When the end of the year finally rolls around, many small businesses find themselves pressed for time, money, and resources.
It makes perfect sense that when it comes time to either plan a holiday party or not, many are opting to not host one this year.
While this might make sense for your business, depending on your situation, there are in fact many ways that a holiday event can boost sales and engagement during the busiest shopping time of the year.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider hosting a holiday event:
A thank you goes a long, long way
Hosting a holiday party is the perfect way to thank employees and customers for their continued support all year long. After all, they are the backbone of your business and you want them to know just how much you care.
An event put on just for them, no matter how big or small it is, shows your deep appreciation for them. In the end, this will strengthen your relationships and keep customers coming back into your store for years to come!
A holiday shopping state-of-mind
These next two months are the busiest shopping months of the year. Everyone has a laundry list of gifts on their mind that’s keeping them up at night. Take advantage of this state-of-mind by hosting your event at your place of business.
Have fun with the way you promote the event too. Invite customers to a “stress-free holiday shopping experience.”
If you can’t host your event at your business, consider having products/services available for purchase at a discounted rate. Auctioning off a door prize is also a fun way to get people excited!
Staying top of mind
Even if you decide against offering products/services during the event, your simple show of gratitude will keep your business top of mind this holiday season. And during a time when everyone is searching for that perfect gift, your event could boost future sales in the next few months simply because your products/services are on your customers’ minds.
Now that you know why you should host an event, here’s how:
Before your event
- Send out an online invitation: Constant Contact’s partnership with Eventbrite makes sending invitations via email, customizing them, and tracking who opens and accepts/declines your invitation really easy. (Want to know how to craft a better invitation? Be our guest.)
- Gather RSVPs upfront with pre-registration: Within your online invitation, direct potential attendees to your online event registration page so that you can gather RSVPs upfront.
- Promote your event socially: Send out a Facebook invitation to expand your reach. Create a Facebook event page that includes pictures from past events and/or run a contest before the event too. On Twitter, create an event hashtag to increase awareness and the visibility of your event. Include your event hashtag on your registration page and inform attendees to “Join the Conversation.”
During your event
- Payments made easy: Collect payments with PayPal Here, an innovative mobile payment technology, to make it easy for your customers to purchase products and services at your event. These easy-to-use credit card readers that connect to a smartphone or iPad, let you swipe a guest’s credit card and then email their receipt.
- Stream and Tweet live: Use a program like tweetbeam.com to project Twitter conversations on a screen during your event. This will entice others to join the conversation. You can also schedule Tweets in advance so that you have Tweets posting during the event.
After your event
- Keep the excitement going: Post event photos on Facebook and Instagram, and create a special Pinterest board to share after your event. This is a great way to remind attendees of all the fun they had and you can also use the photos next year for your Facebook event page!
Make this year’s event your best yet
Constant Contact and Eventbrite can help with all aspects of your event planning process, from creating an online invitation to measuring the success of your event.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated for relevancy and accuracy on October 4, 2019.