We recently sponsored an LPGA Golf Tournament Event at Kingsmill Golf Course in Williamsburg, Virginia. As part on the sponsorship we donated 25 copiers, 50 phone systems and 35 laptops. In return we got seating for 30 customers at the event, a few spots to play in the pro-am and advertisement opps.
Each year we do 3-Open House Events in our Virginia Beach, Richmond and Roanoke locations. We typically get about 500 total customers attending all 3 events and we have about 30 vendor partners traveling statewide to meeting with our customers to do product demos and answer questions about products and services. This is by far the largest event series I plan each year — we typically generate about $60,000 in MDF funding to cover the expenses. Each event is setup in a trade show format with a Taste, Tour and Technology theme. We have tons of food, games and prizes for the customers to enjoy.
I had the pleasure of working with the Extreme Makeover Home Edition Crew. They recently did a version of the show in Virginia Beach. We helped sponsor the event by housing them at the ESI facility for the duration of the project and we donated computer equipment towards the housing project. I got to take several V.I.P. Tours of the housing site and spend time quality time with the event team. This experience was very beneficial and gave me a ton of great ideas for the organization and preparation of future events.
We recently got a ton of money from HP to finish out the quarter. The total sum of funding was $25,000 so we wanted to do something pretty big and fun for our customers. After we game planned for a few hours, we decided to help the Richmond market place. They typically struggle with events and have issues getting high level decision makers to attend. To add more excitement to the event we rented out a 70 seat sky-box with an open bar and all day buffet. The event yielded great results, we have 64 out of 70 customers.
In 2008 we started to build a stronger partnership with Dell. As product sales increased, we started hosting bi-monthly events for IT professionals to discuss network infrastructure on the ESI campus. We set the event up with a breakfast buffet and round table seating. I honestly didn’t think this event format was enough to get people in the door, but I guess everybody loves breakfast. The results were great and our vendor partner was very pleased. We averaged about 18-20 customers per session.
To appeal to a rural area business leaders, we did an event at Old Forge shooting range in Richmond, VA. Customers shot clay pigeons for a few hours after receiving a 30-minute HP servers presentation and chowing down on some sweet southern BBQ.