the ‘C’ word
It’s a ‘well known fact’ that your Christmas party is one of the best networking opportunities of the year: to thank your clients for their business and to encourage them to give you their business for the next 12 months. What a lovely thing to do; to reward such loyal clients. And you do it because, well, it’s what you’ve always done.
But how well is your Christmas party serving your business, really? With the festive season being one of the busiest time for events, your clients are likely to be receiving many an enticing invite and there’s only so many they’re willing/can attend, as well as shoe-horning in some quality (street) family time during the festivities.
Sure, you’re going to have those clients who will no doubt attend your party. But what about swaying the rest – those who may be the difference between another good financial year and a stonking one? Which Christmas parties will they prioritise?
The Christmas party has the potential to be a lucrative networking opportunity. So, let’s get to the nitty gritty: is your Christmas party really working for your business? Do you measure ROI, or does it get lost in amongst the tinsel and Christmas jumpers?
With event budgets being squeezed into submission, you also have to contend with the high demand on the most enticing venues, caterers worth their salt and entertainers? availability at this time of year. Not to mention that Christmas isn’t for everyone – bear that in mind.
It might be an unpopular option to shun Christmas (bah humbug) but hear us out: what if we told you that you could increase attendance and ROI and reduce overall spend by holding your event ‘off season’ ? not the most ground-breaking theory you’ve ever heard, I’m sure, but we’ve proven that it can be way more profitable for your business and make more sense for your marketing objectives.
Case in point:
Angela Mortimer – Blue Book Launch
We looked at their marketing strategy and identified a key sales period in Q1 – the Blue Book. By using the budget usually reserved for the Christmas Party, we introduced the ‘Blue Book Launch’ – this was used as a key sales tool to engage with clients and maximise networking by getting them together in one place rather than arranging individual (read: time consuming) meetings as per the norm.
As the start of the year is generally quiet for venues and suppliers, we were able to negotiate excellent rates and reduce the overall cost of the event compared to the Christmas Party, while simultaneously increasing attendance and therefore sales.
Click here for the full case study
Here-s what they said:
‘Your intelligent and strategic approach ensures that we focus on the right event for the right audience, maximising our networking opportunities and ensuring that guests are entertained in an unforgettable way. You’re the best!’
So, avoid the Christmas fatigue. Your clients will thank you for it with their business. Here are our top tips for entertaining out of season:
- Pick a mid-week date in January or February (for the best savings on venues)
- Get invites out before Christmas so your clients know you haven’t forgotten them – ‘our gift to you: not another Christmas party’
- Co-ordinate your sales team and marketing team to push the key message for the coming year and have clear targets so you can measure ROI
Now, as it’s STILL ONLY AUGUST (just) go get yourself an ice cream and enjoy the sunshine.
photo credit: Bart Fields