Putting together a big social event for your startup can seem like more trouble than it is worth, especially as you are busy working in, and on, your business. However, your community, customers, and investors need to know what you are up to and who is working with you to make it happen.
Define a Theme
Why are you hosting an event? Did you move to a new building, launch a new line of goods, or increase your service offerings? Big changes are worthy of big celebrations. Do what it takes to get your big product changes, service improvements and location changes announced with some fanfare.
You will need to focus your fanfare. Consider creating a logo or a themed image about your big change and find ways to utilize the image. If your industry has a trade journal or your city has a business reporter, share the info early and try to get a blurb you can blow up into visual reminders of the work that you are doing. Keep this big improvement at the center of your promotion.
Entrepreneurs are seldom linear. Instead of focusing on just one path, entrepreneurs see many options. While this can be profitable, it is not good for producing organized promotional events. As early as possible, you need a structure for the event to keep it from becoming frenetic with information.
If there is even a chance that you might be the problem, appoint someone else to be in charge of the event. This may mean hiring someone, as getting your employees to even gently remind you that your great idea is off topic can be a challenge. If you have an assistant who can push back on ideas that do not fit the theme, put them in charge.
The event leader will need to put folks in charge of different facets of the event. This could be with the help of event booking software and should focus on skillset.
Get someone who is extremely practical on the ground early to
point out basic challenges. If your event will be outside, you may need golf carts from the parking lot and porta-potties. If the event is in a brand new building, you may need flashlights and hard hats. If you are showing off a new tool in your manufacturing facility, you may need safety goggles for one hundred guests.
Book Time to Check the Tech
How will you be presenting? If you are putting on a display of your new software, get in the space early to check
- power access
- seating for visibility
Making sure that everyone can see what you are promoting and can hear what you are explaining is critical. If you are wearing a microphone for the event, get there early and practice. Depending on what you are wearing, gestures such as pointing at a screen can be noisy as fabric slides against fabric.
Aligning the microphone correctly can reduce this noise risk, but without a rehearsal, you will now know the best way to clip on your lavalier. If you prefer to wear a headset mic, make sure it works with your glasses, especially if you are prone to taking them off when talking
Someone is going to spill something. Your tech is going to freeze up. Your honored guest is going to get lost on the way to the venue and the caterer is going to forget something. Stay loose.
Your reaction to things going wrong will say a lot about your ability to respond to challenges, which will say a lot about your ability to pivot in the marketplace. Your event does not have to be perfect to present you in a very good light. In fact, how you handle glitches may give your potential customers even more confidence in your skills.
Running a small business can be extremely rewarding and exciting, but your ability to tackle big projects and run with new ideas may not serve in the world of event planning. Trying to keep your ideas confined may make you a little bonkers. Be ready to hand this project off to a problem solver who works well within a frame and give them the time to do the job.