Events are an effective way to connect with your target audience, whether that be prospective clients, partners and affiliates, advocates of your business, or who ever you may be trying to reach. Incorporating your key messages into that event is an essential part of the success. You want people to walk away knowing a few important things about you and your business.
There are some simple ways you can make sure your message gets through, loud and clear. Obviously, if you have a short speaking program, do not assume everyone knows exactly what your business or organizations does. It's worth repeating. But not every event has a speaking program.
For those events that are more social in nature, or have a less formal structure to them, you can still help keep the conversation on message while having fun. Start by simply ensuring you have a few spokes-people for your organization scattered throughout the event. This might be your board of directors if you're a nonprofit, or your senior management team. Have them wear a special "Ask Me" badge that identifies them. Prepare them ahead of time to be armed with key talking points for conversation. Write a short blurb on each topic/initiative you'd like people walking away knowing more about. Include some stats they may want handy, examples of the impact the project makes, and others who help. Share them with the appropriate team member. Each spokesperson only needs to be ready to talk about a single topic--hopefully it's one they're already deeply involved with or have been working on, so they also have a few personal stories to share about the topic as well.
Be thoughtful about what is relevant to your guests and their understanding of your organization or business--these should be the topics you've prepped your team to be ready to build conversation around or be asked about.
Then as guests enter your event, welcome them with a postcard summarizing the same key initiatives. Make a game of it. Instruct guests to look for people wearing "Ask Me" buttons and strike up conversation. Their goal is to walk around and find out more information about each of these key initiatives. Towards the end of the night, anyone who has had conversations on all the topics can be entered into a raffle for a door-prize. Hint, be sure it includes some logo merchandise.
These will be your most engaged attendees, well informed, and a group of people you'll want to continue the conversation with after the event. They'll have met several other people who support your business. By using this activity you'll have begun to identify and connect with your target audience, which was one of your goal in hosting an event. And everyone had fun doing it.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!