Just cause you don't have a ticket to the main event, doesn't mean that it's too late to host your own soiree. Whether it’s for an existing client, or to scout new ones, take advantage of the major industry and life events when they hit your calendar.
Ad Week (9/25/17-9/29/17) - This is technically still in Q3 but at the tail end. During this week, marketing, advertising and technology professionals get together to discuss innovations in their field. With a hub in Times Square, Ad Week attendees are going to be looking for post-conference relief after a long day of workshops. Host a happy hour for some of the most notorious ad agencies and marketing firms by taking up a private or semi-private area at a bar. You can access attendees by doing an email marketing campaign the week before Ad Week. Call up each agency and say "We're hosting a De-Stress Reception at Bar 89 in honor of Ad Week and I would like to invite your team as our guests. It's no charge to you." Guess who's coming and ready to mingle?
Comic Con NYC (10/5/17-10/8/17) - There are dozens of auxiliary activations popping up around the Javitz Center. There are after-parties, pop-up shops and street activations. Get in on the fun by hosting a ticketed spin-off party like some really smart people at San Diego Comic Con. From the themed “Ghostbusters Fan Party” to the “Wonder Women Cosplay March”, a little planning and a lot of marketing will help you not only pay yourself back for the cost of throwing the event but also you’re sure to garner some good press if done right.
New York City Food and Wine Festival (10/12/17-10/15/17) – All the events and their locations have been confirmed so you’ll have to wait until next year for the opportunity to host. However, even this late in the game, it’s not too late to be a sponsor or volunteer. At the very least, working with them in this fashion gives you an opportunity for brand engagement and social media content. And more importantly, you’ll get the lay of the land in order to position yourself for festival opportunities next year.
Engagement Season (11/23/17-2/14/18) – From my years in the wedding industry, I would guess there is an influx of people getting engaged between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day more so than any other time of the year, so I call it Engagement Season. If you’re looking to get involved in the wedding industry, now is the time to start advertising your product. Within Engagement Season, there are a few opportunities to capture clientele – Thanksgiving, Holiday, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day. You can either get them early and market to the prospective groom by offering your services to help plan the big engagement OR you can market to the bride as her new BFF Wedding Planner.
Holiday Parties (dates vary) - Start partnering with venues and caterers and get an email campaign ready. One thing to keep in mind… there's a huge number of companies opting to thank their employees in the office. The only person that's good for is the boss who gets to save money. Not only is some poor office coordinator ripping their hair out because planning a lame party on a tight budget is hard as is, but they also have to deal with the evil eye from the employees for making them attend. Put a comprehensive and inexpensive experience together and pitch an in office extravaganza to every small business or office you know. If you need ideas on how to keep costs low, check out my blog on How to Throw a Holiday Party for $5,000 or Less!