Tips for Open House Events

  1. invitationThe invitation- Be creative! Demonstrate your graphic sophistication and technical prowess. Print “the invite” and add event details and a map on a separate item or card. The object is to attract attendees, so spend a little more to get attention and a good response.
  2. Strutting Your Stuff- Update your showroom samples. Endeavor to get your favorite wholesalers’ reps and promotional products manufacturers’ reps to set up their own displays for you. Be sure to have catalogs and price lists available and custom-imprinted plastic bags, shopping bags, or inexpensive tote bags on hand for folks to collect their literature and goodies.
  3. giftFree Stuff- Buy what you have to, but do ask your vendors for free stuff for distribution to your guests. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how cooperative and generous many will be. Show the stuff you’re giving away being decorated while your guests are in attendance, demonstrating what you do in-house on unchallengeable direct terms.
  4. Food and Drink – Demonstrate more creativity here. Consider offering T-shirt and cap-shaped cookies and hors d-oeuvres. a T-shirt cake, custom-printed candies, and other beyond-the-ordinary treats. Booze? Keep it to beer and wine to be on the safe side, limiting both cost and your liability for trouble. And soft drinks, punch juice, and coffee are much more interesting served in custom cups.
  5. imagesMusic – Hire a DJ or a band if you’ve got room for dancing at an evening event or just want to move the open house into party mood and mode. But any music is good, whether it’s a classical string quartet or guitarist, a local band, a barbershop quartet, or whatever’s reasonable on cost and appropriate for your audience.
  6. VIPs – Inviting local politicians, local newspaper reporters, coaches, and community leaders guarantees lively conversation, and oftentimes, photo ops and hopefully media coverage.

    NW Custom Apparel Factory Crew at their open house

    NW Custom Apparel Factory Crew at their open house

  7. Dress – For success! Your staff should wear what you sell. Your wholesalers can help provide garments at a deep discount or free. Out­ fit your crew in a variety of tees, hoodies, poplin sport shirts, polos, caps, vests, scrubs, and lightweight outerwear to exhibit your product lines.
  8. Follow-Up – Thank your guests with something tangible after the event and be sure to ask for an order. And thank your vendors, too. Do follow up your event with a press release and some good photos to your local newspapers, your chamber of commerce, trade publications, and anywhere else you can amplify the occasion’s beneficial impact on your reputation, your enterprise’s good will, and your customers’ good sense!