Attract more people to your Christmas event with our selection of top tips.
Make your Christmas event stand out
Christmas is the perfect excuse to hold a corporate event to promote your brand/product, or just to schmooze with clients, yet it is also a highly competitive time. You’re up against party season, shopping season, and general ‘jolly’ season – Christmas party hangovers cost UK businesses £740 million in 2012. So, when it comes to creating the perfect Christmas event, how can you ensure that yours is the hottest ticket in town?
Do something different
A Christmas event is a Christmas event, right? Wrong. If you want people to take time out of their busy schedules to attend, arrange something more inspired than just a swanky dinner with dancing. Investigate awe-inspiring or intriguing quirky venues and devise a theme with wow-factor, with activities on offer for all. Enlisting the help of experts can ensure that you come up with an idea and create an experience which reflects your brand and who you are. If you want people to talk about your event and, by extension about your company, dare to be different; aim to create a memorable event that will live on in their minds for all the right reasons.
When it’s time to contact your potential guests, create a sense of intrigue and prestige around your event by promoting it through a mini-marketing campaign of its own. Think outside the box and use your creativity; approach the planning just as if you were devising a major campaign for a new product or service. Send out teasers and clues to intrigue and tempt your invitees, before the final big reveal as to what the event actually is. Originality and mystery are irresistible.
When it comes to your actual invitation, it’s time to go all out in your email marketing design. Make your invitation personal, make it quirky, make it sophisticated, make it interactive . . . How about a live countdown timer to the big event? Or include a competition or challenge within your invitation to really grab your invitee’s attention. This way, you’re creating an invitation experience that is much more memorable than a simple RSVP, which is easily ignored.
Click-through rates on mobile devices rose 26% in the first week of December 2012 compared to the average for normal shopping periods (a 5% increase on the same holiday period in 2011). Be mindful of the fact that people are likely to be on the move during this busy time and more likely than ever to check their emails via mobile device. So, whatever the style of your invitation, tailor your email marketing design accordingly and make it really easy for your invitees to click ‘yes please’ from wherever they are.
Invite more than one person per company
We’ve all been there – those awkward solo corporate events that you dread, where you loiter around the bar willing anyone you know, just anyone, to walk in. Budgets are tight, it’s true, but, if you really want a certain client, or prospective client, at your event, make it easy for them. Send them a ‘plus one’ invitation or, better still, invite a couple of their colleagues along too. Now is the perfect time to grow your marketing database.
As the big day nears, enticing reminder emails are important too.
Don’t peak too early
Timing is everything. Be sensitive to the fact that people don’t really like to have Christmas rammed down their throats in mid-October. Tailor your invitation campaign accordingly and steer clear of overtly seasonal imagery and wording until late November (or preferably December) at the earliest.
To do list
To create the right level of buzz, and ensure great attendance at your Christmas event, make sure you:
- Think outside the box when it comes to organising your venue, theme and activities.
- Create a mini-marketing campaign to promote your event, not simply one-off RSVP invitations.
- Go all out on your email marketing design and really push the creative boundaries.
- Make it super-easy for your clients to interact with (and say ‘yes’ to) your invitations.
- Think of the event as an opportunity to grow your marketing database.
- Don’t bombard your client list with the Christmas spirit too early.