Event Hosting 101

Summertime has arrived – and that means plenty of events, socials and fairs for you to participate in and market your business.  But, there is another option – hosting your own event!  When you host an event, you are in the driver’s seat, ensuring everything fits your needs, from schedule, budget and the overall success of the event.

However, as with anything, there is a correct way of putting together an event so that you get the most rewards from your time.  Whether it’s planning ahead or selecting the best event location, follow these tips to ensure your event-hosting is a true success story!

Location, Location, Location

The first option to host your event is obvious: your store front!  Not only will people already know where it is located, it will allow your company to remain consistently branded since you will be at a location that is only associated with your business.  But, take a step back and ask yourself a couple of questions: does my store front location get a lot of traffic?  Are the people stopping by inquiring about new services?  If the answer is no, you might want to partner up with another local business that does get a lot of consumer traffic to help you host your event.  Consider having it at a local pet store and having a ‘Dog Days of Summer’ event or at a local mall or shop where you know there will be a lot of people coming in and out.  You can also see if your location partner will assist with an incentive for your customers for each sale made, like gift cards or a discount on purchases.

Plan (and Budget) Ahead

One of the biggest mistakes we often see in the DOW Electronics’ Marketing and Advertising Department is not planning or budgeting ahead.  Before you get the ball rolling, take a minute (or a few) to write down everything you will need to account for with your event materials and budget.  Items you may not account for, like food and drinks, promotional items, nametags, event advertising and signage, are all vital to the success of any event and can cost extra if you procrastinate, so account for everything.  And, if you are having a family-focused event, make sure to have some games, and small promotional items that won’t break the bank and will keep the attention of children.  The planning and budgeting will help you in the long run – on the day of the event you will be fully prepared and focused on selling, and afterwards, you can provide true tracking on cost-per-sale to determine the success of your event.

Advertising is a MUST

In planning, advertising your event is a must!  Print and radio are great options for you to get the word out that you are hosting an event, but why not send out an invitation?  Get a list of all your potential and current clients, or those former clients you are trying to bring back to the store, and personally invite them!  Whether it’s an email blast, a physical invitation or a video invitation on YouTube, your invitees will appreciate the personal touch and are more likely to attend.  Other ways to let your community know about your event include submitting a press release, inviting a radio or television station to do a live remote at your event, and social media.

Remember, hosting your own event has endless advantages, so make sure you utilize your time and efforts to receive the maximum benefits from your event.  With most of your work falling within the planning phase, it will take a little extra time to make sure all aspects are accounted for, but will pay off in the long run!  And, don’t forget to contact the DOW Electronics’ Marketing and Advertising Department to submit your event and advertising for co-op preapproval, or for help with event items such as tents, banners and promotional giveaways.  We are here to assist you with all your event and advertising needs and can be reached at 1.800.627.2920 or by emailing adv@dowelectronics.com

What are your event hosting tips?  What works best for your business?  We want to know – comment and share with the DOW Electronics Marketing and Advertising Department!


Are you ready to dive right into your event?

Image: US Navy

Now that you are ready to participate in some events, here are a few little tips that can help your event experience go a long way. These event tips are guaranteed to draw a crowd to your booth and assist you in gathering sales leads. Keep in mind that these tips are meant to generate an audience, but you and your representatives should ultimately be making the effort to drive sales with every encounter. Try a few of these ideas and watch as they guide you towards a successful event!

If you don’t already own one, think about purchasing a lead generation box. These are perfect for holding all of your raffle entries. DISH branded Lead Generation Boxes are available for purchase through the DOW Electronics Website under Tradeshow/Event Items. Once you have purchased your lead generation box, simply print out the Lead Generation Form and the Lead Box Header Template (also available under Tradeshow/Event Items on the Dow website) and you are ready to start receiving your first leads.

Another great idea to help generate leads is to advertise that you will have a drawing, giving those who enter a chance to win a special prize. Not only will this spark the interest of people walking by that are looking to win something, but it also provides you with contact information for potential customers. Let everyone that participates know when you will be having your drawing and that they should stick around to claim their prize. If they are interested in winning the prize, then you are guaranteed at least two opportunities to interact with them– first when they enter their information and again when they come back to see the results of the drawing. Make the best out of both of these opportunities.

You can use the information from the lead forms that you gather at your event to create a mailing list of potential clients. Even if you do not send out your newsletters and only make them available in your showroom or at events, make sure that all information is up to date. Keep track of all of DISH’s promotions and disclaimer expiration dates as they are subject to change and you do not want to provide customers with incorrect or outdated information. Have newsletters available on your table with all of your contact information. It’s a great idea to have your business card either stapled to the newsletter or in a business card holder nearby.

Sending newsletters to both your current and potential customers is a great way to keep them updated with all of the products, services, and promotions going on at your store. A well written and eye-catching newsletter will not only keep your customers informed about your business, but it also serves as a constant reminder of the positive interaction that they had with you and shows them that you care enough about their business to keep in touch. When they are in the market for another product you offer or know someone who is, yours will be the company that comes to mind! Word of mouth is always a great means of advertising and the message will be stronger if your customer has a newsletter to pass along to their friends. Kick it up a notch by offering a referral program to really get your current customers spreading the word about your business!

Let’s face it! Who attends an event or trade show and does not build up an appetite? Furthermore, who is not looking for a free snack?! This is the perfect chance for you to get people to stop and to strike up a conversation with them. Draw them in with the delicious smell of fresh buttery popcorn or help them cool down with a nice cold beverage. Your snacks may vary, but make sure that they are snacks that are easy to prep and low maintenance. You can purchase a popcorn machine at your local super center and DISH Coolers are now available on the DOW Electronics Website under Tradeshow/Event Items.

**Consult a representative or the rules and regulations on your event contract to ensure that it is okay for you to give away food and drinks.

Videos & Entertainment
As a satellite TV provider, you should be prepared to show your product’s capabilities. If you are selling Hopper & Joey products, this is the perfect time for you to display how the system works. Make sure that whoever is conducting the demonstrations is thoroughly knowledgeable about the product. Any programing you display during demonstrations should be family friendly– you never know who could be approaching your booth!

It’s always smart to bring backup cables, surge protectors, and other devices just in case something goes wrong. You should test your product to make sure that it is working correctly at least 30 minutes to an hour before your show. This will ensure that if there are any errors that you are able to have them resolved before the show begins. It would be unfortunate if you had to spend most of your time troubleshooting while the event is in progress.

Special Deals
Enough said! In this economy, people are increasingly excited at the mention of a deal. Let them know what you can offer them. This can be as simple as a gift card or a voucher for store credit. You can even send notices to your current customers encouraging them to upgrade their purchase and the ability to receive a gift card with their upgrade. If you are creating an ad that includes the potential to receive a gift card and plan to submit for a co-op reimbursement program, be sure to consult the appropriate Co-op Guidelines to ensure that you are following all necessary steps for reimbursement.

Remember the success of your event depends on you and your representatives! Do not limit yourself to these tips as there are tons of great ways to generate leads for your business. Find the techniques that work best for you and expand them over time. Use these tips as stepping-stones and in no time you’ll be generating the business that you always knew you could! Make sure to share your event tips in the comments below, we want to know what’s working for you!