Today’s small businesses are adept at using online tools such as email newsletters and surveys to help develop strong relationships with their customers. While these tools can enable two-way communications, face-to-face interactions can be an effective way to build and instill trust in these relationships. It’s that sense of community and interaction that in-person events provide when communicating directly with customers.
Hosting events and promoting them through an online service is a great place to start. Small businesses and organizations have many options to consider when looking for the best way to promote their events. Free online RSVP services offer great ways to invite friends and relatives to a casual engagement, but businesses need a more professional service when marketing their events. Here are some key points to consider when determining which services are the best for your small business or organization.
Where to begin:
Free online RSVP tools are a good way to stay in touch for a more casual gathering. They offer attractive invitation templates, photo and video sharing, and provide basic RSVP management. However, most of these free services include ad-supported RSVPs, lack the ability to brand or customize, and were built primarily for social gatherings. While free online RSVP tools are great for promoting a weekend barbeque, small businesses and organizations should consider marketing their events more professionally.
Small businesses and organizations value their brand and strive for professionalism when communicating with their customers and prospects. A tool designed for professional use offers the best solution to meet these demands.
What to look for:
A professional event marketing tool will provide a stronger set of features designed specifically to promote events, capture online registrations and payments, and track the progress of your event. As a result, professional event marketing tools will provide a more efficient and effective process for achieving the goals of a business. When evaluating which solution to use for your next event, consider the following feature set.
Does the solution offer:
o Customizable registration form
o Payment collection for processing online credit card payments
o Ad-free promotional event homepage
o Public events calendar
o Tracking and reporting of online registrations, RSVP’s and payments
o Invitations and automated notifications
It takes a comprehensive, well-designed, and thoughtful system to ensure the success of your event. While small businesses and organizations are time and resource starved, they need solutions that make them more productive and more professional looking. Your event marketing solution should help you project a professional image without a high price tag. It should be easy-to-use and efficient in saving you time and resources. And it should support you in the building of strong, lasting relationships with your customers.
About The Guest Author: Erik Mintz is the General Manager of the Constant Contact Event Marketing product. He has more than a decade of experience in the event management industry and has acted as developer, project manager, event planner, and owner of his own small business providing event management technology.