Keep Your Biz “Hydrated” This Summer

July 27, 2007 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

In the heat of summer, it may feel like business is withering like the grass. The lazy days of summer don’t have to mean the lazy days of business. Look around your community and you’ll find plenty of ways to sponsor, participate and host summer events that will build your brand and help you connect to customers.

Sponsorships: What are your core audiences doing this summer? Is there a way to get involved with their favorite summertime concerts and festivals?

Many community events seek sponsors to help cover costs and raise the event’s (or organization’s) visibility. A little informal research (asking your customers, clients, vendors, friends and neighbors) what summer events they plan on attending will help you understand which would be a good fit to support with your checkbook.

Look for events that offer some reciprocal relationship – maybe you can hang a banner or have your logo displayed in a brochure or program. Likely, you’ll also get space at the event for a table or booth. Use it to collect contact info and then follow-up.

Sponsorships are quickly becoming a way of marketing that builds relationships with customers on a new level. An old article about sports marketing has some great stats for why companies sponsor events. The top three reasons?

  1. Corporate Identity: Companies display their name/logo on signage, posters, banners, uniforms, etc.
  2. Target Marketing: Events help you reach a “self-selected” audience.Whether it’s your local Saturday Market or a major league sports sponsorship, you’re in front of customers who have an emotional, experiential connection with those events and will extend that emotion to your brand (ideally).
  3. Promotional Tie-In: Use the event as a theme in your marketing and promotional activities. You can get a lot of mileage with internal and external customers, as well as media.

Participation:If you’re active in your community, you know the events and summer happenings that you and your friends and family enjoy. Find a way to participate in a way that builds your business.

  • Volunteer to help in a capacity that showcases your skills. Project Management International (trade association), offers this advice that really applies across industries and disciplines.
  • Use your participation to build your “social capital”

Hosting: By far the biggest time, energy and financial commitment, but with the greatest potential payoff, would be to host an event yourself. I’m not talking about a music festival for thousands – but you could host a free workshop, or a mid-summer social event for employees and customers/clients to mingle. Chances are, you’re not the only one looking for networking and business-building opportunities. Facilitating a way for others to make connections will earn a lot of good will.

Create the event that you wish you could attend.

Maybe you want to put together a professional development workshop – learning a new technology or skill. Find someone in your area who is an expert and invite them to be the speaker. A lot of professionals (yours truly included) will do so for free.

Or you’d rather socialize? Plan an evening of cocktails and mingling with close business associates, clients and customers, or potentials in any of those categories. Find a local restaurant, club or hotspot that offers just enough seclusion and quiet to facilitate conversation.

Keep hydrated this summer and your business in the flow with these tips.

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