In the wildly oversaturated media climate most of us live in, word of mouth referrals stand as the only true currency.
If a trusted source tells us about something, be it a work of art, new product, service or idea, we’re apt to actually check it out.
When your business hosts a highly curated dinner and discussion about something relevant to the company’s mission and invites the right outside parties, it’s going to spark conversations that extend well beyond the salon itself.
Salons invite conversations that don’t happen within the confines of an average work day, so what does your organization hope those conversations will achieve?
“Salons build community. And when you build a robust and engaging community, your customers keep coming back for more,” says POSTHOC founder Susan MacTavish Best.
“The experience opens up an emotional connection to the business and brand. It also provides an opportunity to create a truly curated gathering for one’s influencers, media and business leaders (aka potential partners, investors etc.), and doors open for potential collaboration.”
However, deep conversation and connection is only possible at a certain scale. We recommend opting for a salon series as a thoughtful ongoing approach to experiential marketing and community building.
You’re building community, and that takes time and is progressive. So with that, you don’t need to invite everyone at once. The guest list strategy is where the key ingredient for success lies.
More diverse perspectives equates to better conversation, and businesses grow where relationships grow.
Influencers, press, clients, partners, and specific staff from biz dev or marketing teams should be considered, or any other staff who are keenly outgoing. Just like any guest list, it should be an eclectic lot of people who are invited. Does anyone want to spend an evening with a room filled with only accountants or doctors? Usually not – reach out to people that you’d like to know better and invite them!
We also recommend co-hosting with a strategic partner as a way to cross-pollinate guest lists and offset costs.
Who do you work with already outside your organization that you’d like to get to know better? What external organizations share your company’s vision and ethos who might be beneficial to ally with?
And these experiences create unique content.
Although the real lasting magic comes from the connections made during the salon itself, nothing is more important than looking each other in the eye, there’s a massive opportunity with the content captured at these events to showcase your company’s values and culture in a holistic, organic way.
If your company is thinking of hosting, a few questions to ask yourselves include:
What are the messages and objectives?
Who will run ongoing point on salon logistics?
What kind of help will they need?
Support in the form of funding and human resources are of course necessary to succeed in your salon-ing endeavors, but support when it comes to curation is the key to success.
Be sure to collaborate with your most trusted teammates on the programming and guest list. For more hosting tips check out our complete how-to guide only at TheSalonHost.com and check out POSTHOC founder and CEO Susan MacTavish Best’s salon manifesto to learn about the ethos underlying the magic that happens at these historical gatherings.