Running Open House Events

Oct 23, 2015

  1. pasttheduedate
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    pasttheduedate New Member

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    We're considering doing a holiday open house event. We've never done one, and the boss wants to see if it's something worthwhile. We have lots of nationalities represented in our area (and even in our office), and want something that will be generally appealing both to current and potential clients.

    Has anyone run an open house before? What worked well and what didn't? Anything come up that surprised you?
     
  2. Stephen
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    Stephen Guru

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    Most people aren't going to go and visit an insurance agency just for the heck of it, you have to give them a reason to come in. Feed, give them something for free, or educate them.
     
    Stephen, Oct 23, 2015
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  3. pasttheduedate
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    pasttheduedate New Member

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    We're definitely going to do food, and we're in a complex with a bunch of businesses, so we were going to invite them as well. I think we can do free gifts. I know giveaways are problematic for insurance, but I'm not sure if there's exceptions for that.
     
  4. thecommercialguy
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    thecommercialguy Expert

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    In agreement with Stephen.

    To go one step further, our industry is notorious for always coming up with ways to try to get people to "come in" and people hate us for us. Some are good, some are lame. The existing conversation in the head of the customer is; "insurance agents are always out to sell you something." The majority of your effort in organizing any event needs to focus on countering this prejudice. That's where your interaction needs to begin. They haven't met you, but they think they already know you (as an agent).

    So then, are there any ways to promote "going out" rather than "coming in" since "coming in" only reinforces their prejudice that insurance agents are always out to sell you something? A countering example could be....the local fire department could use some volunteers cleaning its premise. They don't really, but you make the deal with them because it raises awareness for them and their hard-often-unnoticed-work in the community while in return you get more exposure to the community by "going out" and serving with them. All it takes is 4 hours on a Saturday.

    You make it clear to the community that you're arranging for the volunteer effort. Families come because kids get to climb on the trucks. You organize the event and possibly even gather donations for the fire dept. Your agency doesn't ask for a thing at event. This is key! The community leaves with memories of being given something (memories of giving back to the community, donating to a good cause, kids smiles as they climb the trucks, photo with your favorite fireman, etc). You make the invitation to the community through a mass-email campaign and you have an online-RSVP set up so you have the confirmed emails of those who commit to attending. (You need to RSVP because you can't have the entire community show up and make it a fire hazard....or something. Have a form of scarcity to require their commitment by giving you their email address.) You give it two weeks after the event and then follow-up about their experience at their fire dept and get their renewal dates. Promise not to follow-up until 6 weeks from renewal. At this point, the hope is to have the trust the people built with the fire dept by interacting with the firemen drip down on to you since they know you organized the event in conjunction with the fire dept.

    Just an idea off the top of my head :) The point is - Avoid structuring events that reinforce the prejudice people already have against you for simply being an insurance agent.

    Hayato
    closingcommercial dot com
     
  5. pasttheduedate
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    pasttheduedate New Member

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    I really like that idea! It's fun, it provides a service, and it gets people thinking about why they need insurance. I actually watched the house across the street from me burn down, so it can happen.
     
  6. thecommercialguy
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    thecommercialguy Expert

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    Keep it up! Let me know what you choose. We're always looking for ways to better our game :)

    Hayato
    closingcommercial dot com
     
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