December 31, 2008

My firm 2007 / 2008 year end barbeque as a marketing tool (revisited)

We had fun last year when we threw a party at our office rooftop with a few clients being invited and barbeque being cooked by me and my staff. It was not the over the top, drink as you can and full of non-fulfilling all out party. It was a family oriented kosher party with just the partners, our staff and some close clients, having good food and a karaoke session, in a full-lit room, in contrast to those dim-lit karaoke which you take an all male clients to. Clean good fun.

It was just a simple event where no business was discussed. Children were also in attendance and the makeshift karaoke entertainment system was my television and my partner's dvd player. One of the client who is a hardened karaoke sessionist, brought his own microphone and we had to ask him to stop after the fireworks ended as the party had started since 5pm and most were already tired after 1am. We watched the fireworks all around the office at 12pm a good fifteen minutes from Sunway Pyramid, Midvalley, 1 Utama, even very far away, KLCC and the Mines. A slight drizzle fell at 12.30 and made the outside area a bit wet. We wrapped up the party at 1.30am with food still aplenty which we distributed among us to take home.

The chef at the office's barbeque last year

I think it is important to maintain certain type of social gathering with clients on certain level. Even if you don't have the budget, at least once in a month for you to take them for a drink or even better if you can take them to lunch. Some business type people do more than that such as spa treat for the ladies or makeover session or even a shopping spree either in the local malls or further away in Bandung or Medan. Those who are savvy in sports such as golf, use these opportunity as the stepping stone to get to know their clients better. Nearly half of our client became friends after some times as we worked close with them in serving their customers and we believe being close make us understand their needs better.

The social gathering does not have to be lavish or even catered. It just have to be well organised and each persons need are attended to. Expect hiccups especially when there are children and like my office, with nearly most of the staff are women, ask them to be involved in mingling with the crowd and serving their need. Explain to the staff the need for the event and try to reward them for their time. Usually, the partners or the person in charge will have to be the life of the party as you will determine the heading of the party or the event.

This year, we may not held it as we just don't feel celebration is the way to go this year as we are bracing for a tough time ahead. Maybe we will just sit around the rooftop but with a simple dinner to bring the year to a close.

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