Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Events – know when and how to host them

Hosting an event can often intimidate an ag. business owner/operator. The list of concerns can range from where to direct overflow parking, to having enough staff, to what event would customers even be interested in attending? Certainly, it would be a shame for an event to not live up to customers’ expectations – which can negatively impact your business. As the saying goes “anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

So, what events could you host? Are there particular products that your business can tie-in with: wineries and harvest parties, growers who sell their strawberries and strawberry festivals, etc? Do you celebrate your “grand re-opening” each year? Are there particular anniversaries (1st anniversary, 5 years, 20, 100…) that are monumental for your business? Invite your customers to celebrate with you. Is there a charity that you like to support that could benefit from proceeds from admission, sales, and a raffle? What about hosting an event for your top customers? What better way to show your appreciation than to single them out and host something in their honor.

Don’t feel that you have to go it alone. Involve other complementary businesses. They can be vendors and purchase floor space where they can sell products or they can even co-host the event. If you have the space, bring customers to your location but come to an agreement with other businesses that they will supply employees who will help in the planning, day-of, and clean-up. Splitting the costs could make a first time event more palatable.

As you develop your ideas for events, keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to increase revenue. So, when putting the list to a vote, give stronger consideration to those that make sense for your business, that are likely to increase foot traffic and bring in new customers, and that you and your staff can “get behind.” If you don’t have faith in your idea, the event is likely to not have the impact you had hoped.

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