If you haven’t learned the value of hosting fun events as part of your business, you’re missing out. It’s a great way to connect with customers—both potential and existing—and valued partners. Sure, you’re not able to meet people in person right now, but that just means you need to think of new ways to engage, like getting creative with virtual events.
Stay connected with virtual events
Before the pandemic, I spent a lot of time doing face-to-face events. Unfortunately, for more than a year now those in-person events haven’t been possible. But that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped hosting events. We’ve just been more creative in how we do it.
Our internal team has been very successful in adapting to remote work by staying connected through video conferencing. We’ve also managed to maintain a regular schedule of meet-and-greet events by going virtual there, too. It’s a bit more challenging to coordinate, but so worth it.
Chocolate and whiskey tasting
When it comes to getting creative with virtual events, I am a big fan of special food or drink tastings. On May 6th, in partnership with Paul A. Young Fine Chocolates and Rampur Whiskey, I hosted a unique and luxurious virtual tasting. The tasting was led by Paul A. Young himself, from the beautiful kitchen in his home in London.
Each attendee was sent a spectacular package of truffles, 3 bars of chocolate and 3 different bottles of whiskey to pair with. Then, at the appointed time, we all got together via Zoom to learn from Paul’s expertise and enjoy some tasty treats.
Fun is fun, but business is still business
While it’s always fun to hang out with interesting people—and I’ll never say no to a chance to taste some gourmet chocolate—it’s still business.
For this event, before getting into the tasting we kicked things off with a warm welcome by Introhive’s Ryan O’Sullivan. During this introduction, he held a brief discussion of one of Introhive’s core messages: the value of relationship intelligence to increase revenue and collaboration across an organization. It was not a hard sell by any stretch, and it was never supposed to be. The goal is simply to reinforce the value our company has to offer above and beyond what they might already know or use.
Mostly it’s about the fun
Ryan turned things over to Anup Barik, Master Distiller at Rampur Whiskey, who warmed up the crowd to discuss the whiskey distilling process and history of Rampur in India. Paul then walked each attendee through the three chocolate bars and which whiskey to pair with. Paul capped off the tasting by discussing the process of sourcing his fine chocolate and how it is made.
In the end, it was more than just an excuse to taste some international delicacies; it was an event oriented towards learning something new. We all loved learning about the history of Rampur Whiskey and Paul A. Young Fine Chocolate and what distinguishes them from the rest of the market, and hopefully the attendees also learned a thing or two about Introhive.
Is this type of creative virtual event valuable?
Now, you might be wondering, what is the value to Introhive of hosting a Whiskey and Chocolate pairing? It’s certainly not the standard webinar or event you might expect from a SaaS company, and beyond that brief value expression in the introduction, it wasn’t focused on our product use or any tips and tricks in business.
We hosted this fun and delectable event for one reason (well, three reasons if you count chocolate and whiskey!): because building relationships with our customers and partners matters.
So was it valuable? Let’s ask the people who were there.
What the audience had to say
“I just wanted to say a belated “thank you” for inviting me to join you last week for your chocolate and whisky tasting event. It was great fun and I thought it worked really well in a virtual setting. I certainly learnt a lot more about both whisky and chocolate, confirmed my love of chocolate and extended my desire to like whisky even if the reality is I don’t! ;)) Thanks for putting on a really enjoyable evening!”
“A genuine event to remember!”
“It was great! Thank you for making it such an enjoyable event; Paul was fabulous, and I learnt a new combination – never had whiskey and chocolate before.”
The proof is in the whiskey (usually 80 proof)
At Introhive we know that relationships are important, it’s what our business is really all about. That’s why we’re going all in on getting creative with virtual events—we’re planning to keep running virtual events like the chocolate and whiskey tasting even after the pandemic ends and we can meet face-to-face again.
Cementing solid relationships with our customers and partners is reward enough, but the icing on the cake (mmmm, we should do a cake tasting event!) is when the experience helps convert an attendee into a customer or upsells an existing customer to additional products or services.
After all, fun is fun, but business is still business.
Want to check out an Introhive event for yourself? Register for any one of our upcoming events—I guarantee you’ll love it.