Have you tried a business open house yet?
It’s a great way to introduce your business to the wider community, boost awareness of what you do and build goodwill with your local business partners and potential clients. If you’re not sure whether it’s for you, read on and find out more…
You might not have thought about having an open house event; perhaps you think they are just for retail businesses? Well, no. A service business like a massage clinic or spa is just as well-placed to benefit from an open house event. The purpose of holding an open house is to get to know your community members, pique the interest of potential customers locally, and encourage business associates to come and meet you. It gives people who might have been curious about what you do a chance to find out more about you personally, meet any employees, and get to know about your services while having a bite to eat and maybe a taster treatment.
You could choose to host a party for local businesses – that would be a great move for anyone wanting to open up a joint partnership with a business like a local hair salon or similar. Or you may prefer a more wide-ranging open house to bring in customers and thank your current clients at the same time.
How to organize your own open house event
If you’re a new business, make sure that everything is ready and in place before you plan your open house event. Once you’re officially open, everything is set up and ready to go, and then you can invite people to see what you’re about. Make sure that you have everything ready; you need to be fully furnished, fully stocked, decorated and looking good for the day.
- Set your budget in advance; make a list of everything you need for the event and set the money set aside to do it properly. You’re showcasing your business and want it to look its best as well as being able to demonstrate everything you can offer.
- Think about all the things you want to showcase on the day; which of your products or services do you want to promote? Arrange any products that you want to promote in a central location, and make attractive, eye-catching displays to get attention. Service-only businesses can set up tables with everything people need to know about particular services on offer; produce brochures and leaflets, offer taster demos of treatments that you offer – think about what would be interesting to the people you invite, and what you want them to know about your business.
- Before the day, create a list of timed activities. You could include a program with an introduction to you and any team members, a talk about your key services, and incentives like competitions, demos and free samples.
- Take the stress out of catering – hire someone to do the food for you so that you get to concentrate on what you’re good at. Think about the snacks and drinks you offer; if you’re a spa or wellness business you could decide to tailor your catering to healthful foods to enhance the image of the business.
How to promote your open house
Once everything is organized, get promoting the event.
- Send out an email newsletter to all of your contacts, and a printed formal invitation to a selected list of VIPs, too. A VIP invite makes people feel special and will make them more likely to attend. Make it clear that people are encouraged to bring a friend, too. Ensure that you mention the selection of free samples, any taster treatments on offer and drinks/refreshments as incentivizers.
- Advertise on your social media – use Canva.com or other simple design software to create an event banner and set up an event on Facebook. Invite your business page fans and give people the option to add themselves to the event, too.
- To capture local passing interest, display a big poster advertising the event in your window, leave leaflets in the reception area and make a big splash on your website and social media pages.
Think of the ways that you can get people through the doors after the event before you host the event. Create a list of special offers and/or discounts that are only available to visitors who attend on the day. Decide which of your services you particularly want to promote and create a voucher that you can give to people at the event. Make sure that you give it an end date too, so that you can encourage new people to book as soon as possible while they are still feeling the positive vibes from your open house.