Events present a great PR opportunity for our clients. Whether it is an industry tradeshow or a grand opening of a new location, events for customers, partners and media offer an enticing news hook and a chance to secure interesting video and photos.
We recently had the honor of assisting one of our technology clients, Zones, Inc., with the opening of a new distribution and logistics center in the Village of Carol Stream, a suburb of Chicago. The event was impressive, and our clients definitely raised the bar in terms of best practices for a new warehouse opening. As a marketing and PR firm in Seattle and Washington, D.C., we’d like to offer a few tips based on Zones’ successful grand opening:
- Invite local VIPs: Carol Stream’s mayor, Frank Saverino, attended the event and briefly addressed the crowd. He emphasized how pleased he is that Zones is in his town, and how impressed he is with the new facility. Demonstrating local support for your business goes a long way with customers and partners, and demonstrates that the company is being a good corporate citizen.
- Bring your customers: Zones increased their transparency with their customers by inviting them into the warehouse for tours and hors d’oeuvres. After all, a new warehouse is really benefitting customers in the long run. Giving customers – and media – a behind-the-scenes look at how the company works is a great way to increase attendance.
- Show some action: After providing tours of the warehouse facility, the Zones warehouse crew got right back to work, packing boxes and driving forklifts. The guests got to witness the workers’ dedication to their jobs, and see first-hand how well the new space works to get their orders out the door. This is also a great photo op for reporters who attend the event.
- Give fabulous prizes: Zones raffled fun prizes to their customers who attended, ranging from iPod Nanos to Zones swag. Giving back to the attendees will help them feel appreciated and foster deeper loyalty. It also generates continued excitement about the event, and positive sentiments toward the brand.
- Wine and dine: After the event, Zones took all the attendees out to dinner, with a private catered meal. This allowed even more time for customers to swap stories and learn more about the company. This also gives media more time to speak with customers and other attendees to add color to their articles.