Have you ever considered hosting an event to promote your small business? Like most small business owners, you probably assume that events like these are only for companies with big budgets. After all, planning and hosting an event can take a significant amount of time and money.
However, businesses of any size can organize an event that will increase brand awareness, improve sales, and grow their customer base. In fact, even if you only have a small marketing budget to work with, hosting an event can benefit your company in a big way. Here are seven benefits of hosting an event for your small business.
1. Build Brand Awareness
As a small business, how well do you think your target audience knows your brand? Are they even aware that you exist? The key to expanding your reach, building loyalty among existing customers, and increasing sales is to make sure your target audience knows who you are, what you offer, and how your products or services can benefit them.
Why else do you think companies spend thousands of dollars on marketing, events and promotional items, such as key rings, tote bags, pens, and t-shirts with their logos on them? It’s because they want their brand to be front-and-center in their customers’ faces so that when it comes to making a purchase or needing a service. When hosting an event, use personalized banners with your company’s logo on them or other branded swag to help spread awareness of your brand so your customers will remember you long after the event is over.
2. Interact with Customers
According to a study performed by Gensler, customers are more likely to make purchases and work with companies that they have a personal connection to. When businesses are able to forge an emotional connection with potential customers, those customers will be more receptive to future marketing campaigns and more forgiving of price increases, when products are out of stock, and any other problems that can arise.
Hosting an event is a great way to interact face-to-face with existing customers and establish relationships with new ones. Your event doesn’t have to be extravagant to connect with your customers and build strong relationships. Once you have a chance to reach out and interact with your customers directly, they’ll begin to see you more as a person they want to support rather than just a business.
3. Open Up Networking Opportunities
Not only does hosting an event allow you to meet and engage with your customers, but it also provides you with an opportunity to make new business contacts. Having the right contacts can benefit your business in a multitude of ways. For example, it opens up a variety of marketing opportunities, connects you to local businesses and businesses in other areas, and makes it easier to get the supplies you need at a lower price.
What’s more, it also gives you the opportunity to expand. For instance, if your business grows and you need to open up another location, your contacts from other areas can help you learn the market and put you in touch with others who will be able to help you operate as efficiently as possible.
4. Increase in Revenue
For small businesses especially, events can create a significant increase in sales and cash flow. Not only can ticket purchases for attending the event generate additional revenue, but so do the connections you make during the event. New customers will not only be making purchases, but they’ll also be sharing their experiences with your brand on social media and will likely recommend you to their friends and family, growing your customer base even more!
5. Generate Publicity
As a small business owner, you should always be thinking of ways to promote your company and get your brand in the spotlight. Hosting a highly anticipated event is a great way to do just that, especially if your event has a certain theme or you plan on inviting industry thought leaders to speak at your event. Local news outlets, newspapers, and radio stations will often pick up events and broadcast them to their followers, which can help with promotion. Pro tip: Write a press release and send it out to targeted contacts prior to your event.
6. Improve SEO
One of the most important factors when it comes to hosting a successful event is promotion. Using the internet and social media is a popular way for businesses to get the word out about their events. Put an announcement up on your website that lets your customers know that you’ll be hosting an event and when and write a few blog posts detailing what they can expect if they attend.
Have local websites write up their own announcements and use social media to promote your event and get people talking. When search engines see people talking about a business, this can improve their organic search rankings—something many businesses pay a lot of money for.
7. Have Fun
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of hosting an event to promote your small business is that people generally have a great time. If attendees enjoy themselves, they’re more likely to remember you, purchase from you and recommend you to their friends and family. Events can also be fun for your employees, boosting morale and improving retention. During these events, employees have a chance to build relationships with their co-workers and interact with colleagues they don’t normally get to interact with at the office.
Small Business, Big Impact
Hosting an event can benefit your business in so many different ways and it doesn’t have to be a big event to get the attention you’re looking for. Bringing your customers, staff, vendors and partners together can help you build relationships, gain trust among your customers and cultivate a strong image of your brand.
About the Author
Leslie Pierce is the VP of Marketing for Half Price Banners. She has a demonstrated history of working in the wholesale industry and has been with her company for over 10 years. She is skilled in luxury goods, sales, retail, store management, and sales operations.