Let’s face it – restoration marketing just ain’t easy. But you know what is easy? Grabbing a few martini’s (ladies… or men if you’re man enough) and sitting down on a Thursday afternoon talking about nothing too important. What I’m saying is this – you’re doing yourself a disservice by not hosting a restoration happy hour.
Now I know what some of you are thinking because I’ve heard it been said to my face. *GASP* “We will NEVER stoop THAT low… we don’t BUY our clients!” Ok cool, then don’t… I’d like to take your clients too, and if I network with them over a few beers, they’ll probably welcome me with open arms.
If you’re not networking at happy hours, know that your competition is.
Starting a Restoration Happy Hour
This is the foot work part. Start an email chain and send it to your closet contacts… ask them to invite a few of their friends to an intimate, no-sales-pitch happy hour event your hosting on your companies dime. A few drinks per person and appetizers for all to share. Your first happy hour may not be a huge hit, which is why repetition is key in making this a success. Have some vendors? Tell them they can come if each brings one applicable contact. The more the merrier. Don’t focus on making it 1 company specific. CREATE A FLYER. People love forwarding invites, and a catchy flyer full of information makes it all the easier. Post it up on your company Facebook page and have your employees mark themselves as attending (getting them to actually attend is a whole ‘nother story).
Find a central location to your target clients and call the restaurant letting them know you’re hosting a happy hour there… then ask them what they have to offer you. This is key in saving you a few bucks – 9 times out of 10, they’ll extend their happy hour specials for you or offer a discounted menu. If they don’t, find someplace else and ask them. Keep in mind, if you live in a populated city, Thursday happy hour falls around rush hour, so plan accordingly. Asking 1 set of clients to drive ten minutes and another set to drive 1 hour will create a pretty lopsided Happy Hour attendee list. Think easily accessible. Find a place with ample free parking (or be prepared to validate parking if it’s paid). Live in a city with metro / busses? Even better – keep the location close to public transit. Give your clients no excuses as to why they can’t come. Keep the Happy Hour to a minimum of two hours long giving people the opportunity to show up late if need be.
This may sound corny, but hear me out. At the door, give each attendee two drink tickets. It’ll keep your bill down, keep them from buying shots of top shelf liquor, and keep your liability low… no one wants someone driving home drunk on their dime. Let anyone attending know that you’ll fit the bill for the cab if need be (or provide them a way home). It’s always awesome to be safer than sorry – plus, keeping costs low is great.
Pre-order the appetizers as soon as you get there and let the bar tender know that no other appetizers will be put on the tab… it’s amazing what people will do when they hear the words “F-R-E-E” … pre-ordering the food will subtly let people know that what’s there is what’s there… and nothing more.
Many apartment complexes having monthly meetings on certain days, so take a consensus and plan from there. Wednesday is always a great alternative to the typical happy hour leaving you with less crowd and a quieter atmosphere – plus you avoid interrupting meetings your clients may already be committed to.
Make this a once-a-month thing. You’ll slowly become known for the awesome, well-organized happy hours you throw and your pull of clients will grow and grow. Take that, competition! Try to keep it on a “third Wednesday of the month” or something similar so that people begin to pre-schedule your event without having to check dates or times.
While your there, ask attendees for their business cards by having a gift card drawing of some sort – maybe even to the restaurant where you’re hosting the event. This way, come the next morning, you can follow up with contacts, invite them to the next happy hour, and let them know how awesome it was having them there. Let them know the invite is open to others in their office, etc.
There you go – the
What is a Restoration Happy Hour?
A Restoration Happy Hour is a social event hosted by restoration professionals, typically in the water, fire, or mold remediation industry, to network and build relationships.
Why should restoration professionals host a Restoration Happy Hour?
Restoration professionals should host a Restoration Happy Hour to build relationships with others in their industry, promote their business, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies.
What are some benefits of attending a Restoration Happy Hour?
Benefits of attending a Restoration Happy Hour include the opportunity to meet and connect with others in the industry, learn about new products and services, and stay informed about industry news and trends.
How can hosting a Restoration Happy Hour benefit a restoration professional’s business?
Hosting a Restoration Happy Hour can benefit a restoration professional’s business by increasing brand awareness, generating new leads, and building relationships with potential clients and partners.
How often should Restoration Happy Hours be hosted?
Restoration Happy Hours can be hosted on a regular basis, such as monthly or quarterly, or as a one-time event for a specific occasion or purpose.
What are some tips for hosting a successful Restoration Happy Hour?
Tips for hosting a successful Restoration Happy Hour include choosing a convenient location, promoting the event on social media and other channels, providing food and drinks, and creating a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere.
Who should be invited to a Restoration Happy Hour?
Restoration Happy Hours can be open to anyone in the industry, including restoration professionals, insurance agents, adjusters, and other related professionals.
Should Restoration Happy Hours be focused on business or socializing?
Restoration Happy Hours should be a balance of business and socializing, allowing attendees to connect and build relationships in a relaxed and casual setting.
What are some icebreaker activities that can be incorporated into a Restoration Happy Hour?
Icebreaker activities for a Restoration Happy Hour can include games, raffles, or trivia related to the restoration industry.
Can Restoration Happy Hours be held virtually?
Yes, Restoration Happy Hours can be held virtually using video conferencing platforms or social media platforms, especially during times when in-person events are not possible.
How can hosting a Restoration Happy Hour contribute to the overall restoration industry?
Hosting a Restoration Happy Hour can contribute to the overall restoration industry by fostering collaboration and communication among professionals, promoting industry best practices, and strengthening the reputation of the industry as a whole.