7 Ideas For Fun and Profitable Special Events – Retail Marketing Tip #13
There are many ways to drive traffic to your store and offering lower prices is only one of them.
Think past the big “SALE” signs in your window and
OFFER EVENTS THAT FEATURE FUN, Education, or Inspiration, NOT DISCOUNTS.
This type of promotional event, when done well, not only gives your customers an exciting reason to visit your store, but sets you up as an expert resource and encourages full-price buying. Some of these events may be so great that you may actually be able to CHARGE for them and turn them into a profit center.
But don’t feel you have to – the main idea is to get them in your business, get them excited about your product or service, get them to buy, and make them loyal customers. The events can be simple weekly events or huge, blow-out promotions. Best of all, do some of both.
A handful of examples:
- Health food stores could offer a series of healthy cooking classes by a local chef. One day might be gluten free cooking, next cooking with organic honeys, then 27 ways to add fiber to your food.
- An outdoor adventure store might do a monthly movie night with documentary movies on mountain climbing, extreme kayaking, trekking in the Amazon, or walking the Appalachian Trail. Highlight products similar to those used in the movies and let people try them out after the movie.
- Women’s clothing stores could offer evening events featuring mini-makeovers like the ones you see on TV. Recruit make-up artists, personal shoppers, local salons and spas, or professional image consultants to donate services in exchange for publicity and access to your customers. Dress your customers in amazing outfits. Give free hair styling. Do makeup-consultations. And offer before and after pictures.
- A landscape design and garden center could offer a city-wide garden tour. Tour homes and businesses for which you have recently done landscaping to show off your best work. Print up a tour brochure that highlights the best design features and newest plants used in each location. You could even sell tickets and donate a portion of proceeds to a local garden club, land conservancy or other appropriate charity.
- A massage therapist could offer a workshop on gentle massage techniques parents can use on heir children.
- A financial planner or stock broker could hold an annual black tie event where party-goers bet on stock market style games (there are a ton of these – I searched Google under ‘games about the stock market’). This kind of event teaches about good investing, gets people excited about investing, and sets you up as the expert. You could donate money won by the ‘bank’ to the local United Way or other charity.
Had enough? How about just one more…
- An upscale bar and grill could have a guest bartender once a month on a usually slow night. Invite the mayor, the fire chief, local (or big name!) celebrities, captains of industry, or colorful characters to come and tend bar for the evening. Name a drink and appetizer special after them for the evening and watch them fly out the door!
There you go. My mind is jam-packed with more ideas, but my typing fingers are getting tired.
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