Party Perfect: Succeed with fundraisers and corporate events

Customize your services to meet their needs

The hope of all event rental companies is to have large orders with high dollar amounts. Who doesn’t love money, right? However, when it comes to fundraisers and corporate events, you have to think differently. You want to meet your client’s needs and leave open the possibility for repeat business. This can take some creativity.

If someone is putting on a fundraiser for a local community aid organization or for a cause, they won’t want to spend large amounts of money on decorations. They need to have most of the money going towards their cause. You can aid this type of fundraiser by helping them choose economical options. For example, you can help them choose lower priced linens that look similar to costlier, top-of-the-line linens.

A political fundraiser can go in a few directions. Is the candidate focusing on a conservative financial agenda? If so, his supporters may not want to see extravagant spending. Basic tables with simple linens may do fine. Folding chairs and a podium usually round out the needs
of this kind of event.

On the other hand, maybe the fundraiser is a pricey, $500 per plate affair. In these cases, the fundraiser may want to pamper the attendees. You can recommend a florist to help create an environment for the event or offer them different looks you can create with your inventory. You’ll want to suggest items that not only look good, but that are comfortable as well. Padded seats with stylish sashes are the perfect combination of a great look and comfort. You can match linens to the organization’s color for that polished coordinated look. Make sure that the china, glassware and flatware are elegant and in good shape.

Pulling off a successful fundraiser will make an impression and keep you on customers’ minds. The key to success in this area is to do your homework, research in advance — or as soon as you hear about the event — and be ready to offer solutions. Also, it is possible to come up with fundraiser/corporate event packages.

Consider offering packages that include lighting or sound systems. If you don’t already carry these items, this could be a chance to add new rental items to your inventory. Think of common party sizes and offer 100-, 200- and 300-person packages. By having options available
right from the beginning, you will make coordinating the event easier for the responsible person. The easier you make it for that person, the more likely they will have you in mind the next time they have an event.

Don’t forget about word-of-mouth marketing. People love to share their favorite restaurant or cool independent coffee house with their friends and coworkers. The same can be said about the rental company that helped them throw a great event. Keep in mind that you can be a source of that word-of-mouth promotion.

You can use social media to spread awareness of your company’s role in local fundraisers. Ask for pictures of an event and post those on your Facebook page. Share that post with friends and other organizations similar to your client’s background. By doing this, other companies will be able to visualize what you can do for their events. Once you do a great job, a company can turn into a long-term client. Why would someone even look at another rental company if every time they use your company you hit it out of the park?

Fundraisers and corporate events are different than weddings and most parties. They require a little more thought and care, but the reward can be a long-term client. Put in that extra effort and you can set your business up for future success.