A successful in-store event is the perfect way to drive traffic, get to know your customers and have a great time doing it! Follow these tips to host a store event that will be one for the books.
Choose a theme
In the beginning stages of planning for your event, first choose a theme. The possibilities are endless but could be based on a holiday or special occasion – like your store’s anniversary. To make an even bigger impact with your event, consider pairing up with a charity. Any avenue you choose when selecting a theme will make promoting your event easier and more enticing for your customers.
Choose a time and date
Plan your event far in advance to allow you enough time to promote your event and gather all necessary materials for the big day. If you’re planning your event around a holiday or special occasion, choose a date and time that is most convenient, not only for your store, but for those attending as well. You could host events during store hours, but also have the option to stay open late with an “after hours” event. To determine which option is best for your event, take everyone’s preferences into consideration.
Develop your marketing plan
Promoting your event is one of the most important parts of the planning process and is a huge reason why choosing a date far enough in advance is important. Rushing a promotion will make it less likely to be successful. Plan out enough time to allow you to draw in and hook your audience.
Tease your audience on social media, email and in-store to generate excitement. Make statements and ask questions that get customers interested. Consider using messages like, “Something big is happening at our store! Want to know more? Stay tuned!” or “Sign up for our email list if you want to be the first to know about our big surprise!”
Invite your customers in every way possible. Tap into social media, email, traditional advertising, print advertising and any other way your creativity takes you, to spread the word. This step in your marketing plan is crucial to make sure your event is well-attended. Inviting your customers and their friends goes hand-in-hand with teasing your audience. You will be adding to the excitement by providing the details they have been waiting for.
Another way to invite customers is to utilize Facebook. Create a Facebook event page to bring everyone invited together before your event. This will serve the purpose of sharing updates and all details in a centralized place for those attending.
Remind your customers of your event. After generating all of the excitement and releasing the details of your event, you need to seal the deal with reminders. You can remind your customers by sending out an email and scheduling posts to your social networks at several different times of the day to reach as many people as possible. Remind your customers on social media five, three and one day(s) prior to your event.
Pull out all of the stops
There is a lot that needs to go into making your event successful. Don’t leave any stone unturned when making your store event the best of the year. Add elements that take your efforts above and beyond.
Provide live updates by uploading photos and videos in real time for your social media following who were unable to attend. This is an easy way to encourage them to come to your next event!
Encourage customers who have attended to also upload photos, tag your store and use your hashtag to their own personal social networks. This will allow your awesome event to reach an even broader audience and create (free) buzz.
Document your event
In addition to live updates, document photos and videos that you can upload to social and send in an email at a later date. Documenting your event will serve multiple purposes. You will be able to show off what a wonderful time you had with your customers, and bring more customers to your next event. Additionally, updates serve as a way to reflect on your event and aid in planning/improving your next event.
Give thanks and follow up
After all that has gone into planning this spectacular event of yours, it wouldn’t have been possible without your customers who have attended. Once your event has passed, thank your customers who have attended in addition to those who didn’t, but have been supporting your brand all along. A little thanks goes a long way and customer appreciation should become a habit.
Despite the planning and effort that goes into hosting a successful event, it will be well worth your while. Events give you the opportunity to get to know and interact with your customers, while giving them a chance to appreciate all that you do. For everything you need to know to make your event the talk of the town, download our Event Marketing Success Kit!