Online events don’t have the same thrill for your local business customers.
In-person events are an excellent option, especially for local business owners with meeting spaces or shops.
The itch to break free is strong after being cooped up for so long. I want to share with you how you can pull off a successful in-person event like a pro.
For my client, local business owners, I have found immense value in connecting them with their customers in person to be highly valuable to business growth and community building.
But a Live in-personal event takes a good amount of planning and preparation — and there’s also a lot going on behind the scenes before the event starts that you might not think of.
The good news is that I’ve got my clients’ virtual events laid out to a T, and I’m sharing my top tips on hosting your guests in person and creating an experience to remember.
How To Plan It Out
Goals: define your ideal audience. What can you teach them about your product or service that addresses a pain point and create an experience around it?
What do you want the end goal to be: New clients? Grow your email list? Sign up X number of new clients? Sell $X amount of product?
Then choose the type of event you’d like to host:
Workshops. Create a workshop where your customers can come DIY something in your shop/space. Create a do-it-yourself plant care workshop, journal workshop,
Product Hosting. Host your products in another business’s storefront: coffee shop, clothing store, garden center, cafe, yogurt shop, or retail shop.
Speaking/Educational. Host speaking events at your location if you have a physical location. A fitness center can bring in a certified nutritionist to discuss meal planning. A financial planner can host a lunch or cocktail hour for young families about protecting and building wealth. Incorporate a wine/beer or food tasting event.
Create an Experience
Workshops naturally create a fun experience that people look forward to attending.
However, a lecture or speaking event may be a little harder sell.
People don’t truly want to sit through a lecture or product, even when the topic is about something they are interested in learning, they will sit through it, but a lecture isn’t exciting. It’s not an event people get excited about and look forward to, it feels more like an obligation or something they “need” to do.
However, you can create a lecture event that is also exciting.
Adding incentives like a cocktail hour, free food, giveaways, low-cost headshots are more interesting and fun than a simple lecture. Make your event something people look forward to attending, where they can mingle, grab a bite and learn something.
Try hosting these events somewhere fun and unusual – a local museum, and outdoor venue that is well known in your area.
Just like your business, try setting your event apart from all the rest! Create an event that has a unique spin.
Ways to Make Events Exciting:
- Could you give it an interesting name?
- Stimulate the senses: sound, feel, vision, smell, taste:
- Host food
- Have beer and wine
- Give something away
- Use Aesthetics in your space – lighting, decor, take them outside, create an ambiance (get away from the boring office and conference room)
- Bring your enthusiastic energy – energy is contagious!
- Host workshops outdoors or creates a comfortable, inviting space in your shop
- Host your event in a fun or unusual place (museum, beautiful venue, on a farm, in a field at a historic location)
- Focus on an entertainment event (cooking classes, wellness, arts, crafts)
Remember a time you attended an event and were happy to mingle and hang around a little longer than usual? What about that event sticks with you? How can you incorporate that feeling into your event? Hint, it’s likely tied back to aesthetics, how you felt at the event, and how many of your senses were engaged.
Now the hard part is the planning. But don’t worry, I’ve done much of the heavy lifting for you. Let’s start planning and promoting! Download our event planning spreadsheet to get started.