The open house concept goes back to the early 1900s and began in the real estate industry. Along the way, various industries adopted the event as a tactic to showcase a product or service.
Some say that open house events seem archaic in a digital world. Our clients have proven them to extremely effective building business tools. It’s not merely the headcount that makes them successful; it’s the buzz of activity before and after an event that drives more business than the number of attendees. And that’s perfectly okay with us!
Here are three key things we’ve learned from marketing dozens of open houses for our clients:
Use a roadmap. Use all of your planned marketing channels cohesively to communicate your event. Use a family of creative across Facebook ads, Instagram ads, direct mail, and emails. All of this is what drives those inquiries. Tip: to do this correctly, plan ahead. Events that are hastily planned without proper time and planning typically don’t work.
Make it sound fun. We know that the only thing that can be called tired about an open house is its name. Consumers don’t like to feel “sold to” even if they are looking to buy. If you’re in real estate or education, there are some events that are simply an open house and no other name will suffice. But there are plenty of opportunities to be creative. For example,a law firm might try a “Coffee and Consultation”. Or, a fast casual restaurant might try a “Food Festival Tasting”.
Prepare to dazzle. Although the tally of attendees may not be the most important measure, be prepared to dazzle anyway. Invite customers and friends to the event to give it a bigger feel should the attendance be low. Invest in guest speakers, rental attractions, and food. These things garner enthusiasm: both from attendees and from your team.
We’ve seen a steady and impressive uptick in inbound leads: calls, emails, and form submissions starting weeks prior to and after an event as a result of open house marketing. This spike in traffic feeds your sales funnel, resulting in more conversions.
Written by Natasha Fleury
We're a marketing team launched in 2013 and based in Baltimore working with clients across the U.S. and beyond. We solve problems, leverage budgets, create content, launch products, generate leads, and help grow businesses.