For a small business to successfully hold an event like an open house it is important to get the word out in the area of the event. There are always the typical methods like radio, TV and bill boards, but these are going to be costly for a small business. Word of mouth is going to be a great way to get people out to your event so you need to get people talking about the event.
If you do want to go the more popular route like radio or TV, watch for some sort of specials. Talk to your advertising sales person about any specials they may be running. See if they are willing to take gift certificates to your company in lieu of cash. Radio stations especially may be willing to do this so they can use them as a give away. Not only do you get the benefit of the advertising but your company would be getting mentioned for the give away. Then whoever wins the gift certificates will most likely at least come to you to spend the gift certificates. If you can get the hosts to talk up the offer a little so much the better.
Make sure you put details of your event made available on your website. This is a good way to put out large amounts of information to point potential visitors to. Make sure to use good SEO techniques on the web page. Do the typical backlinking to improve search engine result placement.
Search out online event calendars to place your event in, some good ones to start with are Eventful and EventCrazy, Craigslist also has an event area. Many of these will also allow backlinks to your website event. Sites like TV stations websites, radio station websites and newspaper websites will usually have a community event calendar. Do not stop there though, do a search for towns name and "event calendar" or similar. Find event calendars that will get visitors from your customer demographic and list your event there.
Develop a list and use it. Send your mailing list a postcard about your event. Email your email list about the event and direct them to your website for more information. Don't have a list, start building one with AWeber today. Not only is the list good for announcing your event it's also a select group of people that want to hear from you about special offerings and newsletters year round.
Use print media. Put ads in newspapers and/or magazines. Keep in mind the lead time required for the different types of media. A magazine may require your ad several months before your event, newspapers are going to be less, but you still want to be sure the event is announced early enough for maximum impact. Get post cards printed up that you can distribute through you employees and mail. You can also display them at lots of places that have a community bulliten board. Tack several of them up so people can take one.
On the day of the event be sure everything is ready and welcome all your customers.