At the end of 2016, Transformation Marketing was bursting at the seams in its current office space. The company purchased a fixer-upper, 1-room schoolhouse built in 1885 across from our main office building. We decided to convert this building a conference center for client meetings and annual planning sessions, freeing up the previous conference room for extra office space.
To reveal this building and expansion of the TM campus, we decided to have an open house. The biggest challenge was getting clients to commit to driving to our location. Being in a rural area means we are at least, a 30-minute drive for our closest clients. We had to create something so unique, our clients couldn’t resist joining our celebration.
With all the work that went into our new conference center, we wanted to have an open house that would do the building justice. So, we arranged for something huge to happen – a total solar eclipse! With our super marketing powers, we were able to get the moon and the sun to cross paths at the exact right time in our small town of Panama, NE to make the town go dark for a few minutes. We planned this out for August 21, 2017, and invited some of our greatest clients and vendors to enjoy the experience with us as well as reveal our new conference center with an open house.
We decided to create custom eclipse glasses and sent them out with every invitation. So, if clients couldn’t attend, they at least had glasses to enjoy the eclipse where they were. Guests enjoyed clever event pieces such as a trivia video, gift bags with eclipse gum and sunburst candy and munched on luncheon food such as moon ball fruit salad, crescent moon sandwiches, Sunchips, Blue Moon and Miller Lite beer and solar cupcakes. Everything was set for our open house and total solar eclipse!
In the end, there was a challenge that we did not predict: traffic! Word spread far and wide of this phenomenon and our location was in the direct ideal path making for a great open house but not for some commutes. However, we declared the event a success as 35 attendees were able to experience the eclipse from the TM campus and tour our new conference center. Those who couldn’t make it or watched in one of many traffic jams in Nebraska, received our eclipse glasses with their invitation took photos and posted them online, tagging Transformation Marketing and/or our team members, and those not on social media (who does that?) emailed photos to us.
We have to say that when it was all over, this open house was a once in a lifetime event!