With High Point just a couple of months away, there’s already a lot of hub bub about it in the interior design industry. Getting your reservations, your showroom plan, reserving any tours, etc. It’s a lot of work, and it’s also not cheap. Going to High Point can often be quite an investment of both your time and money. But, there’s a way to take that investment, and really make it work for you. Host your own High Point After Party.
So, what do I mean by that exactly? Well, I mean go to High Point, soak in everything you can, get any samples, memos, video, info that you can bring back, and then present it as an event to your own clients – especially the ones that you haven’t worked with in awhile but would love to work with again.
We’ll be talking about this over the next two weeks as there’s just so much info here, so make sure you catch both posts so you don’t miss out on any of it!
People LOVE Exclusive Access
First of all, people LOVE to receive exclusive access – to places, information, and things. And right now, (well other than by going on a sponsored tour), only designers and vendors are allowed at High Point Market. So, you have something quite desirable to a lot of people who are interested in design, but aren’t in the field of design. So lean into that. Give your clients (and their network if you want to add the option for clients to bring guests) a sneak peek and a little bit of access, through you.
And make sure you make major note of that when you’re in the promotion and invitation stage. When you’re telling your clients why they should attend your event, let them know that High Point Market is a designer only event but as your client, they’re able to take part in this exclusive, trend making event. People love to feel special and unique, and on the cutting edge, so don’t be shy about the fact that this is something that most people will be unable to access. It’s one of your biggest selling points for why they should attend.
People are Searching for Enrichment Experiences
Now, other than giving your clients exclusive access to top secret info with a High Point After Party, you’re also giving them a huge opportunity for enrichment. And if you haven’t noticed, these days there is a HUGE focus on education, enrichment, and information. There are literally hundreds of options for this everywhere on every subject imaginable – whether its olive oil tastings, or Masterclasses on how to negotiate, or weekend workshops on how to parent your child properly, everyone is offering the opportunity to learn. They’re a big business, and they’re successful ones at that.
So offering enrichment programs for your clients (and their network) is a great way to capitalize on this. You want to utilize the fact that so many people are constantly seeking ways to learn more and obtain more information for their own personal interest and development, and often paying big money for them.
So as a professional who has the kind of information that people are particularly interested in right now, you have a fantastic opportunity for providing this as an additional service to your own clients. However, as these are already clients of yours, I wouldn’t recommend charging for this type of event. Instead, I would promote it as an additional benefit of working with you – continual education on what’s trending and popular in the world of interior design. It could even become an annual or bi-annual event that your firm becomes known for, something that people want and ask to be invited to.
Sometimes People Just Want a “Room Refresh”
Want yet another reason to hold a High Point After Party, a profitable one that will cover the cost of the event and beyond? Putting on this type of event is a fantastic opportunity to get more business – either through room refreshes or whole room projects.
As you host this type of event, clients will naturally start to think about working with you again. They’ll be seeing the trends, colors, gorgeous items, etc. available to them this year and are going to being thinking, “Hmm, there are so many great pieces out there now, and we have been thinking about redesigning the living room and dining room. Maybe we should just go ahead and take the plunge. Let’s ask if she has some availability soon.” Score! Big new project(s) coming your way.
But, what about those people that you just worked with a few years ago, the ones who redesigned their entire house with you? They’re unlikely to need that again in the foreseeable future. However, they may be interested in a “room refresh.”
Maybe they’d like a few things swapped out and a few of these trendier pieces brought in – throw pillows, accessories, an occasional chair or two, based on what they see. Maybe they’d like options on what they put out – spring and fall accessories, or they’d like to recover the ottoman that got soda spilled all over it.
So subtly offer these as suggestions during your event. Let clients know that if they’re interested in either a whole room re-do or simply updating a few pieces to refresh their space, all of those are options. Now, of course you don’t want the event to be overly salesy as that can come across as “Oh, this is just a sales pitch.” But you can just mention it once at the beginning or end to let them know, “If there’s anything you see and would like to know more about, please do let us know. We can bring these options to you as either a simple room refresh or as a full service project.”
And before you think to yourself, “I don’t have time to offer a room refresh as a service”, consider letting a junior designer tackle these opportunities. Or, simply sell a “room refresh” as a Designer for a Day option to limit your time investment or only for certain months in the year (your slow months).
That way, you’ll not only be able to fill up your calendar and your profitability, you’ll be able to move clients from, “we can work together every 10 years”, to “we can work together every two or three years” – making your life and your marketing efforts a heck of a lot easier.
Showcase That You’re a Trusted & Aware Professional
So, what do you think? Are you convinced yet that hosting your own, completely exclusive, trend making, first on the scene High Point After Party, exclusively for your clients and their network is a great idea? And a great opportunity to showcase you as a trusted and aware professional, a true leader in your field? I certainly hope so.
And remember, there’s going to be even more info shared next week! I’ll be sharing one more reason to hold this kind of event, and what you want to be covering. But if you’re already convinced and don’t even need to wait for next week to know this is something you need to do, go ahead and scout out a location for your event – your own conference room, a rentable co-working space, a trade-only showroom, whatever it may be. Go out there and get your hands on it before someone else does, as well, the early designer gets the best space!
Write in the comments below, have you ever hosted an educational or enrichment event like this for your current clients? I’d love to hear!
And if you’d love even more ideas on how to continually connect with your past and current clients to get more business, check out “The Art of Pampering” here!