The Entrepreneur’s Corner
Planning successful business events
We discover a simple truth as adults – life isn’t much different once we reach the point deemed “older and wiser.”
Take events, for example. It wasn’t too long ago that your biggest concern was whether or not everyone would come to your birthday party. Now as a business owner, you may very well find yourself in the same position.
Planning meetings and events are oftentimes a necessary task in the business world. From shareholders meetings and annual retreats to fundraisers and galas, planning an event can be challenging enough without worrying about whether or not anyone will come.
The good news? The success lies in the details, and in our fair city, there are a wealth of resources and vendors who are ready and willing to collaborate with you to ensure your event is the one everyone is planning on attending.
Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind as start making plans-
1. Location, location, location – Select a venue that is fresh and inviting to your potential guests. The “same old, same old” won’t cut it- pick a spot that will cause intrigue.
2. Put on your industry cap – If hosting a meeting for a particular industry, keep that in mind while finalizing dates and times. April would be off limits for accountants while December is a no-go for caterers.
3. Create buzz – Establish a core group of potential attendees to advertise they are coming- either through word of mouth or social media (or both!).
4. Make it fabulous – The little details are what make an event memorable in the mind of the attendees. There is absolutely no replacement for good food, drink, entertainment and company!
If hosting an event on a grander scale, then you may also want to consider teaming up with a media sponsor as well as featuring a local “celebrity” as the event’s spokesperson. Additionally, offering the option to sell tickets by table may entice other companies to purchase the tickets in bulk and distribute among the staff as incentives.
And when in doubt, I always like to say, simply create an event that you yourself would like to attend.
After the big day has come and gone, make sure you take the necessary steps to ensure the next soiree is an even bigger hit. Promptly send out surveys to attendees to better gauge their feedback. In the same vein, take the time to sit down and do a “post-mortem” and dissect what went well and what could be improved.
Planning a successful and well attended event can be a tremendously rewarding experience. With a few additional measures, you’ll be the toast of the town in no time.
Jennifer McBride is the owner of Henrico-based McBride Events, a full-service event management firm specializing in weddings, corporate events, social events and fundraisers. Contact her at (804) 697-9251 or through http://www.mcbrideevents.com
The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.
Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.
The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.
Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.
The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.
An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown. > Read more.
A Henrico native will appear on the third episode of the Travel Channel's new grilling competition series “American Grilled.”
The episode, filmed in Charlottesville, will premier July 16 at 9 p.m. and feature Glen Allen-native Rex Holmes, a patent lawyer who operates http://SavoryReviews.com a blo,g centered around tasty recipes and BBQ.
The show features hardcore grilling enthusiasts from across the country going head-to-head for a chance to compete for a $10,000 cash prize and bragging rights when they are crowned the ultimate “grill master.” > Read more.
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