Think of the term “open house” – when you put your house up for sale, you ensure everything is proper and in perfect condition so as to show your home in the best possible light. Similarly with your business, an open house is a great way to showcase your business’ skills and demonstrate to your audience what your company has been working on. For those of you who are thinking of bringing your business into the limelight, read on to better understand how to plan a successful small business open house.
While picking up the phone and sending out invites may seem more fun than doing the ground work, be sure to first establish a purpose for your open house. What are you attempting to achieve by hosting this event? Perhaps you are trying to promote a new product, introduce a new service, or gain new clients through networking. Even if you have more than one purpose, establishing the goal that you wish to achieve is a necessary step in planning for a successful open house.
Once you’ve established your event’s purpose, planning around it so that those goals are the main focus of the night is the next step. If you are promoting a new product or service, ensure you have visible signage and attention-drawing displays. Also, having knowledgeable employees around helps curious onlookers understand the product better. If you are intending to have a mix and mingle networking session, help others connect by introducing them to each other. Provide your staff with ice-breaking questions and conversation tips so that, should there be someone awkwardly standing alone, they can ease them into the conversation and help them mingle. Be sure to circulate the room and play the part of “host” so that everyone enjoys themselves, talks with other people, and therefore gains benefit out of the evening.
Next, think about traffic flow. Too often people get frustrated at events where crowds gather, and there is no way to get to the registration table or the bar. Check out your venue, and plan the room in a way where there is an easy flow between administrative tables, food stations, and high-traffic areas. Try to keep the registration table away from the door to avoid bottlenecks, and don’t have clusters of information tables together, but rather spread out around the room.
Food is always something people tend to gather over and get excited about, and when your guests come to know that there will be food at your event, they’ll most likely bring a friend as well. Serving finger foods and easy-to-eat snacks will go a long way in bettering your event, and will most likely extend the evening as well. Having a snack gives people something to do in the event that they feel awkward, and is an ice-breaker in itself. If you do decide to serve food at your event, be sure to have appropriate staff designated to overseeing it, as it can get quite messy, quickly.
We wish you the best of luck in hosting your event and hope these tips on how to plan a successful small business open house has given you some direction. Contact us for information and quotes on your audio visual needs.