Whether you are hosting a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony before you open the doors of your new small business, or you’ve been in business for a while and are planning a charity event, there are some things you can do to stand out from the crowd and encourage people to attend your small business event.

Choose Your Focus for your Small Business Event

Don’t try to be everything to everyone when planning your event. Instead, focus on what you want to accomplish with this one event. Who is your target audience for the event? Do you want to interact with your customers or network with other business owners who can help send customers your way?

How will holding this particular event help your business?

Be Unique

What other businesses have held similar events in the area? Now, look at what they’ve done for their events and figure out something unique you can add to yours to help you stand out from the crowd. Consider things such as:

  • Featuring a local celebrity
  • Giving out a unique gift
  • Providing family-friendly entertainment

Market Relentlessly

Start marketing your small business event early and don’t stop. Get the word out in as many different ways as you can.

  • Social media
  • Direct mail to current customers
  • Ask family and friends to attend and bring at least one other person
  • Send press releases to local media
  • Invite local influencers (politicians and celebrities)
  • Make phone calls to be sure people remember to attend

Team Up

Want to throw a big event but have limited funds? Consider teaming up with a few other business in your building or neighborhood. Another idea is to team up with businesses that complement yours. For example, if you sell jewelry, team up with a bakery, a dressmaker and a printer and host a wedding event.

Gather Help

Plan on turnout being a lot fewer people than expected. However, at the same time have some helpers who you can delegate tasks to and who can chip in and help if you have a higher than expected turnout.

Also, try to hire local businesses that might talk you up to their clients. For example, hire a local catering company and ask that they tell their clients about your floral business. You can offer the same in return.


One way to ensure that your event is memorable is to follow-up with those you’ve reached out to. Take the time to handwrite a note and thank the attendees for coming to your event. Thank them with a special discount or a small gift if they come back to your next event or even just into your store.

To have a truly successful small business event, you have to think outside the box and be willing to try new and creative things. Don’t be afraid to copy things other types of events are doing, such as wedding style buffets, party decorations, and even promotions you see other people and businesses doing.

Photo Credit: Marco Selenic via photopin (license)