On Wednesday, February 12th the staff of ASI, Cincinnati held an open house to welcome clients to their office. ASI affiliate, Kim Moscarino and her team shared product information, AIA accredited ADA and Wayfinding training courses and advice on clients’ upcoming signage projects. An extensive collection of signs and photos of many ASI, Cincinnati’s completed projects were on display throughout their office. Perhaps most popular was the organized sign making activity set up in the workroom where the ASI team helped guests make their own signs to take home.
Why Host an Open House
Hosting an open house provides a great opportunity to standout by showing existing and potential clients what takes place behind the scenes. It enables you to differentiate your firm from your competition by putting a human face on what it takes to design, fabricate and install signage. Guests get to see that creativity and professional attention only begin with the placing of an order. Getting a look behind the scenes focuses attention on the professional process, not just the end product. It takes a product that might be viewed as a commodity and makes it unique.
Advance Planning Is Critical
A great deal of planning and preparation went into ASI, Cincinnati conducting their first open house. Over 50 guests attended the event, which took place from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. The impressive turnout resulted in large part because of the detailed planning by Kim Moscarino, Suzi Roth and the rest of the ASI, Cincinnati team. They spent over a month getting their office in shape while at the same time working on everything from invitation design and their invitee list, to the theme, refreshments, sample displays, obtaining vendor support and giveaways to deliver a first-rate event. Those who attended will remember ASI, Cincinnati’s open house for a long time.
Choose a Theme and Follow a Timeline
With the Winter Olympics starting a few days prior to the open house Kim and her team decided that an Olympic theme would be the perfect tie-in for their open house. They designed special open house signage that they displayed throughout the office and the games that attendees played had Olympics sports themes. The entire ASI, Cincinnati team wore specially designed shirts featuring both the ASI logo and Olympic sports artwork. The same sports artwork was used on the cut vinyl, which attendees used on the signs they produced.
One added touch was the design of cookies ordered from a local baker. Some of the cookies featured “ASI” gold, silver and bronze medal icing. Other cookies were designed with the same Olympic sports artwork that appeared on the ASI team member shirts and signs. The cookies were a hit as guests enjoyed the food and beverages.
A month prior to the open house an invitation was displayed on the ASI, Cincinnati webpage and an open house phone message was added to the message loop callers heard when they were placed on hold. Two weeks before the open house an email campaign featuring an invitation was sent to architect offices from the ASI, Cincinnati email database. Next, phone calls were made to follow up with key clients to encourage attendance.
Multiple Activities Build Open House Attendance
One never knows what winter weather will bring and the number of attendees remains an unknown until an event is underway. Although there was plenty of snow on the ground the streets were clear. Over fifty people showed up to ASI, Cincinnati’s open house. Both the ADA and Wayfinding AIA courses had strong participation and the client sign making activity was a huge hit with a constant huddle of clients and ASI staff working together to produce signs for attendees to take home as a reminder of the open house. The sign making was great fun. More importantly, it was educational and provided the perfect opening for ASI staff to share the process ASI goes through to insure that the signage ASI designs, produces and installs for clients meets each client’s unique needs.
The open house was informal with lots of fun and laughing. Still, one couldn’t help but notice the respect and confidence that the clients held for Kim Moscarino and the ASI, Cincinnati team. The open house enabled their respect to grow as attendees’ knowledge grew about what goes on behind the scenes at ASI. Many of the attendees had worked with ASI for years, others were new clients and some hadn’t yet worked with ASI on their signage solutions. Many of the attendees were designers. Attendees really enjoyed designing and making their own signs regardless of their job functions.
It was obvious that most of the clients at the open house had never been to a signage company office and they were impressed with what they saw. As guests left with their sign samples and goodie bags each thanked the ASI team. The open house will stick with them and when new signage projects come along ASI, Cincinnati will be top of mind.
ASI, Cincinnati won a Gold Medal for this event as each client expressed appreciation and all departed with smiles on their faces. Differentiating your business from your competition by hosting an open house is a great source for future orders from existing and potential clients as well as increased referrals.
Additional Open House Photos & ASI, Cincinnati Webpage
To view more photos taken at ASI, Cincinnati Open House just click here.
To visit ASI, Cincinnati’s webpage just click here.