From pig roasts to backyard barbecues, we've heard of all kinds of warm-weather excuses for getting together with clients and trade partners. Last year in New Jersey, Bryhn Construction's summer bash involved 135 friends of the company, a tent full of food and drink, and lots of hot air.
“We threw a party at a local balloon festival,” Roy Bryhn says. Setting out to celebrate his company's recent induction as a Big50 remodeler, Bryhn says he had planned “some kind of a social gathering with employees and subcontractors and their families, but there ended up being so many people on the list that I figured, at that cost, we should make it a marketing event with clients.”
The cost? About $15,000 for a one-day sponsorship, which included a corporate tent catered with wine, beer, and food, free tent-side parking for guests, a balloon-ride raffle, and high-profile placement before 20,000 or so other attendees. The returns included incalculable goodwill from guests, one of whom called shortly afterward to initiate $500,000 worth of work.
“We got a tremendous response from the people who came,” Bryhn says. He thinks they especially appreciated the casualness of the event — specifically, being able to slip in and out of the tent without feeling hemmed in or disrespectful. “We wanted them to be comfortable.”
Bryhn's festival was the Quick Check New Jersey Festival of Ballooning (www.balloonfestival.com). Enter “balloon festival” in a search engine online to learn about other events nationwide that offer sponsorship opportunities.