I recently attended a lunch & learn sponsored by The Durham Black Chamber of Commerce (DBCC) and the speaker was none other than Joye Speight owner of Virtue Events – Event Designer & Consultant. Joye specializes in weddings, social events, and corporate services. The focus of this particular meet up was to enlighten entrepreneurs about coordinating and hosting open houses or business launches and creating brand awareness for your company. Think about it, if no one knows who you are and you host an open house or launch party, this gives them an introduction to you and they’ll get a first impression of you and your company. There are some key things to remember when planning an event and they are as follows… Event Planning #101
Set measurable goals and objectives. If you are going to work with sponsors for your event, identify who you’re potential sponsors can be and make sure it’s a good fit. Sponsors should be contacted 4-6 months prior to your event date. Tip: Thursday Mornings in between 9-10 am are the BEST times to call and follow up with a potential sponsor. Corporate companies have set budgets for sponsorships. Sell yourself. Why should they sponsor you and what do they get In return for sponsoring your event. It has to make sense for them too, whether it is booth space at the event, their logo on your website and all printed materials etc.
Always create TWO guest lists. List 1: People who can use your service or who are interested and List 2: friends and acquaintances. The overall goal is to create interest in your business, product or service. Your result should be a solid lead list created by having people sign in, and also collect business cards. How do you get people there? It’s good to have at least 2-3 press releases ready to go. Send personal invitations to the people on your guest list. Make sure you have sufficient Wi-Fi and a media room for media guests to tweet, blog and promote your event. Create a buzz!
The design of your party should be infused with your personality. Keep it fun, informative and entertaining to keep your guests interested. Keep everything consistent with your branding. The food should satisfy sponsors and guests. Have a photographer on hand to capture the event. Don’t try to host too many different audiences. You can have as many open houses as you want to cater to each niche. Mingle and talk to each guest! You can also consider a virtual launch party, within a certain time frame and send evites with your site location. Taking it a step further you can coordinate a twitter party at the same time to generate traffic back to your site and engage with your guests on twitter, make it an interactive experience.
This was great information that Joye enlightened us with. I’ll be using the information to coordinate an upcoming launch party! I hope this information was helpful to you, I know it was to me! Remember NOT to overwhelm yourself, that’s where Joye steps in to save the day! If you’re in need of an event planner head on over to Joye’s website Virtue Events to see how she can be of service to you. What events have you planned? Were they successful? What ideas can you bring to the table? I want to know…