We live in a world where life is highly digitized and communication usually takes place over the internet instead of face to face. Even co-workers that spend their days a few cubicles down the block from each other will typically send emails instead of getting up, walking a few steps, and communicating in person. Thankfully, most technological advances have allowed us to work better and more efficiently, but sometimes these positives for productivity can hurt the team and the customers by taking away the humanness of a business. Small businesses that host events are more likely to see a positive return on their investment.
Whether you are throwing a holiday party, a retirement party, or a wacky Wednesday party, you can expect that it will really lighten the mood around the office. Watch as different departments mingle, fancy titles melt away, tension disappears, and everyone gets in on the fun.
The general demeanor during the hours of nine and five should most definitely be professional and driven, but your employees need to feel like they can be themselves and have a nice time with their co-workers. Knowing that the company you work for genuinely cares about you will help you to stay happy and motivated while you work.
2. Sense Of Community
Because the majority of our day can be spent in front of a computer or back and forth between client meetings, it’s very, very easy to lose our sense of community at work. When you work with a group of people, they should be like your family—after all, you spend a good majority of your hours with these people compared to the people you are actually related to.
Creating a sense of community for your employees seems easy enough, but in truth, it’s not that simple. Hosting a party or event for your staff gives them the opportunity to reconnect with one another in a casual, comfortable way.
A sense of community is important not only for employees, but also for the people out in your actual community. When you run a small business, you probably rely a great deal on locals to keep you afloat, and people tend to frequent businesses near them that contribute to the overall sense of community. Being neighborly goes a long way, and hosting a end of summer barbeque, Easter egg hunt, or meet and greet with Santa is a fabulous way to show locals that you cherish them and care about adding value to the community where you do business.
Oftentimes, our bosses don’t seem all that human to us. They hire us, they fire us, and they sign the paychecks. (That’s a throwback statement to the days when we actually received paper checks for our contributions.) The bosses and managers can appear to be living in a completely different realm. Hosting a party for your small business is a great way to connect with employees on a real level and relate to them as individuals.
Furthermore, humanness is essential for small businesses as a whole. In a time not so long ago, businesses both big and small could focus solely on the bottom and steer clear of customer interaction. No more! With the advent of social media and review websites, a business can’t skate by on its laurels—it absolutely must nurture its customers to stay relevant.
How To Host An Employee Event
The first—and probably most important—tip we can give you in regards to throwing a party for your staff is to take it out of the office. Your employees spend forty plus hours a week there; it’s not the ideal place to let loose. Whether you decide to host a big bash outdoors in a tent or treat everyone and their families to an evening at the bowling alley, make sure there’s some music and a form of entertainment involved. (Otherwise it’s not much of a party, is it?) Don’t be afraid to ask the team how they would like to spend their time and include those suggestions in your vision for the event. Be sure to provide food and drink, and if you deem alcohol appropriate for your gathering, be smart about it.
Pro Tip: Hire a bartender and give all of the adults two tickets for free beverages. You could be liable for incidents that occur after the party, so do everything in your power to keep everyone responsible.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to leave your employees with a gift or goody bag. However, take the time to make these little trinkets thoughtful. Nothing says “we care about you” like a company coffee mug and key chain. (Avoid “gifting” your marketing materials to your employees. It’s not in good taste.)
How To Host A Customer Event
Before throwing a big bash for your community, identify who you’re throwing this party for. Business types? Families? Health-conscious individuals? Decide who to target and what you’d like the event to accomplish. Then, with your budget in mind, you can plan some really stellar activities to meet your goals. Once you’ve got everything in place, you can create some stunning marketing materials and start inviting everyone to attend.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to charge a small fee for entrance into your event—it adds value. While a free event might seem more appealing, charging just $5 has proven to increase attendance by 80%.
Before the event takes place, set some metrics in motion so you can accurately track its success. Some ways to judge if the event was a success might be:
- How many new followers did you get on social?
- How many new email addresses did you obtain?
- Did you close any sales during the event or directly after as a result of the event?
- Did your event get any media coverage?
Host Your First Event
There are so many great reasons to host an event for your employees or for your community—pick one! The return on investment will be worth what you spent when you consider all of the positives that result from throwing a party. And besides, doesn’t a party just sound like fun?