Monday, November 10, 2008

How to start cool happy-hours

Define your set of criteria. We did it as follows:

1. Choose your audience: we are focused on corporate market and high caliber professionals

2. Find a nice location in line with your public. The partnership must offer a low entry barrier and a low exit barrier to all invitees. We recommend the following format:

  • No entry fee
  • Individual payment
  • Card control
  • Place must offer support with (a) flier preparation, (b) receptionists & (c) sound equipment
  • Choose a date in which the place is normally empty (mon – wed)
  • A courtesy drink is optional but welcome.

We strongly recommend to avoid committing with minimum number of people or advanced payment or any sort of risk. It´s a partnership in which the happy-hour organizer is the promotional arm while the place is the operational one. If the location can not see it as such, just close file and move on.

3. Select some online social networks: we are focused on TEN – Top Executives Net (business), ASW (social) and Internations (ex-pats) only.

4. Invite professionals selectively: we watched all profiles one by one and send customized messages to all executives who resembled our target audience.

5. Set up event in those social networks: Given that we are in Rio, we normally send the first invitation with 10 day pre-notice and a reminder 3 days before the event. We understand that in other parts of the world, the event organizer will need to start promoting it 2-3 weeks in advance, at least.

6. As soon as confirmations start coming, ask professionals if they would like to (a) bring their friends and/or (b) donate a gift for the raffle prize.

7. Send the attendees list to the location a couple of hours before

8. Make sure that you have at the event:

  • Recepcionists, who will also take some photos during event
  • Camera and/or video (photos & testimonials)
  • Enough battery (recharge them at the night before)
  • Plenty of business cards
  • Bowl to put all business cards at the entrance
  • An extra booklet to register contact details of all participants
  • Tags to put names at the entrance
  • Red or Blue pen to write these names on tags

In the next article, we will disucss how the event organizer should conduct it before the crowd.

Best regards,

Octavio Pitaluga
CNO - Chief Networking Officer
TEN - Top Executives Net

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