Marketing Idea #46: Throw a Party

Marketing Ideas Throw a Party

Whether a holiday or a “client appreciation” party, getting your clients together in the same room and collectively thanking them for their loyal patronage can help you make clients (and friends) for life. Depending on the nature of the organization you operate, you may also have key staff members available to assist with mingling and mixing.

Variation: If you have a large organization, you may separate the employee party from the client party, but certainly both are worth having. Employee parties offer the opportunity for internal marketing; client parties, external.

Marketing Idea #43: Tips to Make Your Grand Opening Successful

Marketing Ideas Grand Opening

To make your grand opening successful:

  • schedule it during high-traffic times (if your location allows for it),
  • throw a big grand opening sale,
  • offer food (make this appropriate to the clientele you are seeking),
  • provide a tent for seating outside,
  • send a direct or email mailing the local market,
  • offer demonstrations of products or services, and
  • invite all local business owners, press, and the local chamber of commerce for the ribbon-cutting.

Variation: Already been in business a while? Find anything to celebrate! Maybe you throw a party over being in business so many years. Or maybe you had a recent birth in the family. Or maybe you want to celebrate a key vendor or client. There are plenty of reasons to celebrate. Pick one and show people a great time.

Marketing Idea #104: Host a Field Trip

Marketing Ideas Field Trip

A great way to gain exposure and provide entertainment is to provide public tours of your facility. This is especially powerful for agriculture, arts and history, manufacturing; essentially, any place where something is grown, created or built. Try not to schedule such an event around any deadlines or busy periods you might have. Take your time with the tour to ensure your captive audience remains engaged and make sure to tailor your presentation to your audience. A class of first-graders may be more interested in learning how apple cider is made than watching giant steel presses shape red-hot bars into orthopedic implements.

Or, then again, maybe not..

Marketing Idea #54: How to be Arrested for Fundraising

Marketing Ideas Arrested for Fundraising

A number of good causes offer a “lockup” program to enlist members of the community in raising funds. The idea is to publicize a mock arrest and jailing (though you may really be handcuffed and driven to the local jail in a police car) in exchange for “bail” (contributions to the cause). The arrested then contacts the members of his own network to solicit for a set amount of funds in return for his freedom. Once bail has been made, you’re set free. If you can’t be away from your job, there’s often a “house arrest” option. Sign yourself up, and publicize it as widely as you can. You’re gaining a life experience, a wonderful story, and good karma.

Marketing Idea #52: Join an Art Hop

Marketing Ideas Art Hop

Participate in a local gallery hop, where local artists bring their wares to display at a collection of stores and businesses. Maps of participating businesses are provided, and the event is advertised throughout the community. Businesses may serve appetizers and beverages to visitors on the tour, and artists may be present to talk about their work. This may be done for free (for the exposure, sharing the expense for printing the maps, posters, and so on), or you might charge a small fee as the maps are handed out. (You would charge hoppers only once—not at each location.)

Marketing Idea #56: Conduct a Seminar

Marketing Ideas Hold a Seminar

Offer an adult education class or seminar. This may be something you conduct through a local school or university, or it could be offered through a local business association or group. Your intent is to bring value to the attendees and the program hosts and to become known.

Variation: Spread the wealth. Invite other professionals in the area to speak as well. By doing so, you offer more value to the seminar and improve your referral network. Other professionals will also be able to help in the marketing of the seminar by reaching out to their own networks.

Variation: Find a professional or celebrity speaker, and bring him in to talk about a topic that is relevant to your audience. Partner with a local hotel and business associations to provide the venue and help cover the costs.

Marketing Idea #49: Community Day

Marketing Ideas Community Day

Hold a Community Day. Offer your goods or services to your local community at a free or reduced cost. Work with other local businesses and the media to promote your event. This is a great way to give back to the community and bring in new customers who have not visited your business yet. It is also a great way to get to know your neighbors. Work with them to make Community Day a larger event, offering even more value to the community!

Marketing Idea #50: Hold a Cooking Contest

Marketing Ideas Hold a Cooking Contest

A restaurant might have a cooking contest for newly graduated local chefs. During the event, the restaurant would charge ten dollars per person to sample all the showcased dishes. Attendees must vote on which dish is the best. The dish that wins gets on the menu (which should tell the story about how the dish came to be). To make the stakes higher, the restaurant might even hire the winning chef.

Tip: This idea also works when you need an event catered and don’t have a large budget.

(Image source: Heinz.)

Marketing Idea #47: Host a Competition

Marketing Ideas Host a Competition

Host and promote a competition. You can call it “The Great ____________ Race.” Set up a small number of teams, each with a small number of participants. One team wins upon accomplishing the appropriate task you set before them. The entry fee may be the cost (or reduced cost) of your service. The grand prize can be more of your product or service, or you may find a sponsor to provide the prize(s) in exchange for promotion through the event.

Variation: Donate your product or service to a charitable cause in the winner’s name.

Marketing Idea #57: Offer Great Music

Marketing Ideas Offer Great Music

People love to hear great music, so if you would like to offer music at your next event, make sure the band is well-known and worth your audience’s attention. Nothing screams cheap like bad or inappropriate music that is forced upon would-be customers. Your band should understand your business and your clientele and be able to produce music that fits. If you pick the right band, adding it to the list of cool things to see and do at your event will be a draw.

Marketing Idea #48: Hold a Children’s Art Sale

Marketing Ideas Childrens Art Sale

Hold a children’s art sale. It may be as simple as having a local class draw on gift bags then selling those original artwork pieces to raise funds to sponsor a needy family for Christmas.

Better: A less labor-intensive way to get the same thing done would be to scan the artwork, and then create iron-on transfers of it. This allows you to sell more copies of each piece, realize greater profits, and maintain happier artists (and parents.)

Marketing Idea #55: Host an Adult Spelling Bee

Marketing Ideas Adult Spelling Bee

Host an adult spelling-bee competition to help raise money for your cause. Much like a walk-a-thon, participants are called upon to gather donations from their support network, based on the number of words they spell correctly, as opposed to donating so much money for each mile walked. Conduct the event on a weekend or evening so kids can attend and see adults sweating in the spotlight.

Tip: Pull in community leaders to make things more interesting. They will also lend wonderful support to the event.