Planning a broker event takes time, creativity and lots of planning. We posted our first five broker event pointers in a previous blog. Let’s continue with the rest of our pointers to make your commercial broker event top notch:
See if the food can match your theme. Are you having a breakfast, a lunch or appetizers for a cocktail hour? See if you can add a special item that has to do with your building. Decorate the buffet tables or eating tables in the company colors. Create a menu in the event theme and display it.
Be sure to use a reputable caterer that you have tried before. If the food is memorable in a bad way, it will reflect badly on you and your property. Ask your local cater to throw in some gift cards from their restaurant! This is total a win-win!
Your broker colleagues will expect you to speak. But they will only listen for so long. Have a Powerpoint ready to go that highlights your property but doesn’t cover every point – that is what the handouts are for.
Be sure to cover the commission incentive – their ears will perk up. Maybe include something they have to “watch” for in the slide presentation in order to get on the doorprize list. Make your speech informative and somewhat interactive. Take questions. If multiple people are speaking, limit each presentation to 5 minutes.
These days most invitations to broker events are emailed. Send it, and then don’t hesitate to send it again a few days later, and again a couple of days before your event. Post it on Social Media – Attention Commercial Brokers – and refer to your theme, date, time, place.
One of the most valuable – yes, time consuming, but valuable – things we’ve done is put the staff on the task of phone calls. If you haven’t heard from someone with their RSVP, call them. It takes multiple times to get results. (Sounds like prospecting advice!)
We can’t imagine pulling off an event without Microsoft Excel. Putting your “to do’s” of all kinds into an Excel spreadsheet can help you track and visualize how far you’ve progressed and what’s left. You can use spreadsheets for: To do list, timeline, who does what, vendor list, marketing and promotions, planning, tracking and more. The bonus to this is – good record keeping is invaluable for you or whoever plans the event next time. Organized files of everything you do will save time and insure efficiency for the future.
What did people do before Pinterest existed? Pinterest and many other sites are full of DIY projects that will help you make your event even more special. These projects can be planned way in advance so you don’t end up spending a lot of time (or money). For our Saint Patrick’s themed broker event we made the centerpieces with flowers representing the flag of Ireland, and instead of water, we used Mountain Dew to in a beer pitcher to go with the event. Be creative! People notice details like that more than you can imagine!
Maybe 10 tips is the norm, but we couldn’t leave this out. Following up is not an afterthought. Hopefully you had a registration team that compared the RSVP list to who actually showed up. You now have two projects. The first one is to call or email every person that said they were coming but didn’t make it. Be sure you attach the handouts. If your broker incentive hinged on their presence at the event, don’t send that, but come up with a lesser offer if you want.
The second project is to call, email, or even better, hand write a short note to all who did take time out of their day to see your space. Refer to the event theme or something that was said – try to make it personal. Reiterate the advantages of your space, the incentive, and yes, attach those handouts again if you thank them via an email.
The next time you get invited to a broker event, notice how it’s done. Pick up pointers you would like to do for your next event. (Sometimes you can also learn what not to do!) If we’ve left anything out, we’d love for you to share your suggestions and comments below. What do YOU think makes a broker event special and effective?
--The Brenner Blog Team