The busiest shopping period of the year is just getting started, and if you’re a store owner, getting people into your shop is half the battle.
In addition to special promotions, host a few interactive events to drum up foot traffic and build a loyal following in the process. Having an irresistible product can take you far, but events can help you elevate your brand and give back to the community at the same time.
At Pinterest, we grow our passionate community through events and special programs for our most active Pinners around the world. Each of our events include a creative component, whether that’s a “Studio Night” around making terrariums in our SF office, a “Day of the Dead” DIY party in Japan or screen printing over pizza in the U.K.
Here are 4 tips to help you plan events:
First things first: you need to come up with an idea. Pinterest is all about interests, whether that’s home decor, comic books or fly fishing, and it’s one place to start. What interests and hobbies align with your business?
Use Pinterest to find ideas for projects related to those interests. You can even focus your event on a project inspired by a Pin you’ve found.
(Note: If you want to mention Pinterest or Pins, just make sure to follow our brand guidelines. As long as it doesn’t seem like we’re co-sponsoring the event, we’re happy to see people using Pinterest to do and make things in real life.)
You can also think about the new and under-the-radar products that you might want to promote as a way to come up with event ideas.
While sips and tasty bites are essential to keeping people satisfied, an activity can help people feel comfortable and avoid awkward mingling. Consider an interactive class or workshop that lets people imagine themselves using your products or services.
When people leave with something they made from your store, they’ll remember you in the future. If you don’t want to teach them how to make something you sell, you could try finding a project that pairs well with your stuff. A specialty tea shop could help people make a personalized tea cozy or monogrammed mug to go with their tea selection. A hardware store could help people paint picture frames using specialty paint they sell.
If a workshop seems like too much work this year, try a tasting, family entertainment night or guest speaker.
Don’t know how to make stuff? Partner with someone local who might be able to guest-host a workshop with your business as a sponsor. Etsy shops might be a place to find makers.
“I get to play matchmaker between makers and customers. Hosting in-store events with makers only strengthens that bond. When we can gather at the store to see the process of an item as it's made, a tactile affection blooms,” said Emily Blistein, owner of Clementine in Vermont. Clementine uses Etsy trunk shows to attract customers around Small Business Saturday. “It sparks conversation and increases the feeling of community. It allows my customers and neighbors an opportunity to really appreciate the backstory and process that goes in to the items they see each time they visit Clementine.”
After your gathering, make sure to follow up with attendees. Give them rewards, like a discount or access to private shopping events. Send them thank-you emails and occasional surveys to see what they want next.
— Sadia Latifi, currently saving ideas to Clothes! Hair! Beauty!