I've finally decided to have my first Client Appreciation/Holiday Party and Pie Giveaway. I've participated in group coaching calls on the topic, read blogs and asked for advice from coaching groups I belong to on Facebook and I'm moving ahead. So follow me as I move forward and post a series of blogs on my journey.
My first task was to find a venue to hold it. I decided to ask my broker if I could have it at the office he provides for us in our area. It was really the perfect place. Our office is not staffed. Its a location to meet clients at, get our mail, work at available computers and use the copy machine as we need to. It has several conference rooms to use for food, to distribute pies and an open area for sponsors to set up and talk with guests during the event. Best of all, it's free. I picked November 22nd, two days before Thanksgiving, from 4 - 7 PM. I asked my broker and he said yes.
Next, I've tapped into various vendors to help sponsor the event. I met a guy through networking that sells private label wines at gatherings in peoples homes and he agreed to do a wine tasting of sorts during the event. I got a travel agent to cover the cost of a case of wine. I had an Estate Liquidation Service providing a gift basket for a raffle item. Other raffle items include a gift card to a home store from an insurance company, a gift certificate from a landscaper for services and a mobile auto oil changing van will be in the parking lot ready to change the oil in my guests cars, at a reduced event rate while they attend the party. Oh, and another business where we share mutual clients, is providing some light food.
I sent out Save the Date postcards a couple weeks ago with RSVP required and to watch for their invitation in a few weeks. Already had a couple of people call to tell me they will be out of town for Thanksgiving that week. Perfect. The sooner I can get a head count, the better.
I created an excel spread sheet with the names of all the invited guests, and to track when the invitations go out, if they RSVP'd, what kind of pie they want (giving them a choice of apple or pumpkin), follow up calls on Nov 1st to those that have not responded, a 2nd follow up call on Nov. 15th with final RSVP need, and one final call or email video the Sunday before letting them know I'm looking forward to seeing them on Tuesday.
Next, I designed my invitation. I have software that helps me create postcards, flyer's, just about anything. I used regular 8 1/2 x 11 heavy paper, included all the details of the event, images of pies, wine and other graphics, along with the list of sponsors. They will be mailed on Monday in fall yellow envelopes with a sticker on the outside that says Invitation. I picked yellow so it would stand out amongst the other mail.
Still to be done is find someone to greet people at the door, create registration forms for the raffles (a great way to verify and update contact information), find someone to take pictures and deside on decorations, among other things.
So if you're thinking I'm a stickler for details, you would be correct.
Watch for Part 2 of this party blog series the beginning of November.