During my almost 11 years with GlynnDevins, I’ve attended many marketing events, of all shapes and sizes. Holiday fun, interesting or educational speakers, care focus, luncheons and more. Marketing events are a unique way to allow your prospects to experience life at your community firsthand, so here are my top 10 tips to make the most of them:
1. Promote it.
Set a goal for how many people you’d like in attendance, and then decide how you’ll spread the word. Depending on the situation and goal, you may want to promote your event through a combination of the following: invitation, evite, personal phone call, media advertising, social media, public relations and announcement on your website.
2. Have a back-up plan.
If attendance is larger than expected (a great problem to have, right?!), have a back-up plan for adding additional dates/times. If your attendance is lower than expected, you may want to choose a different, more intimate location.
3. Ask for RSVPs.
Even for an open house, it’s okay to ask for RSVPs. This allows your team to plan for the right location, staff, food, etc. If someone doesn’t show up, it’s an opportunity to follow up and invite them to your next event, or suggest that they schedule a personal appointment.
4. Involve residents.
Residents or their families can give tours, speak to their experiences and help you forge relationships. When appropriate, turn your event into a referral opportunity.
5. Plan for parking.
Parking is one of the most important components of a successful event. If attendees have to walk a long way, they may have a negative impression before they even walk in the door. Valet parking shows your level of hospitality and understanding of any mobility challenges.
6. Remember to register.
Be sure to capture names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. You can greet attendees with a simple sign-in sheet, or use it as an opportunity to allow them to put their name in a prize drawing.
7. Be hospitable.
Make every effort to make attendees feel at home. Consider simple gestures such as taking coats and making sure attendees know where the restrooms are.
8. Plan for tours.
Depending on the size of your event, you may need a tour committee or sign-up sheet to manage the process. Determine how you’ll handle tours, and then make the process clear to your visitors.
9. Give them something.
A door prize or simple giveaway always brings excitement to your event, and makes your visitors feel extra-special. They’ll tell their friends and family about it.
10. Follow up.
Your event is the first step to a personal appointment. Every attendee should receive a personalized letter, note, e-mail or phone call to initiate that next step.
This is the first of a series of consecutive lists of 10 that we’ll be providing to you throughout December. Our goal is to offer insights, helpful tips, strategies, suggestions and new ideas to help you be successful with your community’s marketing efforts in 2012. Stay tuned for more.