This is one of the often overlooked marketing opportunities. There is no better marketing concept than one that facilitates personal contact between a business owner and his/her clients and prospects. A well planned event allows for customer interaction and also provides a great way to improve customer relations.
I am often asked if customer events provide a return on the investment. If the event is more than just a “get together” with customers, and if it has a specific objective, then there can be a significant return. Small business owners don’t have unlimited funds to produce an event so a carefully constructed “invite” list is important. In other words, invite the customers who are the most important to you. In the case of prospects, invite those who can be the most beneficial to you as a customer.
Customer benefits should be a major consideration in the event planning process. Once you have selected the customers to be invited, make sure you stress the benefits they receive in the invitation. Quackworking (networking) opportunities are always considered a major benefit. Other benefits may depend upon the type of event you host and the location. A large attendance is not always beneficial. Smaller groups allow for more interaction among the guests, and also provides the business owner a chance to spend more quality time with each guest.
Small events can be held in an office or even a home. Small businesses stress the individual attention they pay to their customers, and by hosting an event in a home or office the event is personalized. Small events can number as little as 6 guests; once you go over 20 guests it loses the personal feeling.
The purpose of the event is to allow for personal contact with your customers and to establish better relationships. There should also be a “surprise” factor in all gatherings, something or someone memorable. As an example, you can hold your event at an art gallery. The owner of the gallery can show off his “wares”, and your guests get an extra bonus.
A simple hello could lead to a million things!
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