Budget Breakdown: How We Threw A Pop-Up Event For Less Than $2,000
T. Jones Group drastically transformed this Palm Springs-inspired Villa while upholding its architectural integrity to bring this home into the modern day.
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"Jeffs Residences, on Charles Street just off Commercial Drive] was a large old
house that was built in the 1900's, it happened to be sitting on a large site that was
quite under utilized relative to what you could build on the site ... Under the zoning
on the site you could have demolished everything and built 10 duplexes. But /
looked at it and I thought that first, there was this grand old house that had been
kind of butchered but still retained the essential fabric and form of the original
house, and there was an opportunity here with this under utilized site. I thought
maybe there was an opportunity to add some different forms of housing through a
Heritage Revitalization Agreement which was a policy tool the City had to
encourage Heritage Retention"
With drywall up in our last two remaining townhomes at our heritage conversion project, Century House, we wanted to invite potential buyers out to see the progress by throwing a construction site tour. However, given the COVID-19 restrictions at the time we needed to plan an event that would work within these constraints.
Fitting With the Spirit of COVID, We Wanted to Keep This Event Small
During the course of construction, interested buyers had been signing up to receive updates, so we had accumulated a list of potential buyers who had already expressed interest in the project. We wanted to reignite this interest, and only invite those who were already familiar with the project so we could meet buyers face to face and they could experience in person all the amazing features Century House has to offer. With presale projects, buyers usually do not see what they are buying until it is completed. But with Century House, because the heritage restoration and neighborhood are part of what makes this project special we felt it was important for potential buyers to come out and experience it for themselves.
What We Did to throw a COVID Safe Event for Under $2,000:
- Getting the Word Out (TOTAL: $600)
- Email Blast Design (Cost: $600)
- We worked with our graphic designer to design an email blast to promote the event that we would send to our entire Century House database. As email blasts are free to send, we strategically designed the email in a way that it could be repurposed and resent many times to capture as many attendees as we had the capacity for.
- The Power of Social Media (Cost: Free!)
- We promoted the event on our social media channels, @icon.co, and @centuryhouse.ca. Day of, we had groups stop by because they had seen it on our social media, reinforcing our belief that social media is a powerful real estate marketing tool.
- COVID Safety Precautions (Total Cost: $5)
- Private Tours Scheduled Through Calendry (Free!)
- In our email blast, we asked attendees to sign up for private tour slots via Calendry, a free online booking software. This way, we were able to limit and control the number of people on-site to reduce contact risk.
- Contactless Digital COVID Waivers (Free!)
- The day before the event we sent waivers to everyone who signed up via DocuSign. While this tool allowed us to minimize contact and paper use, it also had the added benefit of acting as a reminder to those that had signed up.
- Sanitizing Products ($10)
- It wouldn't be a COVID event without hand sanitizer!
- Delicious Summer Treats (Total Cost: $450)
- To make the day just that much sweeter, we wanted to have some sort of treat for our attendees to enjoy.We were on a mission to find a vendor that was budget-conscious and COVID-friendly. After calling every ice cream truck in the city, whose prices ranged upwards of $650 and required us to pay for staffing, we were considering abandoning the idea. Luckily for us, we came across Johnny’s Pops who came up with a solution that worked for our event. He dropped off his delightful red popsicle cart in the morning and came and picked it up after our event – no staffing required! His cart fit perfectly in front of the townhomes, the red cart and umbrella could not be missed, and the popsicles were a hit. His solution worked better for us and our purpose than the more expensive options, and the cheerful and inviting display attracted people from the neighborhood to say hi and learn about the project.
- Visitor Experience (Total Cost: $600)
- Renderings, Floorplans, and Brochures ($600)
- We repurposed our existing Century House brochure and got selected pages printed on giant foam boards. It was important for attendees to see floorplans and renderings of the finished product to envision what the space would look like when it was all done.
- Outdoor Signage ($68)
- We believe in investing in marketing assets that will serve a project throughout the life of the entire campaign, particularly signage. As such, early on in the campaign, we had Century House branded hoarding made so people could not miss it as they drove past. We see hoarding as a crucial marketing asset as it creates brand recognition and generates leads with the local demographic. Because of the hoarding, you can't miss it as you drive by but just in case we got a sign made to direct attendees to where on the site they were to meet the Icon Marketing team.
- Our Amazing Team
- It would not be an Icon Marketing event without our team. It was all hands on deck to make sure our attendees had a fun and safe experience.
Our One Day Event Turned into Two Days...
Sitting outside Century House with our bright red cart chatting with people as they walked by generated enough demand for another day of tours. While we were able to safely squeeze a few extra groups in, the Icon Marketing team created so much new interest that we needed to ask groups to come back the next day.
An Unplanned Community Response
Interacting with the neighborhood and seeing the impact our projects have on the community is one of the best parts of throwing events. We received an overwhelmingly positive response from those who came to talk to us that they were so happy to see that the brick corner store was being repurposed, rather than demolished. One longtime community member even told us about how he grew up coming to this corner store every day after school to buy snacks.
You Don’t Need a Massive Budget to Throw a Successful Event
Just through email blasts, we were able to fill 75% of our available spots with qualified buyers who were interested enough in the project to spend their Saturday touring it. Then, through social media and foot traffic accumulated another 7 groups that wanted to tour the project. We had such a great time throwing this event, and it was a great feeling to get back out there. Stay tuned for another pop-up event coming to your neighborhood soon – we can’t wait! Disclaimer: The above is provided for information purposes only and should not be taken as expert opinion or professional advice. Opinions given are lay opinions only and do not constitute professional advice. Please consult with an expert in the field(s) discussed prior to making any financial decisions. All rights reserved.