There is no better way to get closer to customers and prospects than a successful customer event or open house.
Many marketing pros and salespeople cringe at the idea of another customer event. This is because many events have failed to produce results. It can be a frustrating experience when a customer event ends up being an expensive party that produces no business.
A successful event depends on a number of variables. Yes, themes, story-lines and the invitation process are very important. We have worked with a variety of printing and in plant organizations to promote customer events and open houses. There are a few key than many organizations forget to complete before they even begin planning their event.
Here are three essential steps to take before planning and executing the details of a customer event.
1. Create a simple and specific objective for the event.
A broad sweeping goal such increase customer interest in our services or launch our new product is not good enough. As the planning process develops, it often becomes unclear why the organization is having the event in the first place. Objectives such as, increase our pipeline by 25% or 10 additional customers for our new solution helps keep everyone focused on the same objective.
2. Get an approved budget before you start.
Knowing how much money and internal resources are available will help tailor the theme, size and scope of the event. There is nothing more frustrating than running out of money or internal resources prior to the completion of all the planning steps. Getting the budget requires a sign-off by management. Once the budget is approved then the task is managing it rigorously to ensure getting the greatest return for investment.
3. Get everyone on the “bus”.
Before moving forward, it is vital to get every employee who will potentially influence and work on the event to be committed. No marketing or sales effort can be successful without the entire organization pulling the same direction. That means production people, finance, customer service in addition to management, marketing and sales must do their part. Getting a commitment from all before planning the details will ensure success.
A recommendation to all event planning managers, don’t start planning and executing until these three steps are completed.
For those who need marketing resources for their events, see our cross media invitation marketing services http://www.intellectives.com/open-house-cross-media-services/