Amanda Blakley is a travel writer and now entrepreneur with her new baby garment line, Petits Genoux, where she married the old-fashion styles of our ancestors with a modern-day twist and we are so in love. Read below as she shares her advice on how to throw a bash for you brand on a budget and some adorable photos of her own event.
Looking to amp up your brand exposure in a fun and interactive way? Why not create an authentic experience that brings your company to life in a live setting? We spend so much time and energy these days building our online communities, but what about our off-line community? Not just our “followers”, “friends” or “fans” passively observing our businesses from afar. Instagram is great for brand building and reaching new consumers, but sometimes old school human engagement, not the digital kind, is where it’s at! Let’s forget about reach, readership and interactions for a minute. Let’s try and reconnect with the people, places and things whom we ultimately create our products and services for.
We recently threw a simple (but chic) park playdate for our local friends and customers in Toronto. It gave us the opportunity to showcase our brand in an informal setting, get real-time feedback and put faces to the names of some of our best clients, accounts and future customers.
Here is a little tip-sheet on how you can do the same:
- Define your objective. do you want to sell product, introduce a new collection, spread the word about an exciting new service offering? No matter what it is, you need to determine the best way to showcase or communicate it, in a setting where your guests/customers will be most receptive to the message.
- What’s your hook? I think it’s fair to say that many of us get invited to a lot of events. We’re busy, time-starved and quite frankly, slightly jaded, so in order to get a guest to RSVP and actually turn up at an event, it needs to have a hook or purpose more meaningful than just a rack of clothes for sale and some canapés on offer. Brainstorm an idea, theme or concept that adds substance and creativity to your event, in the spirit of your brand. Feature a local performer, a children’s choir, face painting, beat boxing, type-rope-walking – anything to elevate your event beyond just another shopping night or trunk show.
- Distill your brand to a couple sentences then work backwards to define what type of setting and activity would resonate most with your audience and potential customers. In the case of Petits Genoux, our main target audience is new and expecting mom’s. Where do they hang out on a gorgeous summer morning? The park. So we set out to jazz up their predictable daily outing and attempted to make it accessible, fun, entertaining and whimsical, all before getting their littles home for nap time. Siblings were invited to play in our teepee village, sip lemonade and eat popsicles, while babes-in-arms could easily be toted around while their moms perused our wares.
- Timing, as you know, is everything, and the same is true of when (and where) to host your gathering. Some lifestyle brands or products might have more success throwing an evening event. Or perhaps you might consider a chic breakfast or coffee break for those customers working a more traditional 9-5. The key is to find a time slot and activity that makes sense while also creating an element of anticipation for your guests.
- Get inspired. Pinterest is full of entertaining ideas, pick one and make it your own with little custom details that speak to your brand. Can you screen a must-see experimental film on the side of a building and sample your brand of popcorn while guests chill out on lawn chairs? Host an intimate dinner with a local chef pairing each course with your core brand values? The key is to create a concept that will help to harness the unique aspects of your brand or business that make it special while propelling your company or brand into the spotlight.
Tourist | Entrepreneur | Adventurer