If you think having fun at work is a myth, then you’re wrong! Maybe it’s time to bring some pizazz into your workplace and host an exciting event for you and your customers! Connecting with customers is a deeply important part of running a successful business, and what better ways to connect with the people you cater to than by literally catering to them? Starting an interactive in-store experience for your customers may seem like a daunting task, but in the long run, not only will the revenue reflect your efforts, but you will also have created a whole new community of people within your business.
Here are some tips for running a successful store event:
1. Get the word out
You may have a steady stream of customers throughout the week, but how do you know if putting on a special store event will be worth your efforts? The answer to this is to advertise until you can recite your event details in your sleep. One hugely effective way to do this is through social media. More and more people are turning to Facebook, Twitter, and websites to find details for upcoming events, so make sure it is posted well enough in advance for people to plan around your event! If you spring it on your customers the day of, they may not get the memo and the poor turnout might turn you off of ever putting on another event. Another highly effective way to do this is through word of mouth. Though social media is an expanding phenomenon, there is still a great deal of value in personally informing your customers about your upcoming events. Whether it be just with a friendly reminder, or if you hand them a physical flyer outlining all the details, customer interaction is always effective. Remember, that’s why you’re putting on the events in the first place!
2. Be passionate!!
If there is something that you are passionate about, don’t hesitate to incorporate it into your events! Many themes I’ve used have been related to my favorite authors, holidays, seasons, animals, etc. Trust me—your customers will know if you are engaged. The more enthusiastic you can be about bringing something new and exciting to your store, the more entertaining and meaningful it will be for your customers. Not to mention, the more engaged you are with your audience, the more rewarding it will ultimately be for your business. By participating and reaching out, you can form important and lasting relationships with people, which will essentially do a large portion of your marketing work for you! When you provide a good customer experience, people are much more likely to pass on the word to friends and family and send many new faces your way!
3. Dollar stores are your best friend
When planning events for a large group of people, it can be hard to fit everything you need into a budget that will still allow for profit. This is where your local dollar store comes in handy! In my experience, I have been able to provide craft supplies, prizes, decorations, and refreshments for 50+ people for under $100, just by shopping smart and making a little go a long way. Buying things in bulk and really getting your money’s worth out of the supplies you purchase makes the day’s sales numbers that much more satisfying.
4. Free is key
If you want your store event to be successful, I have found that advertising FREE attendance for your customers is the key to a larger turnout. Your goal is to get more traffic in your store, and nothing brings bargain shoppers out like free things! The more people you have coming through your doors, the more you’ll have purchasing your product when they may never have stepped foot in your store otherwise. It also never hurts to make noticeable displays of event-related product to catch their attention. Another good tip for advertising a free event is to keep a sign-up sheet and ask your customers to put their names on the list prior to the event to guarantee their attendance. This way you can gain a better estimate of the size of your crowd, and customers will have time before the event to spread the word to their friends and families. That being said, when promising a free event for anyone to attend, make sure you have adequate space to accommodate a large crowd. The word “free” often generates a pretty overwhelming response!
5. Think outside the box
Don’t be afraid to seek outside help for your events! There is a wealth of available services geared specifically towards catering to corporate events. Whether it is a magician, a live animal show, or an art workshop, there are always new and affordable ways to bring something exciting into your place of business. Many entertainment companies are also more than willing to provide discounts and extra deals to suit your needs, so it always helps to call and speak personally with your potential guests before booking.
Regardless of which direction you decide to go in with your events, remember that they are yours and if you’re not having fun with them, then your customers won’t either. Whether it is an event geared toward children, family, or adults, the more engaged you are in what you’re doing, the better success you will have. Participating in fun activities different from your daily routine will not only improve your relationship with your customers, but it is an excellent team-building exercise for you and your staff as well. The more involved you become within your surrounding community, the bigger your customer base will grow and you will find that work can be more fun than you thought it could be!
Retail Store Manager