A Professional or Personal Development event (aka Open House) is an opportunity to not just attract new members, but an opportunity for members to step out of their comfort zone, to put their leadership skills to work and shine. The first step is understanding the way you need to market this event. To help market to potential members, we’re rebranding as a Professional Development Event (PDE) and recommend you advertise it this way too!
Think BIG! When you give your guests more than they expect, your event will be a huge success. Plan it all out and put everyone in the club to work. Follow these easy steps.
Start with an Open House / Professional Development Event (PDE) Chair
This is a great opportunity as a Pathways project or a High Performance Leadership (HPL) project.
Phase One – Planning (at least 30 days out)
- Contact the D58 Club Growth Director at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you have an upcoming event. Ask for marketing materials to help make your event a success. Chairperson should give a Motivational Speech to club to gain commitment and volunteers
- Set a Goal for how many guests & members (Don’t just invite 10 people. Invite more because statistically only about 30% will show up.)
- Determine Location, Date & Time to accommodate your goal
- Determine if you’ll have a Guest Speaker or conduct some variation of a Toastmasters meeting. List out who will perform each role on the agenda.
- Confirm Toastmaster of the Day
- Who will give one-minute “Toastimonials” (2-3 to speak during the meeting on how Toastmasters helps them grow)
Phase Two – Publicity and Guest-list
- Publicity and guest-list committee
- Print and distribute flyers for each member to distribute & post
- Invite neighboring businesses
- Press Releases (Make two: send 1 & 2 weeks prior to event)
- Public Service Announcements (PSA’s) – 1 & 2 weeks prior to event (Target – Radio Stations, Public Access TV, etc)
- Task every member to bring a minimum 2 guests
- Brainstorm a list of every possible place to publicize.
- HOA’s (homeowners associations)
- Cable outlets
- Community newsletters
- Corporate newsletters
- Facebook neighborhood groups
- Add to the District event calendar
- Create a Facebook event
Use the D58 Open House video in your online posts and events invitations to help publicize why Toastmasters can help
Phase Three – Food and Decorations
- Food committee (cookies, fruit, veggies, cheese & crackers, punch & coffee)
- Decorations committee
- Guest Cards from TI catalog, or create your own
- Greeters to welcome every guest at the door
- Floaters to network and answer questions
- Signs to direct to meeting room
- Name Badges
- Door Prizes (have a “punch bowl” for people to throw in business cards or filled out cards with name, email, and phone #)
- Have pre-filled Membership Applications on hand
- Information Table (manuals, brochures, catalog, TM magazines, etc)
Post event (one week after event)
- Follow-up press release & social media with action photos
- Follow-up phone calls or letters to guests. Ask them to attend your next meeting.
- Conduct an after-event meeting to discuss how the event went