Over the past two weeks we have hashed out all there is to know about budgets and the 5W's. Now let's go over the invitations and the SWAG or promotional items!
many times have you received one of those impersonal e-mail invites
asking for your attendance at a swanky event? Probably more than you can
remember. It is completely worth it to invest a couple hundred dollars
into actual hard copy, old fashioned, snail mail invitations! Trust me,
it will speak volumes about the seriousness of your event and show your
guests that you are willing to put in the extra effort.
we understand if this is not in your budget and since I did stress how
important it is to stay on budget, you do have another option - e-mail
invitations. I suggest that you shy away from generic and
plain e-mail invitation templates. These will not excite your guests
and will likely result in extremely low RSVP's.
web-based event-marketing tool that has graphical invitations. On the
plus side, most online event marketing tools have a registration
management on the back end - this will allow you to track who has
responded, who has opened the invitation, etc. You must be careful
though. A downside to e-mail invitations is that sometime they get
placed in people's junk email boxes. If you are not hearing from
anyone, send a follow up email from your company e-mail address asking
if they could check their junk boxes.
No matter what
format you use, hard copy invites or e-mail invites, always be sure to
include an RSVP (if this is a hard copy invite, make sure the RSVP is
already stamped and ready to be mailed - DO NOT make your guest pay for
One week before the event, call all guests
with a reminder. Many people have things come up at the last minute and
forget to decline, or feel as though it is not necessary. By calling
all guests, you will be able to hone in on your final number!
The SWAG (Promotional Items)
like the 'wedding favor', do not have a customer appreciation event
without an appreciation gift. Preferably, this gift should have your
company's logo or event branding on it. Put your creative hat on again
and look for unique items that people have not seen before. New
promotion items come out everyday!
Consider a product(s)
that your customer base will likely look at or use everyday. Also, try
to relate it back to what your company is all about. Giveaways are an
effective way to keep the name and memory of your event top of mind long
after the event is over. If you are serving a custom made signature
cocktail at your event, create a recipe card and put it inside a
cocktail glass as their gift. This will ensure that every time your
guests drink out of that glass or make that recipe, they think of your
company and your event.
Big No-No's: Flimsy t-shirts and
substandard pens and notepads! Everyone already has plenty of those. If
you are going to give away 'cheap' stuff, you are better off giving
nothing at all.
Be sure you are not giving away swag that
was distributed by your company at past events - this will make it seem
as though you are just rounding up whatever you have. Also, everyone at
your event should receive the same gift. Do not favor your biggest
clients - this will greatly irritate your average and small customer
base - something you definitely do not want to do at a customer
Next week: How to Host a Customer Appreciation Event: Additional Tips!