At RAAS, we think about fostering community every day. How do customers connect with brands? Or, brands with partners? Or, brands with brands? One of the best ways to achieve this is through events -- just ask Apple’s SVP of retail Angela Ahrendts and brains behind 'Today at Apple.'
Live experiences that generate value and allow customers to connect with you and your products are what make physical retail so special. But first, you need a plan. Here are five things I think about before hosting an event.
Goal setting: Is the event designed for brand awareness or customer acquisition? Are we launching a new product? Or, is it an exclusive experience for VIP customers?
Audience development: Which audience segment will help us reach our goal? Target those individuals first, because we can always expand invites later.
Timing: Plan six months out (that means start planning holiday events now). For some events, promotion should start eight to six weeks in advance. Tactics like "Early Bird Tickets" create a sense of urgency amongst customers. That way, the week before the event the focus is on logistics and fine details.
Budgeting: As part of the overall marketing budget, make sure there's a line item for events. Even a small amount reserved for complimentary wine at a 'sip and shop' can go a long way.
Partnering: Combining forces with brands with like-minded audiences helps with costs and outreach, but make sure to set expectations early on about who is responsible for what.
For more planning tips, check out The Ultimate Event Checklist to Foolproof Your Planning from our friends at Eventbrite.