We've all been there: you have an extravagant vision for an event with a near opposite budget. Lucky for you, we've got a few tips to stretch your budget and make all your party dreams comes true!
Partner with Vendors
- Look around your city. Join local foodie or small business Facebook groups. Make a list of restaurants and shops you’d like to partner with. Take a Saturday and spend a few hours hunting down partners.
- Look for restaurants/shops that are opening soon or just recently opened. They are usually looking for creative ways to market their product – and we can give them just that!
- Go into existing restaurants and shops. Change your perspective from them doing us a favor to us doing THEM a favor. We are offering them advertising in a closed market of hundreds of neighbors in their backyard. They would pay top dollar for marketing to the same saturation of people.
- Use your local chamber of commerce as a resource. They list their members on their website, which are typically small businesses who are actively advertising in and supporting your community. Often the name/contact info for a rep will be listed right there - no digging required!
- Look for timely partnerships. Keep an eye out for existing events in your local community. A 5K, live music in the park, a red carpet rollout of a new business are opportunities to piggyback existing events for your residents to participate in at little to no cost. You may even get VIP access if you can connect with the organizers.
- Meet with your cable/internet provider. One of your biggest vendor advocates is going to be your cable/internet provider rep. Many communities only offer a specific internet provider, which means the rep for that provider is drawing commission on every new lease. Ask your property manager for the contact information for the reps and reach out to see if they’d like to team up on a specific event.
- Use your personal connections within your web of influence. Are your friends business owners who might be willing to pitch in financially to market their product? Network within your circle of friends -- they might even have amazing ideas that we haven’t thought of.
- Ask your program director and/or other Apartment Life Coordinators for contact information. UTILIZE THE FACEBOOK GROUP. Share your needs regularly. Share great local resources with others in your area. We’re a family, and each of us has unique connections that we can all benefit from!
Perfect Your Pitch
Some things to keep in mind when pitching what we do to potential vendors:
- Timing is important. Don’t try to visit a place on a busy day to ask them to partner. Choose a time when you know they will be less busy. Weekdays are usually ideal. Never approach a restaurant during meal time.
- Look professional. If you look the part, they will take you more seriously.
- Be confident. For example, if your property has 275 units, this represents a market of 500+ people in the area, and you are literally handing them access to that market.
- Create a mock flyer. Use one of our templates to create a flyer that already has their logo on it to show the vendor how you will promote their product.
Example Sales Pitch
Ask to speak to the manager on site.
“Hi, my name is Jody and this is my wife Natassia. We are the event coordiantors at the (Name of Apartment Community). We have the privilege of hosting several community events for our property every month. We have a July Fourth pool party coming up and would love to partner with you guys by marketing your product/service in exchange for raffle prizes. Our community has 420 units and more than 1,000 residents, so the exposure will certainly be worth your while.”
Generally they will ask what you would like for your prizes. Know what you will ask for before going in.
“We would like to raffle off a $40 gift card to your establishment, and in exchange we will be able to positively promote your product via flyers, our community Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter to help gain your business some exposure.”
Now it's your turn! Tell us what tips have helped you go the extra mile to create an unforgettable event by leaving us a note in the comments.
--Information contributed by Jody Anderson, Regional Director for the Ozark Region and former Apartment Life Coordinator