Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Creating Catalyst Events


Creating Catalyst Events

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

I recently attended two business events.

One was with a large national retail chain and featured guest speaker, financial commentator Michael Pascoe (pictured).

It was well organised, well attended and you were encouraged to network.

You even left with a show bag full of free goodies. It was excellent for building goodwill with stakeholders and in this case customers.

They have even reorganised their retail outlet to provide a free meeting space for business owners.

The other event was poorly attended, the guest speaker turned up more than half an hour late and the organisers failed to provide any business cards or marketing collateral.

It was a real lost opportunity.

These events are called catalyst events.

The aim of such events is to bring people together in situations conducive to forming symbiotic relationships.

Here are five tips on creating a great catalyst event to help grow your business through referrals.

**1. Invite the right people**
Invite people who would benefit from a deeper relationship with each other within a business context.

People who could benefit from referring business to each other for example.

An architect and a builder, an accountant and a lawyer and a printer and a graphic designer for example.

**2. Keep Them Exclusive**
Catalyst events should not be open to the public. They should be exclusive and be invitation only.

Remember people are investing their time, effort and social capital by attending.

Exclusive business clubs, golf clubs or special screenings of movies all work well.

I've even been involved in events where an exclusive group of people, mainly sponsors and other influencers, were able to have exclusive pre-event access to the keynote speaker at an event by meeting at the venue early.

**3. Hold them regularly**
Catalyst events should be held regularly and be part of your marketing mix and budget.

**4. Repeat them**
Once you have invested time, money and effort in holding a catalyst event, you should repeat them.

You need to leverage the effort you have put into the logistics of organising the event.

**5. Have An Attractor Factor**
One of my clients when they were in start up phase organised a chartered fishing trip.

This was a fantastic catalyst event that provided a thankyou to all their investors, supporters and suppliers that had helped establish the business in the early start up phase.

Another attractor factor could be a great guest speaker or a free sample or give away.

If you're looking for a guest speaker at a catalyst event, please email and I would be happy to help plan your next event to make it a great success.

If you have to give a short presentation at a catalyst event, please consider our last public program for 2010:

**Tuesday December 7th 2010, Subiaco Arts Centre, Perth, Australia**
__Powerful and Persuasive Speechwriting__
Numbers limited so book here].

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