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18886217 - friends toasting at barWhat are your goals for 2017? If increasing awareness about your company or brand is among the priorities, you might consider hosting a business event. Here’s a quick guide to getting the most out of such an endeavor:

1) Determine the scope. How many guests will be invited and how will the guests list be determined? Will you offer a full dinner, or will it just be soft drinks and cookies? Will you have speakers or live entertainment? How about door prizes? These details will set the tone. What message are you trying to send?

2) Set a date. Timing is everything as they say. Be careful to plan around holidays or any other special events going on in your city. You could even play on an upcoming pop culture event, like a Super Bowl themed event.

3) Delegate. Who will be in charge of planning and execution? Will you have a committee? If you have the budget, you might even consider hiring an event planner.

4) Set a budget. Be realistic. You don’t want to skimp but you also don’t want to overextend yourself either. Get quotes from multiple vendors so you can ensure you’re getting the best deal.

5) Create a marketing plan. How will your customers and prospects know about your event? Will you use social media as well as traditional media? How will you track their effectiveness?

6) Follow up. The engagement shouldn’t end when the event does. Do you have a system for following up with guests? What are the next steps?

Let us know how it goes!