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How many in your party?

Here's a marketing tip I developed when a local restaurant spontaneously decorated our table for a friend's birthday lunch.  It's a great way to have guest's share their special occasions with you.

It's a great way to get your share of the "special event" business and have guests celebrate their occasions with you, whether it's birthdays, Mother's Days, graduations, Father's Days, weddings, showers, office parties... you name it.

Design a postcard party reservation that customers can fill out and turn in to you or the hostess. Just like the gift wrap selections in department stores, get some themes to add a customized feel to the celebration. "Themes" can be simple color-coordinated accessories or elaborate schemes. If you'd rather not have multiple looks, reinforce your brand image by having your party theme coordinate with your existing dªcor, style and color scheme. It's up to you.

At a minimum, include a helium balloon bouquet centerpiece (three or more balloons anchored with a bag of jelly beans), streamers and confetti for the table top (you can drape the streamers over the stemmed glassware for a festive look) and colored linens or paper goods.

If you're ambitious and want to expand your services, design coordinated party invitations, tastefully featuring your logo, that your customers can use to invite their guests. You could even have coordinated gift certificates, thank you notes and place cards.

Make sure your marketing pieces suggest special desserts and party menus. And don't forget to ask your employees for input. Special occasions are fun and profitable... so party on!

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