Closets & Cabinetry by Closet City hosted its first networking event, in our showroom in August. It was aimed at introducing local builders and contractors to the products and services a closet company can offer them.
Our designer also invited her local IFDA chapter (International Furnishings and Design Association) and members from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).
Email blasts were sent out weekly to each organization about a month or so before the event, inviting people to come tour our showrooms, enjoy refreshments, mingle with fellow contractors and interior designers, browse a mobile Hafele hardware showroom van that came especially for the event, as well as listen to a keynote presentation.
Closet City’s hosting of that NARI chapter meeting was fun and beneficial in gaining new leads and contacts. We learned quite a bit from it to aid us in holding future successful events.
6 Tips for Hosting an Event
1) If any portion of your event is to be held outdoors, have a backup plan for inclement weather; i.e. a canopy, tent, or empty warehouse where you can set up chairs, displays, food stations, etc. and still entertain your guests reasonably comfortably. Planning ahead as to where everyone should park their cars is highly recommended too!
2) Order plenty of food and have ample supplies. It’s better to have leftovers than to have late arrivals scrounging through scraps on the sandwich and cookie trays. Any extra food makes a great lunch the next day for your employees, and any extra supplies can be saved for the next event.
3) Allow for more attendees than those who registered or sent an RSVP. We anticipated about 35-40 people and had over 60 show up just from the NARI group! Fortunately we had ordered more food than we thought we would need, had plenty of extra chairs for the speaker’s presentation, and had several staff members on hand to help and answer questions.
4) Provide your attendees with more than just a tour of your showroom — something to add more fun and create interest in attending an event. Our event included a mobile display (an impressive, tricked-out van).
5) Have a backup plan in case scheduled speakers or other outside vendors aren’t able to attend as planned. The keynote speaker on Universal Design we had initially scheduled was called away unexpectedly the morning of our event. Fortunately we were able to reach out to one of our vendors to take his place that evening and do a presentation.
6) Stock up on your sales literature and business cards so there are plenty for people to take home. A nice touch would be to include some sort of “goodie” item, similar to what is handed out at a trades how. At our event, everyone went home with a couple of handy 4x6-inch notepads – displaying our logo and contact info, of course.
JoAnne Landis, graphics and marketing for Closet City.
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