Hosting events is a fantastic way for a lot of local businesses to find local clientele. Yoga studios, restaurants, coaches / consultants, real estate agents, gyms and so on can all use events to gain local clientele. Some kinds of businesses – hair salons or pizzerias for example – aren’t as well suited to event marketing.
How can you use events to bring people through the door? Here’s how, step by step.
==> An Overview of How It Works
The idea behind events is to get people through your door. Once they’re in your door, they can get to know you and perhaps try some of your product. Then they may come back on their own, or even bring their friends with them in the future.
For example, let’s say you run a restaurant. Your restaurant has a small back room. Tuesday nights are slow nights. Instead of earning very little money on Tuesdays, you decide to give the back room away for free to a Toastmasters group.
Members of the group come in and often order food, sometimes also wine. About 20 people come through every week. They love your food and sometimes bring their friends back.
That’s an example of a simple yet successful way to use events to market. Sometimes marketing an event is as simple as contacting one group, while sometimes it’s as complex as starting a brand new event from scratch.
==> Creating the Hook for Your Event
Your “hook” should be something very compelling. People who hear your hook should immediately be drawn to your event.
For example, with Toastmasters it was the promise of a free room. Another example might be a wine tasting event, with free appetizers at a very attractive price.
Other examples include:
* If you run a Yoga studio, run a free class every two weeks to get new people through the door.
* If you run a gym, you can make one class free every week, but have it be different each week. For example, rotate between kickboxing, hip hop, cycling and yoga. You’ll be able to attract a lot of different kinds of people.
* If you’re a coach, you can do a free talk on a specific topic. For example, you can do a talk on how to find a new job quickly in a competitive market.
==> Marketing the Event
Once you have the core hook for your event, you need to put everything together and market it.
Use tools like Meetup, Craigslist and any groups or email lists you belong to. Also contact outside groups that might benefit from knowing about your event. Don’t be afraid to pay for some advertising to really get people through the door.
Hosting events is an affordable, creative and most importantly effective way to get new customers through the door. If you’ve never tried it, start by sitting down and brainstorming a list of events that you could potentially host.