Business After 5
Jul 17, 2015
Are you interested in hosting a Chamber sponsored networking event? The Chamber works with 10 members each year, taking a break for July and August, to hold a monthly event. A different member hosts each month at their business/store/office to showcase who they are and what they do. It's an opportunity to give tours, educate people, connect with new contacts and reconnect with colleagues.
We’ve put together some ideas/tips/tricks for you as you plan your Business After 5 event. Also included, are several requirements of you as a host business. Together in partnership with the Chamber we can ensure that your event is a success!
What the Chamber will do to help market your Business After 5 event:
- We will distribute your event information in the monthly newsletter (300 recipients)
- You will be expected to design and provide us with an invitation (PDF, JPEG) so that we can easily post and distribute. If you need examples, they can be sent to you upon request.
- We will include event information in the mid-month Member email (230 Members)
- We will post your BA5 event on our website in the Events Calendar. This posting will include your invitation in PDF and/or JPEG format
- We will use Social Media in the weeks leading up to create interest and generate a buzz. You can help by making sure that you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to make the posts easier to share and easier for us to interact with you around the event.
- We will attend your event to ensure that there is an adequate representation from our Chamber Board of Directors.
- If you plan on collecting RSVPs for your event, you will be responsible for receiving them and tracking them.
What you will be expected to do:
- Organize refreshments
- We suggest a door prize of some kind (also a good way for you to collect business cards from new Members and track who was in attendance) A registration table may be the best way to do this, with a host situated at your entrance
- Display any marketing materials you choose
- You and/or staff should be on hand to greet, mingle and answer questions about your business.
- Send out your own personal invitations – the Chamber is not solely responsible for the attendance of your event
- Put some thought into being memorable, and have fun with it!
1. Plan to have a theme, special sale, promotion, etc. along with your BA5 event:
-One host uses their BA5 as a client appreciation event. You can invite all of your clients that you serve to come and join you along with Chamber Members and Board Directors.
-Hold an exclusive sale during your BA5 event to attract more traffic.
-If you’ve recently renovated your space, moved somewhere new but aren’t holding an official ‘Grand Opening’, use your BA5 to introduce your fellow Chamber Members and the general public to your new office, store, etc.
2. Think about different formats:
Most hosts use an open format for their events with a come and go mentality – this works really well if folks are only able to pop in for a portion of the event. An alternative would be to have a small presentation included. Do you have a new project/product? Is there an announcement you’d like to create some buzz around? Maybe you can host tours throughout the event. If you have a larger space, appoint specific staff to take guests through the operation and explain who does what. You can even partner! If two hosts want to go together this is a great idea. The reach of contacts will be greater and the event will appeal to a broader range of attendees.
3. Don’t forget about the media!
If you do have something significant happening in your business in conjunction with your Business After 5 event, don’t be afraid to send out a press release to local media.
4. Invite everyone!
Call those who you particularly want to be there and personally invite them. Who are the ‘connectors’ who are good in this kind of environment and can help you? Once they commit, ask if they have a guest they could bring along.
Create flyers with your information and pass them out to everyone who goes through your business in the weeks leading up to the event.
-Family and Friends
-Employees and spouses
-Current and potential customers
Who helped get your business off the ground?
-Other business advisors/Investors