Planning the perfect business open house

open house
Photo Credit: travis manley

There are some pretty good reasons to consider having a business open house.

In general, it’s a form of advertising, but it can go beyond that. Having a business open house allows you to connect with the community, network and potentially identify valuable new opportunities.

Open houses also put a face to your business, which can be something that sets you apart in the digital era.

There are different ways to plan a promote a business open house, including the following.

Use Signage

When everyone in business is in an era of being focused almost solely on social media and digital marketing, its easy to overlook the value of traditional forms of marketing such as signage. If you’re going to be hosting a business open house, your goal is to get people in the community to attend and potential customers, so put signage where they’ll see it.

You might use marketing like feather flags or other forms of attention-grabbing signage to not only let people know your business is there but also that you’re having an event.

Choose the Right Date

When you’re in the planning stage, you want to choose the date of your event carefully.

If you choose a date that’s too close to a holiday, you risk many people being out of town or busy doing other things.

Think about what happens locally in your community, as well.

For example, if you have a college or university in your city and everyone attends their sporting events, consider this.

Also do some research and see if any other major community events are occurring on the date you’re considering.

Know Why You Want to Have an Open House

The general reason to have an open house is to have people come to your business, but if you want a well-organized and successful event, you may need to go a little deeper than that with your reasoning.

For example, maybe your goal is to get prospects or perhaps to introduce a new product or service.

Whatever it is, having a goal can help you streamline the planning for the rest of your event.

When you’re determining why you want to have an open house, you also need to go ahead and have a budget that you can realistically stick to.

Think about the parts of your business that you want to resonate with your open house visitors the most so that those can be front and center.

It’s Okay to Have a Gimmick

The term gimmick is one that can have a negative connotation but if you can come up with something fun or even a little quirky to get people in the door of your business, what’s the harm in that?

Maybe you have a member from a local sports team there or perhaps a theme that will draw people any other major community events are occurring.

Ultimately the goal is getting people to come to your open house and see what you offer as a business and if that means you exercise some creativity, then, by all means, go for it.

Sometimes a way to get people to attend isn’t necessarily a gimmick but is compelling—make it family-friendly.

Having kids attend the event can be a natural ice breaker, and it can make parents more likely to attend if they don’t have to get a sitter and the event will have activities their kids are interested in.

Incentivize People to Attend

No matter what your business is or what your goal with an open house might be, one thing is certain—people like free things. You want to incentivize people to come to your open house, although you want to be strategic with how you incentivize them.

Think about your targeted customer or audience and then consider what would be most relevant to them.

Maybe it’s food and wine, or perhaps it’s discounted or free products or services.

Outsource Help

During a business open house, your focus and the focus of your staff should be on interacting with attendees and letting them know about your business.

You can’t be the one handing out food and drinks or dealing with parking issues.

Outsource help during the event so that people can take care of these tasks and you can be more strategic with how you spend your time.

Finally, make sure you advertise the event. Send out email blasts, spread the word on social media and do it all well in advance of the event so people can plan to attend.

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