Do you have experience of hosting an open day?
Have you ever sat in your office, watching the world go by and wondered if people know what you actually do and whether you could help them? If you’re a hairdresser, a pet shop or a gym it is blindingly obvious what you’re all about, but for some businesses it isn’t that clear…
Andy MacGregor, Managing Director from Face for Business, said…
Whether you’re a new business or an established company, an open day is the perfect opportunity to showcase your products and services to new customers and enhance the knowledge of existing ones. We hope to run an event in the future to do just that, which will give us the chance to demonstrate our phone answering service and explain how it can be used by businesses big and small.
Putting together, and pulling off, an event that puts you firmly in the spotlight, might seem daunting, but don’t let that scare you off. An open day could be exactly what your business needs and we have some ideas to help you get it right!
Preparing and planning for your open day.
Set a Goal
If you do hold an open day, be clear about what want to achieve. Do you want to secure five new clients, make links with the local press, build your mailing list or recruit new team members? The opportunities are endless but if you want to see a return on your investment, have an achievable goal in mind.
Make a Date
Getting the date right is key to success. You need to consider holidays, local events and look at when the most convenient time for the majority of guests might be (i.e. not Monday at 9am or Friday night).
The Right Format
An all singing, all dancing event with Peter Andre and champagne might be your dream event, but if you want people to sign up to your cookery classes, is that the right approach? Small workshops, presentations, hands-on sessions, meet and greets with the CEO are all fantastic ways to engage with your guests and show them what you are all about.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Put a plan in place and cover everything from the date and team members helping out, to a photographer, name badges and goodie bags. Have a clear timetable for the event and stick to it.
Who’s on the List?
Once the date, time and location are set, send out clear, simple invitations to current and potential clients, local businesses, work contacts plus family and friends, if appropriate. Ensure there is an RSVP element and using a call answering service is a guaranteed way not to miss any questions from potential guests or requests for interviews.
If you really want to let the world know about what you do, why not ask members of the local media to come along? Send out a well written press release and if you can find a local celebrity or speaker to attend, journalists and photographers may well be more inclined to come along. If you don’t have PR person on your team, there are some great online guidelines and the FBS have some fantastic resources you might find useful.
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can all help create a buzz around your event. Launch the event online, add updates in the run up to the big day, post pictures during the event and a follow up post with images can be loaded the next day.
Keep Calm, It’s Open Day
An open day is about meeting people, making new friends and sharing your knowledge, so when you open the doors, make sure this is what is it all about. Ask people to sign in, swap business cards, offer refreshments and remember that goodie bags and incentives are always well received. Most of all, be positive, keep calm and make your customers feel welcome and happy they came.
Ensure you follow up on those new leads.
Hopefully your open day will have provided people with an insight into your business, enhanced your reputation and generated leads and sales opportunities. Harness all of this and go back to everyone who attended and say thank you. Not only is this polite but it could be the nudge needed for that big break or once in a lifetime lead. But don’t leave it too late to get in touch…
Watch this space for news of Face for Business’ Open Day
Good luck! If you can’t wait for our open day but would like to know how a telephone answering service could benefit you, please have a look around our website or call our sales team on 0333 323 1007 for a no obligation informal chat. We’re looking forward to inviting our local businesses in as we’re keen to inform and inspire them to get more out of their businesses.