One of the best ways to grow your franchise is by getting out into your community. Attending local events that offer opportunities for businesses to get in front of potential customers should be a priority for every franchise owner.
You could attend these events without planning for them. You could grab some brochures to put on a table and wait for people to approach you during the event. However, you shouldn’t be satisfied with those results. With a bit of planning, you can significantly increase the return on your investment.
Here is a franchise event planning timeline to help you better prepare for the events you attend on behalf of your franchise and drive better results from your efforts:
12 Months before an Event
While you might not know every event you’ll attend a year in advance, you should start thinking about your event budget for the upcoming year. Review the events you attended in the past to determine which drove the best results for your franchise and budget for them in the coming year. Take some time to research new opportunities to get in front of your target customers.
6 Months before an Event
Start thinking about the promotional materials you’ll need to bring with you to the event. It takes time to get them. Consider any special offers you’ll promote to event attendees and think about how you’ll track leads after the event. This is when you need to start making your plan.
3 Months before an Event
Determine which team members will attend the event and when, so you can schedule accordingly. If you need to order shirts or name tags for team members, do it now. Also, contact the event and learn about what will be available to you during the event. Will you be provided a table? What kind of graphics can you bring? Will you have electricity to your space to plug in a laptop? Do you need to bring a trade show booth? Also, now is the time to start promoting your attendance at the event to your current customers and via social media.
2 Months before an Event
Your marketing materials, signage, and so on should be on their way to you. Contact the event to find out how many attendees there will be and order any promotional giveaway items you want to hand out. Also, make sure all team members attending the event have enough business cards. Continue promoting your attendance at the event to your current customers and via social media.
1 Month before an Event
Coordinate any travel arrangements for team members as well as transportation of any items you’re bringing to the event. Start promoting your attendance at the event to your current customers and via social media.
1 Week before an Event
This is it! Make sure all team members are ready, all materials are prepared, and every person and item needed at the event has a way to get there. Also, make sure everyone and everything has a way to get back home or back to your franchise location after the event. Collect cell phone numbers from all team members who will be in attendance and share them with everyone else on the team. If the event is local, designate a runner back at the “office” in case you forget anything. Finally, keep on promoting your franchise’s attendance at the event!
1 Day before an Event
Everything you did one week before the event---do it again.
If you follow this franchise event planning timeline, your event participation will go smoothly and your results should improve. Most importantly, rather than being stressed on the day of the event, you can have fun, be productive, and represent your franchise in the best way possible.