In 2021, there has been a steady increase in the return of in person events. As an entrepreneur/small business owner, you should be taking advantage of events where you can connect with the community and promote your product/service.
Here are five steps to navigate in-person events this holiday season:
- Find events that your target demographic would be interested in attending.
For example, if you have a pet product, find an event that is pet friendly! When your product/service matches the tone of the event, it creates an experience for a customer. Stay in the know about events in your area that are a perfect fit for your business and target demographic.
- Prepare product/marketing materials to showcase at the event.
If you sell a product, make sure that you have plenty of stock to bring to the event because you never know how many sales you are going to make! If the product doesn’t end up selling at the event, you can post about the remaining pieces on social media after the event.
If you sell a service, create professional flyers (I recommend Canva—a great site for marketing materials) that detail what you offer.
For both products and services, have flyers or business cards with your social media and website information. People may be “just browsing” at an event, but if your product/service resonates with them, they may want to look you up in the future.
- Research the COVID-19 protocols for each event
Make sure that you are fully aware of the COVID-19 protocols for the event you are participating in so you can follow those guidelines and help your customers stay safe. For example, if the event requires masks, stock up on some masks that you can hand out to customers. Also, it’s a great idea to have some hand sanitizer at your booth!
- Create a booth that reflects your brand
Always remember marketing and brand recognition! Use the color palette that is part of your brand standards throughout your booth. For example, if your logo is bright blue, match that same color in the tablecloth you select for the booth. If you have an artistic brand, hang up or display art alongside your product to make people feel like they are in a store.
- Promote the event on social media
Once you book an event, share that information on all your social media platforms. A great tool to use is Facebook’s “Create an Event” feature. This allows you to add the name of your event, the location, link to the event’s website and a description. Also, once the event has been created on that platform, you can encourage friends and family members to share that event on their personal pages to create a larger audience reach. If you have a professional Facebook page, you can boost your event. When you boost an event, you pay a fee for advertising, and you can select your demographic including interests, age range, location, etc. Set the location close to where the event is occurring, so people in the area are alerted.
Although participating in your first in-person event can be overwhelming, these steps will get you off to a great start!
Wayne Goshkarian is the director of communications for Scottsdale-based Association for Entrepreneurship USA, where he assists entrepreneurs nationwide with creating, establishing and expanding their businesses.