Small retail stores often host events such as book signings, trunk shows, theme parties, and workshops as a way of generating excitement about their business, attracting more customers, and boosting sales.
Too often, though, the one element missing from event planning is marketing to the people who actually work at the store. After all, when working on a big project like an event, collaboration is necessary to make it successful.
“97% of corporate executives, employees and educates believe a lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of a task or project.”
Source: Scope Logic
The Retail Doctor offers some helpful tips on how to get your staff on board to ensure a successful store event:
6 “Inside” Marketing Tips to Make Any Store Event A Success
1. Know Your Goal
Before you can ask for others to support your idea, you need to understand it clearly yourself. Why are you hosting the event in the first place? Are you trying to reduce uncertainty about your brand with potential customers or shorten the shopping return time for customers who do know you? Having a clear understanding of your goal will help you articulate its value—along with the event details—to others.
2. Pretend You’re an Ad Executive
Schedule a designated time when you can gather employees, managers, and other appropriate persons, to discuss why you want to host your event. To help them understand the event’s value, make a handout with compelling details, such as the theme and name of the event, what you plan to achieve, special promotions, etc. If you’re good at making videos, you can create an engaging 2 min video about your event idea to generate excitement.
Make sure you supply everyone with a timetable, with designated dates and times so your staff has a clear understanding of how the event will progress from start to finish.
If possible, ask for questions ahead of time so you can present your answers during the meeting. Make note of any potential problems mentioned during the discussion, including parking, long wait times, and where to find additional resources, etc.
3. Tap the Creativity of Your Team
Great ideas could emerge from within your own ranks! Ask for ideas about businesses you can partner with, as well as where you can acquire donations for prizes, ways to promote the event or possible giveaways you can hand out.
“It is surprising how time and again the input of others, especially those not directly involved in a project can help your creative efforts,” says InnovationManagement.
4. Incentivize Participants
Some employees welcome opportunities to gain professional and personal recognition for special projects, whether they’re industry related or community-based. You can sweeten the deal by offering meaningful incentives to employees that buy into your event idea.
“If they have a stake in its success, they are much more likely to make it memorable – in a good way,” says The Retail Doctor.
Remember that rewards and incentives only hold meaning for your employees when they make them feel appreciated. So listen to their ideas and give them the recognition they deserve for contributing their time and talents to your event.
5. Turn Your Employees into Brand Ambassadors
During your event, have your employees use their mobile devices to take some photos and/or video footage of people wandering through your store, strolling your sidewalks, or participating in fun games and other activities.
Then have your staff post the content to their social media pages—in addition to posting it on your company website and Facebook page—and share it with their friends and family. Working together, you can expand your reach with the kind of content that really generates interest.
Hold a post-event meeting to discuss what went well, what lessons were learned, and what could be improved. Make a note of your achievements and failures—with firm costs and sales numbers—to use as cautionary guidance and/or validation for hosting another event down the road.
Keep an event folder on your desktop, or in your file cabinet, with all the information you created prior, during, and after your event so you can use it as a resource for future event planning.
When there is collaboration among your team members, it boosts the capacity of your business to achieve new heights, no matter the project or goal.
If you want your store event to be more successful, prepare to do a little inside marketing to your employees, managers, and/or other owners. Getting a buy-in from your crew will contribute to your event in ways you hadn’t thought possible.
When your staff is on board, they’ll greet customers who show up at your store with genuine enthusiasm and excitement—the kind that builds relationships and drives sales.
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Also published on Medium.