Have you been dreaming of adding events to your business in 2019? Your community wants to connect in person and when you know how to host an event you’ll create even more diehard fans!
Our world has exploded online. This is great for every day business and building relationships, but more people are looking for genuine connection than what we’re finding in our online worlds.
Psychology Today reports the internet has made us lonelier than ever. They mention that having five close friends is better for our mental health than having 500 connections online.
Today, nothing binds people more to your business than by connecting in person.
Before launching Balanced Bombshells, I worked in professional fundraising. I planned 750+ person Galas (raising over $1 million a night) and high-end donor cultivation events, like my personal favorite, a voyage to the Statue of Liberty in NYC on a private yacht. The views from the Hudson River at night are what NYC dreams are made of.
The main objective in hosting events for business are:
1. How to make money
2. How to create an environment that keeps your guests coming back for more (and bringing their friends!).
If you’re a coach, your audience will love getting together and experiencing you in person. If you sell products, partnering with other local or global businesses will help communities experience your products first hand.
Here’s how to host an event that will keep your peeps coming back for more:
Focus on how you want guests to feel
Every good event invokes a feeling in the people who attend. Do you want them to feel inspired? Take action? Create fun memories that will tie them to your brand? What kind of warm and fuzziness can you offer them?
When people feel good, they associate those positive feelings with you.
Think about your favorite coffee shop or your go-to restaurant. These establishments hold positive emotions for you and make you feel loved, cared for, and supported. An event can do the same thing.
Calm their fears
When people first show up for an event – they’re nervous. They may not know many people or they’re confused on how they fit in with the community. To calm their fears, station greeters at the front that will treat them like they’ve been friends for years. It helps take the awkwardness out and removes the pressure your guests might feel.
Tell guests what to do
At an event, we want to be taken care of. Help your guests relax by telling them what to do.
When they arrive, make sure they know where to register, how to get to the bar, bathroom, where to find food, and provide any other information they need for the evening ahead.
You can lose people when they’re left wondering what to do.
For example, if it’s a networking event, tell them, “You’ve got the next 15 minutes to meet three new people and learn one fun fact about them.”
Or it can be as simple as, “Welcome! You’ll notice our servers are walking around with drinks, so please help yourself and make your way into the dining room for the main event.”
Give them something to talk about
How boring is it when you go to an event and there is 1. no music and 2. you’re just expected to stand there and mingle. Total. Snooze. Fest.
We’re in the age of customized experiences.
You can go online and order a box of food or a new outfit to be delivered to your door, based on your personal preferences. Or there’s Groupon letting you sign up for a new local excursion of your choice.
People love trying new things and when your event has something new and different, they’re going to remember that – which means they’ll remember you!
At one Gala, I set up a s’mores bar where people could roast their own marshmallows and make a s’more like they were kids camping in the woods. It was such a novelty and people talked more about that than what we were raising money for!
You can set up:
- DIY food stations
- Craft tables to make a keepsake, like their own essential oils
- A mantra section with comfy floor pillows where they can write down their favorite mantras (make sure to read a few later to uplift the entire audience with their positive words of wisdom)
- A musical performance
- A sought-after speaker in your industry
Focus on first and last impressions
The biggest pieces of your event that guests will remember are their first and last impressions.
Everything in between is icing on the cake.
One of my favorite ways to welcome guests is to have servers stationed at the door with glasses of champagne. You can also play on this by having fruit infused water offered to guests upon arrival.
When guests leave, give them something fun to remember you by like a goodie bag, book, or some warm hot chocolate and a cupcake from a local bake shop. Anything that fits your brand here will do.
And remember, the presentation is everything. Make sure everything is clean and set up in an organized fashion.
Your events will become an opportunity for your loyal fans to fall deeper in love with you and convert newbies into members of your community.
These tips can also add personal touches to ideas 1, 3, and 9 of 9 Ideas to Make a Side Income While Growing Your Business.