Noting the high failure rate of businesses during their first few years of existence, companies that are reaching their 10-year, 25-year, or 50-year mark have an accomplishment well worth celebrating. While some companies commemorate their anniversary with just cake and punch, savvy businesses, both large and small, are discovering that bringing attention to such milestones can draw positive attention about their continued success.
The anniversary celebration can equate to a yearlong series of events, activities, revelry and media attention. The benefits of which can aid in building brand name, thanking clients and customers, and rewarding loyal employees.
Strategy sessions, creative suggestions, budgeting and planning should begin six months to one year before the launch date of the milestone year. Including employees and the marketing department in these activities permits them to be involved and to build pride in the successful history of their employer.
They can also suggest ways to incorporate the sales programs and marketing efforts into the celebration. To avoid common pitfalls, do not overload the staff with details or assign projects to those employees who are not skilled in event planning. The end result may not be the festive event you thought you would be having. You don’t want them to resent the process, nor do you need productivity to wane. Using the expertise of event planners and public relations agencies to aid in the event celebration can help everyone reach the goals.
A milestone anniversary can include a media campaign launched on a local or national level. The campaign can focus on the history of the business, the innovation of the products or services, record of growth, and the leadership of the owners. The milestone anniversary can also serve as a foot in the door to get the attention of editors and reporters.
Industry publications are also friendly to features about businesses with a history of success. If approached in advance, some publications will create a special supplement that will include photographs of the owners, a company logo, a feature story and congratulatory advertisements from suppliers and vendors.
The next step is to have the feature story matted and framed, adding a nice accent to the waiting room wall. Several awards firms will also create a plaque on wood using the story. Making a scrapbook of features and stories is another way to display pride in the company anniversary.
The marketing department might appreciate having reprints of the stories to include in the pocket folder with the brochure and sales materials. The reprints can help educate the prospect about the history of the company.
The advertising campaign can be built around the celebration, as well. Print advertisements can thank clients for the years of success. Billboards also lend themselves to bringing attention to the record of success. Radio and television advertisements can play on the theme or just mention the anniversary.
Many business organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, offer activities and venues that can be utilized as a part of the milestone festivities. One ideal venue is to host a networking event at the corporate offices. Attendees will be able to meet employees and owners, tour the offices, and see examples of work performed.
Other options could be to sponsor a business event where the company banner or logo could be displayed, or purchase a company table for employees at the Chamber’s annual dinner.
Companies can also partner with community events to bring attention to their birthday. Music festivals and holiday events offer energy and exposure. Many not-for-profit groups and charities welcome corporate involvement in their golf tournaments, auctions and dinners.
Employees may want to host their own activity in honor of a favorite charity and ask their family members to join in. The business celebration can be a very enjoyable experience for everyone and benefit those in need as well.
Unique advertising specialty items that follow the theme of the anniversary can be an excellent addition. There are thousands of products that can be imprinted with the company logo, anniversary date, mission statement, or just about anything having to do with the celebration.
They make ideal gifts as a thank you to clients, or items can be passed out throughout the year to prospects. I recommend meeting with the representative from the advertising specialty company during the planning process. Many times they have good ideas and insight into what items will fit the celebration and the budget.
Some businesses have their graphic artist design several projects for the milestone. A special anniversary logo can be printed on business cards and letterhead, displayed on the web site, and imprinted on colorful seals. A commemorative brochure or booklet that reflects on the history of the business and the ownership offers a way to educate prospects.
Consumers on all levels seek to build relationships with companies that they know will be in business tomorrow, next year and beyond. The company anniversary can serve as the ideal opportunity to remind employees, clients and prospects of the continued success that has been achieved. Whether a business wants to make a big splash or just small waves, a milestone anniversary celebration can be an enjoyable and profitable experience!