Moments that Matter: Launch party open day? First impressions matter!

Launch party

Whether you're opening a new boutique, branch, offering a new service, relaunching an existing one, or perhaps just having a get together, when you open your doors for a launch party or open day, the moments that matter are first impressions. This article offers an insight into how a well marketed and delivered open day could be the best investment you ever make.

First impressions matter, so getting them right is crucial. In any organisation when opening our doors for the first time it's the people that matter and if getting everyone together is hard enough, the first few seconds last longer and count for more so it's imperative to be well prepared and make the most of the opportunity - moments that matter like these last a very long time.

People

Customers pay bills that enables the organisation to offer its products and services.  Hard to attract, often interesting, usually diverse, always discerning.

Staff and volunteers are also hard to attract and keep, on arrival they may be unsure they made the right decision, uncertain how they fit in, who they work for and why.

People buy from people. Meeting clients, customers, volunteers and staff for an open day brings together stakeholders, this both personalises and humanises the often competing challenges of delivering an organisations products and services.  It's easier to communicate with and support people you know, and when better to meet them than at a launch party/open day.

Loyalty

Although there may appear to be less loyalty than before, building strong relationships that grow plus impeccable service that comes from improved understanding and it's therefore more natural to be loyal to people you have met, trust and rely on to offer the things that matter.

Opportunities

By planning an event, people have something to look forward to creating its own buzz, when done well, offers the highest chance of success and makes those first impressions count:

  • The organisation sets the framework, standards and encourages the most appropriate working environment;
  • customers and prospects meet the people they will interact with in a relaxed, non pressurised environment and more open to offering their thoughts;
  • staff and volunteers know where they fit in the organisation, meet the customers they serve, feel reassured they made the right decision in joining, and as ambassadors are useful in both reaching out to new customers and improving the products and services they offer;
  • marketing ensures all messages are clearly targeted and touch points coordinated so everyone is more relaxed and prepared.

With the right marketing and event planning, buzz from an open day creates excitement that brings people together for all the right reasons, builds on them and delivers momentum with a longer lasting relationship.

Targeted messages and something to look forward to assists everyone involved getting a head start with easier engagement helping to build stronger and more meaningful relationships. Friends reaching out to friends or advertising reaching out to new ones is easier and more effective too.

Just as an initial meeting is about emotion and relationships, afterwards good marketing collateral also reinforces the intellectual side, keeps the relationship in front and encourages ongoing action.

Delivery touch points

To be effective, marketing needs to include and bring together all aspects of an event, messages must be on target and resonate. Silos, however well intentioned can be either ineffective, off target or distracting.  Integrating all aspects is essential to a well coordinated, resonating and effective event that brings a return to any investment.

Digital? An on-line presence is essential in our connected world, essential because it's both an anchor and authoritative source. Tweets can be great at getting a message out, Instagram and Facebook too, they start at free and can be effective. Although most people are always connected, to be most effective and wide reaching, digital needs to be part of the main marketing strategy.

Longevity

If good marketing is responsible for a great open day that's well attended and achieves its aims, then in the sober light of the next day onwards that same marketing keeps delivering on the intellectual messages and encourages action.

In today's fast paced world, the returns are higher when we prepare for and build momentum in advance, so much more can be achieved and the after effects are more durable.

For example in a staff incentive scheme, building up to an event with two or three stages focusses on and builds momentum towards a final event, the tasks leading to the overall objectives get more attention by continually reinforcing and encouraging them. Follow on incentives reinforce the messages and tasks leading to continual improvement.

Capturing the event for posterity with pictures extends the audience far wider, and reminds them of the great people and organisation you are.

Video the event and you have incredible personalization to offer a wider audience; with foresight, varied or seasonal messages keep relevance as well as interest and make the most of this resource.

Investment

Aim Higher - The rewards are greater

Realizing the opportunities offered by a successful open day can be measured in the increased numbers of people, their deeper engagement and the added value of a longer term relationship. Add reduced staff and client churn, natural product and service promotion plus higher service delivery with continual improvement and the investment can reward long into the future. In short - an open day could be the best investment you ever make in making your moment matter.

And finally

All client touch points and interactions are important; launch party 101.

By understanding which interactions support the main objective(s) and why, it's easier to deliver those moments that matter.

by Alan Hicks

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