Our first mixer at our new facility was a success! With over 100 attendees we saw some familiar faces and met some new ones that brought our moving marketing to a new level. We are still seeing the leftovers lingering in our fridge, wine anyone?
The Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce has always been a great friend to us and our business benefits from their network immensely. When moving, expanding or just simply changing locations make sure to take advantage of these events that your local networking groups offer including ribbon cuttings (which are free). We belong to three chambers across Sonoma County (Mark West, Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa) along with being a Sonoma County Go Local Cooperative, which means for the next couple of months we will be busy with events, events, events! Don’t feel limited just because your business is located in Rohnert Park for example, and that you can only belong to that chamber, the more people you know the more friendships you’ll make and the more referrals you’ll benefit from. Remember: people are more likely to do business with people they know and like.
The day of the event was surprisingly stress-free because low and behold, we planned ahead. We ordered the food (we had Smokehouse BBQ in Sebastopol cater), got the linens and made a map of where everything should be placed ahead of time. We also enlisted help from one of our favorite wineries, Trecini Winery and our dear friend Cathy who poured their delicious varietals. If you are a restaurant or caterer we would recommend teaming up with a business when they are hosting a mixer, display your brand and help to serve, this way you avoid the mixer fee most chambers charge and you still get the exposure.
The Chamber also recommend adding a prize to the mix, this way you get business cards you can follow up with and give an incentive for more people attend as well as use your services. We gave away two $200 gift certificates for any printing and signage, which both went to new chamber members. Sonoma County Canopy Tours also gave away a free zip line gift certificate!
Leading up to the event we advertised on social media sites several times a week including Linked In, Twitter, Facebook and asked our friends and local chambers to share as well. Make a social media schedule, it will make it easier on you and you won’t forget to post. We also changed our social media covers to include information about the mixer as well as included the event in our weekly newsletter. Although we could have included Pinterest and Instagram, our marketing philosophy is to pick about two to three social media sites (especially if you are a small business, or have a limited marketing team) and manage them well, otherwise you spread yourself too thin.
Stay tuned for more tips and lessons we’ve learned through our events, moving and overall marketing. If you are planning a large event take a listen to our latest podcast, where we sit down with Elise Howard, Outreach Coordinator with the City of Santa Rosa and learn some tips from her about how she pulls off the growing and ever successful Earth Day event in Courthouse Square.