IDEAL MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES AWAIT WHEN HOLDING AN EXCITING NEW LAUNCH OR FESTIVE YEAR-END FUNCTION
Starting with year-end events, there are numerous reasons as to why an event of this nature should take its rightful place on the working calendar of any Company. It is the one annual occasion where you get to show your appreciation to both your staff and your valued clients and go all out to impress! You can never go wrong with elegant and suitable décor, delicious food and fun entertainment.
There really are no rules as to the type of function you should plan. Whether a lavish ball in a magnificent setting, fine dining and dancing or a finger-snack cocktail party, your only real concern is to spend time with these valuable guests, all of whom contribute to the success of your business.
Choosing a perfect venue can be quite tricky at times, and for some odd reason, Event Co-ordinators and Marketing Managers often overlook the potential of their own premises. Not only is it less expensive to go this route, as there will obviously also be no venue hire, but it is the perfect time and opportunity, (especially for clients), to showcase your premises and products. Additional costs charged by outside venues which all add up, i.e. parking, special security, sign-in’s etc. can also be avoided in this way.
Set up a fancy marquee with an interactive demo room or games area involving your brand. Arrange décor, entertainment, catering and drinks along a central theme to make your guests feel as if they have been transported to another country and be assured that they will be talking about your event, premises and brand for months to come.
Although there are many, here are just two good reasons to host a year-end function:
> ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, REWARDS AND RECOGNITION OF TOP PERFORMERS
Use the opportunity to acknowledge and reward good performance and loyal customers. This not only enhances a sense of pride, but also creates good in-roads and encourages future productivity
> PERSONAL INTERACTION
We are all about digital, but personal interaction remains key to the success of any business. Due to busy working schedules and business commitments, many Senior Executives are unable to enjoy daily interaction with their staff and key customers. This less formal and more relaxing environment also creates an easy feedback channel.
Co-ordinating a successful product launch can be quite a stressful project. A good mix of expertise and services is required, over and above extreme attention to detail. The slightest oversight could be disastrous, and due consideration should be given to the hiring of a professional eventing partner.
It is quite amazing how sometimes Co-ordinators over-look their own premises and grounds. This is a perfect area to create a venue for guests by using marquees, and an opportunity to showcase your product. Perhaps consider the possibility of a guided factory tour or a ‘walk-about’ in the grounds, tying your event up with pit stops and product demos along the way.
A lot of customers find comfort in knowing where a product comes from, launching a product on your premises not only shows how it is made but also by whom. By bringing the customer to your premises you open the opportunity for staff on all levels to interact and feel involved in this exciting new development.
SIX TOP TRENDS TO FOLLOW FOR A SUCCESSFUL YEAR-END FUNCTION OR PRODUCT LAUNCH
Venue (YEAR END)
There are multiple reasons why organisations and companies plan and budget for year-end functions. Regardless of the current economic climate, the rewards are invaluable, as staff get to celebrate team-work, the overcoming of challenges during the year and connecting with top-level management. Venues and Events Agencies are having to up their game somewhat as Companies are expecting far more from venues than just space. The environment is extremely important, and clients expect personalised and unique experiences. Utilising outdoor spaces keeps it ‘close to home’. Consider an office-based year-end function by converting space into a venue.
Venue (PRODUCT LAUNCH)
Think and act local. Incorporate the local culture and available spaces into the launch event. Choose venues that are important to the local culture and history. Also try non-traditional venues. Bring people to where the product is produced at the warehouse and hold the product launch event at your premises. A product launch in a high-tech marquee gives an amazing, friendly and warm feeling which automatically makes guests feel welcome, without losing the excitement of launching something new or improved. To execute the perfect launch, remember that the environment is extremely important, and clients expect personal attention and a unique experience. The same applies to Security. Include technology where possible and consider having more visible security on site to provide reassurance.
Food & Beverages (YEAR END)
So many companies and event planners underestimate the importance of the correct choice of menu when arranging a function. Food especially, will always be a deciding contributor to the success or failure of an event. It is not always possible to determine the dietary requirements of all guests, so be sure to offer a wide choice of catering, which will cover most or all personal tastes. Offer healthy options as not everyone is keen to indulge, and healthy taste options are a top trend currently. Set out food that promotes interaction, for example crazing tables instead of waiter served canapes.
Food & Beverages (PRODUCT LAUNCH)
In line with the event, creative cocktails are the recipe for success. Beverages can form an identity for an event and in line with a theme or product can engage guests, adding an experiential element that ties in with the launch.
Consider root to stem cooking for creative recipes to include the entire fruit or vegetable in the menu. More knowledge of where the food comes from and efficient preparation and planning reduces wastage. Ensure that the food is Instagrammable, as unique, beautifully plated food creates positive word of mouth about your launch.
Experiential Elements (YEAR END)
Experiential events have hit an all-time high. Employers and Employees are no longer expected to merely sit around a table. Creating a fun and interactive environment, where people get to know each other outside their normal work space mindset. Spas, team building activities, cooking competitions, cocktail mixing are just some of many ideas for groups.
Experiential Elements (PRODUCT LAUNCH)
It’s all about direct engagement with your attendees. Give them something to remember by being creative in a memorable way, so that they leave with your product deeply entrenched in their minds. Impressive interaction will be worthy of sharing on social media. Word of mouth is key for a launch event, so include experiences that your attendees will want to #share with all their contacts.
Team Development (YEAR END)
Establishing roles and goals within an organisation has become imperative in businesses. Companies are focussing much harder on team building too, which is crucial to improving the development and productivity of the team players (Employees/Customers). This activity goes a long way toward securing interaction amongst people and enables Managers to assess personality types and provide a greater support to the well-being of the participants.
Diversity & Inclusions (PRODUCT LAUNCH)
Hire multi-cultural hosts who can communicate and entertain cross-culturally. Events always contain a mixture of languages and nationalities, make attendees feel at home by having event staff that can interact with them in their mother tongue.
Attendees focus more and more on the social values of companies. Be sure to communicate the correct message about your brand and product by making the experience inclusive, by ensuring you have diverse event staffing.
Pointless Plastics (YEAR END)
Go Plastic Free. The removal of unnecessary plastic from Events is a given. No longer will plastic straws, crockery and cutlery be the order of the day. The way in which an event is presented highlights the values of your Company and what matters to you.
Don’t over cater, and if there is left-overs ensure the company has a program in place to donate to local community feeding schemes. Plants are gifts that keep on giving, so spoil your attendees with vegetable seedling décor as a take home or seating cards with seeded paper that can be planted after the function.
Pointless Plastics (LAUNCH EVENT)
Go ‘GREEN’! Protecting the environment and conserving its natural resources for current and future generations are important. Make responsible decisions which lead to an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
Sustainable eventing is the way to go. Consider the total carbon footprint of the event, beyond printing and food consider logistics and transport impacts. Create tech free zones for attendees to really absorb the ambiance of the environment and experience the event without technology disruptions.
RSVP and invitation management (YEAR END)
Digital RSVP management is so much easier for the coordinator of the company when planning a year-end event. It is user-friendly and enables the planner to personalise the communication, when building up to the year-end function.
Create a group chat platform where teasers can be sent out and attendees can network prior to the event.
RSVP and invitation management (LAUNCH EVENT)
Go digital! Develop an exciting personalised invitation and send to your guests via digital communication, written in the language of your target audience and communicated in their preferred method.
Digital invitations afford you the opportunity of constantly updating or promoting the launch and releasing new information in stages, leading up to the main event. Send sneak preview messages with pre-event questions to incorporate the attendee into the preparation of the event.
Set up Radio Frequency Identification. Enable self-check-in and set up touch points for automatic information downloads. Technology enables saving on printing by creating touch points where the attendee can touch their wrist tag to a button and information is automatically emailed to them.
GL events South Africa has been in the eventing industry for more than 40 years. We have the experience to ensure your event expectations are exceeded. We pride ourselves in staying on point with the latest industry trends on an international level. Our solutions can be adapted for any event, big or small. Whether you consider hosting an event on your premises and require a fully set-up marquee, branded with your logo and fitted-out with custom branding and furniture elements, or hosting a product launch at a venue, we can assist.