"Back in the autumn of 2015, Melinda Bush, owner of Quartz Financial Services asked me how to mark her company’s third birthday. She said she wanted to celebrate with friends, family and clients who had supported the business in the early days and helped it to grow. And so we decided on a client party with a family theme, plus a focus on using Kentish suppliers. Of the many we booked, only one was outside of Kent; the children’s entertainer and this was only because of a recommendation.
Hosting a catered, beautifully decorated family party in a nice venue with a children’s entertainer, photo booth, bouncy castle, face-painter, raffle, complimentary bar and goodies to take home did require an up-front investment and Melinda did have a couple of worries about the spend along the way. However, I reassured her by outlining the long-term gains of hosting a corporate event:
Familiarity: People see you on social and digital media, but value seeing you in person. Hospitality events strengthen relationships in a way digital cannot, through face-to-face interaction.Approachable brand: By meeting clients at your event, you put your name to your brand/business, deepening your relationship with them and strengthening loyalty.
Unique customer experience: An event is memorable and valued. It will shape their perception of your company positively. They are more likely to remember you over a competitor.
Added value: You are giving them something beyond what they expect from you or paid for, which rewards their loyalty.
Client referrals: A great opportunity to remind people of your services, what else you do and deepen the trust they have in you to then recommend you to others.
Personal relationships: Client events show your interest in building personal as well as business relationships.
Word of mouth: It’s the cheapest and most trusted form of promotion. Say no more…!
Acquisition v Retention: The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% (Marketing Metrics).
Informal setting: This provides clients the opportunity to get to know you rather than focussing on business, which they would at an appointment or other times they see you.
First impressions: You will know most of your clients but they may bring partners etc that you haven’t already met, so you are selling yourself and your own business to these new people too.
Stronger relationships: Clients spend more if the relationship is stronger. They will not shop around as they are loyal to you, as long as this relationship is maintained.
The cost: The cost of corporate hospitality pales in comparison to the lifetime value of a key client. Entertaining a client demonstrates your continued commitment to the relationship and signifies their continuing special status to your business. It is also the perfect gesture to thank a client for their loyalty.
Differentiating your business: The event will make your company stand out. Competitors aren’t doing this kind of event – tailor it for your audience.
Networking: Your clients can meet each other, compare services they have had from you and even make business relationships with one another. If they meet a key client at your event, they will remember it, further strengthening your relationship and their loyalty.Melinda, like many small business owners is busy building her business and without experience or know-how in organising events, turned to Izzy PR for help to set it up and run it on the day.
Melinda and I had met earlier that year at a networking event and we began work on building the Quartz brand.
Planning the event started in September for the November 7th party – you don’t need that much time to turn it around, but enough to give people notice when you send out the invites.
Melinda said: “I can only begin to try to express how happy I was with Izzy PR's organisation and production of my business's family fun day which I invited my clients and their children to, along with business associates. I would recommend Sarah at Izzy PR without hesitation to anyone planning any event. She was professional, organised, worked to a budget, friendly, thought of things I would never have and kept up the enthusiasm and energy on the project. Make sure your investment in an event is maximised - her cost was just 8% of the overall cost and I am absolutely certain that Sarah's expertise in sourcing suppliers and stock she saved me much more than this.
Sarah ran things on the day. I just had to turn up and enjoy, not getting involved with anything. Sarah also took care of social media photos after, so a job I didn't have to worry about in my existing diary.”
Business generated from the event covered the cost of the event within just a few months!
If you are running your own event, Sarah from Izzy PR has created a handy checklist which will help you to ensure everything is covered: DOWNLOAD IZZY PR'S CORPORATE EVENT CHECKLIST
...........................................Sarah Hawes, journalist of 16 years, hopped the fence to PR seven years ago.
"I specialise in working with small and medium sized businesses looking to launch their brand, raise/improve their profile or move their marketing to the next level. Many of the clients I work with are busy building their business and just want to have the PR and marketing side taken care of by someone else. If you’re planning an event for either business or pleasure, Izzy PR can help you with planning, organising and/or running on the day. The level of involvement is up to you; advisory to fully running your event. Just get in touch to discuss your requirements."