new line of clothing is out.
- and on and on and on . . . . . .
2 | WHO is your primary audience?
Employees? Customers? Partners? Prospective customers? Investors? Members? Members and Spouses?
So, you know the reason and who is invited - that was the easy part - pretty much written for you. But, now --
3 | WHY are you doing it? What do you want your guests and attendees to feel? Usually an event will fall into one of the five very broad categories of WHY.
- to THANK - customers, advertisers, your friends, your clients, your readers . . . . . .
- to INTRODUCE - a new product or service, new line, new store, new edition, new manager, new person in town, new author, new menu . . . . . . .
- to EDUCATE - a workshop, a training, a wine dinner, a cultural event, a new product and how to use . . . . .
- to CELEBRATE anniversary, birthday, marriage, holiday, an accomplishment, the Oscars . . . . . .
- to ASK - fundraisers, political events, sales pitches (this is not a good why if you are trying to sell -- how about thank and educate first) . . .
Concerts and Sporting Events could fit into one of these, but I really think that those are so big they don't really apply here, unless perhaps it's a golf tournament, which could fit into several of the categories above. So, in the graphic above, I called this ENTERTAIN.
4 | MESSAGE - what is the primary message you are communicating through this event?
It is through articulating and understanding the intended message that you connect the dots in your customers' minds.
5 | ASK THE TWO QUESTIONS - if you have ever read any articles by me about planning events, you know I ALWAYS ask these questions and reverse-engineer.
How do you want them to feel?
What do you wANt them to SAY WHEN IT IS OVER?
Now go start planning that gorgeous decor and witty invites. Part II will give you several examples of companies staying completely on-brand with their events.
Begin to look at your events as a way to connect the dots about your brand in your customers' or employees' heads. Then, your events will become one of your strongest tools for strengthening customer loyalty (plus, they'll just be a lot more fun!)