May is National Barbecue Month, and is a great opportunity for small business owners to market their companies with special events and promotional giveaways. The spring and summer are the best times to light the grill and many people love to spend their time outdoors because the weather is so pleasurable. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 85 percent of consumers prefer to cook outside on grills or smokers during the warmer months.
Promotional events in May should feature barbecues to celebrate National Barbecue Month because consumers will appreciate small business owners who hold unique gatherings. Here are a few tips for turning a barbecue into a marketing event.
Hold a contest
Some consumers might be hesitant to attend barbecues because they'd rather have personal celebrations without listening to sales pitches. Entrepreneurs can attract attendees by having special contests and requiring participants to be at the events in order to claim their prizes. Small business owners can hold raffles or tell customers they're automatically entered when they make small purchases.
Entrepreneurs should find fun prizes to distribute to the winners. The top reward should be a BBQ Tool Set so that a customer has the right equipment to hold his or her own barbeque later in the year. Participants would love chances to win such a great and functional prize. Additionally, a branded volleyball can be given to the second-place winner so he or she can have some fun in the sun during a trip to the beach.
Other promotional marketing products can be given out as presents. Small business owners can hand out promotional pens and key rings to thank customers for attending the barbecues. Consumers may be more likely to participate if they know they'll be given rewards even if they don't win the contest.
The Houston Chronicle recommends that multiple restaurants and catering companies should be considered for promotional events. During National Barbecue Month, small business owners should find eateries and caterers that offer or specialize in grilled food. After all, the event is supposed to be a barbecue, so pizza and other common food items wouldn't be relevant to the theme.
That said, choosing a caterer isn't as simple as finding one who can grill hot dogs at the lowest price. Small business owners must remember that some consumers have special diets so the menus can't solely include one type of food. There should be vegetarian and vegan options for attendees who prefer not to eat meet. Gluten-free meals should be provided to people who can only eat specific dishes because of their health conditions.
Having a large menu with multiple options helps entrepreneurs ensure that everyone can attend the promotional events. Additionally, customers will appreciate that the company went the extra mile so that people could enjoy a barbecue even though they have special diets.
Location, location, location
SMB Now notes that location is an important consideration when planning a promotional event. The importance is heightened during barbecues because small business owners need adequate room to cook outside. In many cases, it's also preferable to have enough space for customers to eat and play outdoors as well.
One possible solution is to hold the barbecues in the parking lot, but this option is only available to small businesses that have their own lots and don't rely on public parking spaces or municipal structures. Alternatively, entrepreneurs could apply for permits so they could hold their events in public parks. Owners who use this option should market their barbecues so customers know the exact time, date and location, and directions should be provided to all potential attendees.