Events… Planning for Success
How many special events do you hold? If the answer is less than one a quarter, it’s time to rethink that part of your marketing program. Why? Because events help solidify relationships with customers and patients. Plus, they draw in new business. And, if that’s not enough, here’s one more reason…they underscore your position as a valued member of the community. Here’s a quick look at nine popular retail events that are readily adaptable to optical.
Tip: Invite customers to post old photos on your Facebook page as part of a Throwback Thursday “event.”
- SIDEWALK SALE
Make it an annual event. And, if you’re part of a neighborhood association, create buzz by all members holding it the same Saturday or Sunday.
- LOCAL ARTISTS
Whether it’s local artists or students, transform one wall into a revolving gallery of art by local talent. Change it every six weeks or so, and promote the artist(s) online and in-store.
- AFTER HOURS
Small retailers are doing this more and more. The location may close at 5, but they create a space where local writers can do readings, for example, where someone can do makeovers, where a local group can meet. The space is there. Use it.
- SHOP LOCAL
If you’re part of a shop local/neighborhood group, get together and plan a series of events…holiday shopping, Halloween fun, summer solstice. Give an incentive for locals to go to several locations. And offer them a coupon, even if it’s just for a cleaning cloth, that is valid during regular hours. Better yet, tie in social and tell them to go to your website for an exclusive offer.
- BITE ‘N’ BROWSE
Food is often a challenge. But put an event like this into your calendar so that customers know the first Friday of every month you offer a snack and beverage, along with a looping video on topics like high-quality frame manufacturing or vision health. Whatever you do, be consistent. And promote it on social and your website.
- THROWBACK THURSDAY
Invite customers to post old photos on your Facebook page as part of a Throwback Thursday “event.” Some ECPs sell vintage eyewear. If you do, you could offer it on Thursdays only. Or promote styles that are timeless or that are similar to looks worn by celebs like Elvis, Buddy Holly, or Tom Cruise. Post pix and have fun.
- FASHION SHOW
Whether it’s a fashion show or VIP appreciation event, send e-vites to special customers and invite them to a combination fashion + trunk show or VIP event. Show your event in action by live streaming it on an app like Periscope or Facebook Live.
You can also create a rotating section that is similar to a pop-up shop to call attention to something special or to tell a particular brand story. Just be sure to change it regularly to make it a destination. Research has found that product displayed in a pop-up environment can sell for 35% more than the same items in a traditional format.
- CHARITY TIE-IN
Conduct a charity auction after hours, but include on-line previewing of the items and maybe even online bidding.
What kind of special events have you held? Share in the conversation on Facebook here and tell us what worked at your location.