Firm anniversaries are a great way to engage your employees, brand your company, and build your business. Being in business for a significant number of years is more than just an opportunity to throw a big party, it’s an opportunity to strengthen your brand, develop relationships, and foster new business. The party is important, but it’s just one small piece of the whole puzzle.
Plan ahead and utilize the entire year to create events and create opportunities that celebrate your clients and employees. There are many different marketing related items that will help create awareness of your firm. For example, if you’re celebrating 50 years in business, you could celebrate each week with a different engagement. This can be as simple as a social media post or as large as your anniversary party. Be prepared and start planning the year before (at least six months). first week in January six months before!
Open a dialogue amongst the principals or owners of the firm to discuss how and why the firm was started. Find out something fun and interesting about the founders or the firm. Did your company name get created in a bar? Did the founders have a passion for changing the world one project at a time? Tell the story — that’s what it’s about. These are small pieces that, when put together, help complete the entire puzzle.
After that, find significant occurrences over the 50 years to highlight each week. Some of these could include project awards, leadership/principal/owner changes, or special community projects, just to name a few. The firm could also highlight when the first computer was used in the office (for companies older than 25 years) or when the fax machine was first introduced to employees. There are many fun and interesting facts about your company that you could share via social media, website, press releases, trade shows, and other communications throughout the entire anniversary year.
Other pieces to this puzzle include celebrating with your employees. The employees have contributed to much of the company’s success, so make sure to include them in the celebrations, too. Host employee events along with events that include employees’ families, to educate and promote the company’s history, heritage, brand, and culture. For an employee event, you could create Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit game to educate employees about the history of the firm. This would be especially helpful for newer employees to learn more about the firm. It’s also fun for those that have been there for a long time, because they can help craft the questions by making it fun yet informative.
The company should also host client events, which includes the big party itself, but also other smaller communications and events. Design an anniversary logo and display it on all your marketing collateral. This can be used during the entire anniversary year. Highlight different projects and clients you’ve worked with over the years, especially clients that have done repeated work and have been a client since the beginning. Create a timeline of significant projects, awards, and changes in the company. Create an award for your long-term clients. Tell the story about how you acquired the business and how you’ve kept the business. Make it fun and interesting. Utilize video and capture stories and testimonials from clients and employees. All of these marketing opportunities are also pieces to the puzzle.
The final piece of the puzzle, of course, is the big celebration party. This can be as elaborate or simple as you choose, but make it memorable. Host the party at your office or at a significant project you have designed or built. Create a theme for the party. All the marketing efforts should be connected and lead up to the celebration party.
The entire year should be spent highlighting different parts of the firm. This is an opportunity to reach out to past and existing clients, along with telling your story to prospects and future employees. Use it as a business development opportunity along with a chance to strengthen existing client relationships. Showcase community support, association involvement, civic involvement, etc. through these efforts. As you put together and complete your puzzle, make sure to utilize your resources wisely to get the most out of your financial investment.
nu marketing would be happy to assist you with an upcoming business anniversary plan. We can also help you with all the details of the events, too (including the party, open houses, or employee events). Call us today — we’d love to help you put the pieces of your puzzle together!