How to Plan a Party That Means Business
Google, “How to grow your business,” and you’ll get buzzwords like “sales funnel,” “strategic partnerships,” and “market penetration.” One that’s often overlooked, however, is human connection: A well-designed event is a great way to introduce yourself to new clients. Lexie Applebaum Smith has been producing conferences, galas, and events around the world for two decades, and she says events can bring new people to your practice, and solidify relationships with existing clients.
“Hosting events can be a perfect introduction to your brand, helping to showcase your business to potential new clients,” Lexie said. “It’s also a great way to say ‘thank you’ and deepen the relationship with your current clients. When done right, they are the perfect way to reach a new audience in a fun and meaningful way.”
Lexie’s Ultimate Planning Checklist
Before you book the caterer and blast out invites, Lexie recommends thinking about what you’re trying to accomplish. You want to be SMART, setting goals for your event that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
“Unless there are specific financial or attendance goals for a particular event, success is almost always subjective in my opinion,” she said. That means your return on investment (ROI) could be through sales, attendance, social media engagement, surveys, media coverage, or something else, but you need to define it before you get started.
Lexie suggests kicking off the planning process with 10 questions.
- Why are you hosting this event?
- What are your objectives and how will you meet them?
- What type of audience are you hoping to attract?
- How will you reach your audience?
- Where will you hold the event?
- What’s the timing?
- What’s your budget?
- How will you create the right event atmosphere for your objectives (food, beverage, demonstrations, entertainment, etc.)?
- How will you engage the attendees once they arrive?
- What will your engagement be AFTER the event?
Once you’ve answered those questions, set a timeline for planning the details, and stick to it. If planning isn’t your thing, or you’re too busy helping your clients look their best, hire an event planner.
“It’s our job to take care of all the details so you can focus on building and further boosting your business,” Lexie explained. “The right event planner will make your life easier and save you time and money!”
After the Party
When your guests have left, and you’ve had some time to decompress, it’s time for reflection. Did your event help you achieve your SMART goals?
“If you did any sort of post-event survey—even 2-3 questions—take a look at that feedback,” Lexie said. “It’s important to not only look at what you and your team view as wins and losses, but also the attendee perception.”
The final step is calculating that ROI. Often, it’s difficult to pin down that value, so consider offering a promotion card to help you identify new clients that discovered you through your event, or new services that your existing clients may have learned about during your party
Aesthetics is a relationship-driven industry, and events are a relationship-driven way to root yourself in a community and create meaningful connection. Looking to make a splash in a new location or introduce a new team member at your practice? It may be time to start planning a party.