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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Business After Hours
11/8/2012 at 1:54 PM ET
I am trying to gather ideas for a business after hours event that we will be hosting in Jan. I know that we need food and drinks, but I am trying to determine if we need anything else. I also want to make it a fun and memorable event. Here are the stats that may be helpful:
We are a home health care company in Maine
I don't know how many people plan on attending the event.
We have over 400 employees (of those only about 20 are office staff who will be attending the event).
Our goal is to connect with other businesses and professionals that may lead to referral sources and advertising oportunities.
Of you have any advice, please let me know.
11/8/2012 at 2:50 PM
Send out a questionnaire or a postcard. Give them four choices and a box to put their own ideas. You have just enough time - then it really will be what they want. You will also get a rough idea of how many people want to come (again, ask 'em!).
11/8/2012 at 5:04 PM
Just a few more questions:
Where will the event be held? What is your invitee profile? Will it be invitation only or open invitation? How many people are planning for "food and drink?"
11/9/2012 at 6:07 AM
I have hosted a few biz after hours. Plan a few table top displays --like you would do a trade show. Have a medicare specialist available. Have informal tours of your facility. Almost everyone in that room is either dealing with or will deal with a decision in home health care. We are with my aging mom in law. Have the ability to do a email sign up so when they are dealing with it, you'll be top of mind.
Sell Well and Prosper tm
11/9/2012 at 7:48 AM
The event is being held in our office building. We are locking our records department with any private information in it. We are opening our building up for people to tour, as it is a new building, with a primary focus on our training space.
It is open invitation, so any Chamber of Commerce member can attend. We do not know how many people will come, but attendance to these events is usually 100-200 people.
We have not planned the food yet, we are still in the initial stage of planning. If you have ideas on what kind of food we should serve, please let me know. We really want it to be a stand out event that people will talk about afterwards.
11/9/2012 at 8:23 AM
I think one way to think about your target market is to separate people who are in the medical field (doctors, nurses, physical therapists, social workers) from other local businesspeople. But if you are going to have 420 of your own employees, I think they will vastly outnumber any local businesspeople who might stop by.
One thing you might consider: break up the day into two events. Schedule a very nice open house during the day, and market this to area businesses. People are busy... I think they would prefer to have an excuse to leave work early and visit your event rather than spend one of their precious evenings mingling with your home health workers. And even if you were successful in attracting hundreds of local businesspeople to an evening event, will you really be able to control the message delivered by 400 of your employees?
In the evening, put on a nice program for your employees. After all, do you really want hundreds of your employees meeting with competitive companies, making their own networking contacts, and saying, who knows what to local businesses?
11/9/2012 at 8:36 AM
Although we have 400 employees, only about 20 will be attending the event. The event is scheduled through the local Chamber of Commerce, so the date and time are set.
11/9/2012 at 1:19 PM
sorry, thanks for the clarification.
11/9/2012 at 1:30 PM
if this is a part of a series of events sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce, you might consider contacting some previous hosts of these events. I have been to just one or two of this sort of event, and the ones that I attended were focused more on getting to know other chamber members and one-on-one networking rather than more aggressive marketing. I like the idea of some tabletop displays, and I would encourage you to consider some advertising specialties. You might also want to schedule some sort of a training session for your 20 employees, so that you have a consistent message and approach, and so you can have a way to capture contact names and rumors of opportunities. Good luck.
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