Monday, June 15, 2009

Readers Comment on "Summer's Here!"

I want to update everyone with some comments that were posted in last week’s blog post, Summer’s Here! (Now what?….)". I’d posted the article (as I do with all items) on relevant LinkedIn groups I belong to as a new item; one group in particular, the PM Forum Group, generated some insights and responses worth sharing.

In response to the post:

From David Gilroy, Sales &Marketing Director at Conscious Solutions:
“Does ANYONE run events over the summer? I made the mistake of running a drinks event at our offices in Bristol during the balloon fiesta last summer. We had more staff than guest turn up...and we only have 12 people based in our office ;-( Regs....David.”

This being the first response, it of course sent me into a panic (maybe I missed the boat??)…until Michelle Beynon, Business Development Manager at Irwin Mitchell replied:
“Hi David Tricky one....drinks receptions and seminar/conferences get pushed aside during July-August as attendance does drop during these months. However, we have held successful events during these months working with the summer theme. So for instance our rounders evening followed by a barbecue goes down a will be surprised at how much your contacts/guests will join in and it can also be promoted as a family affair should they wish to bring their partners and children. KR Michelle”

Steve Wright, Business Development Director at French Duncan LLP, added:
“Agree with Michelle's comments. Summer events to coincide with events like the World Cup always attract good numbers. The Lions are on tour at the moment so another opportunity to bring clients/potential clients into your offices to watch the games on a big screen. “

Nancy Schuman, Vice President Marketing at Lloyd Staffing wrote:
“We have held two successful movie days for 2 summers - a staff/family/client & client family event. We pick a family film premiering during the summer and get a local theater to give us a Sunday morning private showing. It becomes a Brunch-Red Carpet event and the parents & kids love it. Food/beverage costs are down (no liquor) and it's over early. If we have extra tickets we invite Big Brother/Big Sisters or another local charity. To attend, everyone must RSVP and get a ticket in advance and a tee shirt for every attendee - to be worn to the event. Be sure to get a big group photo. It's still business - but less formal and good relationships get built and solidified.”

The above all reference smaller events, but point to success (in most cases) for events that are thought through re: timing, location and amenities. Some of the above strategies could certainly be incorporated into larger content-based events (i.e. a scheduling an event in vacation location with a sponsored attendee/family/sponsor outing as a sponsor premium?) or in conjunction with other events. For example, Gartner ran a very successful event in Las Vegas immediately following the Super Bowl with premium incentives tied into the event – although this is a winter example, such could be applied to summer events).

In short, again, the point is the summer months are largely untapped territory for organizing events; I would again argue making an initial investment into holding events during these months. The window in which events can logistically be scheduled is challenging enough – taking action to try to open the window may be a valuable effort.

Good luck!


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