One of the nicest parts of the county where I live is its varied landscape: beaches, biking trails, bayside fishing, parks, and towns with plenty of small businesses.
Perhaps the most charming aspect is the rich history. From tales of pirates who hid in coves off the coast, from Henry Hudson who reportedly anchored offshore and to brave patriots who drove the British back to their ships during the Revolutionary War.
It’s this history that leads to many special events around town.
Recently, one community hosted a kitchen tour, featuring some of the oldest farmhouses in the county as well as impressive Victorians and modern residences, too. Promoted as a fundraiser to supplement the town’s schools, the event planners played up the locations on the tour – upscale, private homes that are rarely seen by the public.
What made the day even more special? Small business sponsorships.
Event coordinators convinced just about every applicable small business in town to get involved. From interior designers and caterers, local restauranteurs and specialty suppliers of kitchen products and services, businesses typically associated with the best were all on board.
How did I know this? Promotions were evident for weeks. Flyers heralding the upcoming event were in every shop, ads filled the newspapers, and many businesses used the same graphics on their online sites. Facebook was the social media of choice for this event and updates were posted often. And the program not only listed homes open for visitation, but there were pages of ads touting small businesses that participated.
Needless to say, the event was a big success. Hundreds of visitors flocked to the tour throughout the day. Local restaurants and caterers handed out plenty of samples. Business cards and giveaways ran out by the end of the day, too.
The takeaway from this well-executed event: Find something similar in your town or county and get on the sponsorship bandwagon, because events like this can lead to plenty of future business.
The beneficiaries of this day, besides the more than 500 patrons who got a good look at kitchens old and new? The local PTO, which will use the proceeds to help the educational programs in town. And the small businesses who wisely chose to sponsor and who will be remembered long after.