It’s not enough to have a store in today’s world. Retailers need to do everything they can, like create in-store event ideas and communities to provide an experience for customers who may never even walk into the store.
One of the best in-store event ideas to get people into your store is making it a community center. Events and activities are one way to do this, but they need to be planned, or else you’ll end up wasting time.
The best way to get people in the door is by having them come back again and again. But you have to make sure that they are happy enough with their first visit so that they’ll want more.
So, what type of in-store event ideas should you plan? It depends on several factors. You’ll need to consider the time and resources available as well as the kind of event that best suits your company’s goals.
A few standard things customers like to do are going on hikes, seeing concerts, and live shows. All these help figure out the theme of events by understanding what the customers want.
Whether your audience is centered in a specific location or spread out across the country, you have to find some way of communicating with them. If they are all close by, then maybe hold it at their store, but if not, there are ways that you can communicate online.
Demographics – You should know your customers and how they compare to the average. What’s their profession, income level, educational background? This will help you decide what kind of in-store event ideas are best for them.
Here are some examples of retailers doing a great job with their events. Just take notes from these stores and try them out for yourself.
In-Store Event Idea #1: Hold a workshop
Get your customers to come into the store and learn new skills with some in-store event ideas classes. It’s an excellent way for them to get together, plus it allows you to showcase what your products can do.
Suppose you are a winery, for example. In that case, hosting wine tasting classes in your store is an excellent way to incentivize customers if you run a craft store and incentivize customer loyalty by providing DIY class events on the calendar.
Sephora knows how to put on a makeup class. They host them all the time in their stores, too.
You can find topics about everything from makeup to skincare on the site.
The classes are a lot of work. The instructors and in-store associates pick out the perfect products for each student based on their skin type, which they can then apply at makeup stations.
It’s straightforward to be yourself in this class because there is no pressure.
When the course is over, associates give out samples and send people on their way.
In-Store Event Idea #2: Create a runway show.
We’ve seen that this event is perfect for clothing and accessories. If you have new items or a brand-new line, why not show them off in front of an audience?
That’s what Justice did last year with great success.
In honor of the back-to-school season in 2018, Justice ran fashion shows at its stores. Girls were able to show off their outfits and strut down a runway for all those who attended.
It would help if you tried to do something similar for your brand. The next time you want to showcase a new product or clothes, let customers model them to be seen by all of their friends.
In-Store Event Idea #3: Celebrate debut of a product with sales and in-store services.
Do it in style when you want to celebrate a new product or partnership. Pop some champagne and decorate your store so that people can have fun.
Running a sale is one of the best ways to get people excited about your brand and help them spend more.
In January 2018, Birchbox’s SoHo location in New York City launched VERB Haircare and hosted free hairstyling sessions. They also had a promotion where they gave out drinks to their guests.
If you’re trying to sell an innovative product that can’t be modeled on the runway, showcasing it through service and samples is one of the in-store event ideas to get people excited about buying.
In-Store Event Idea #4: Offsite events should be held.
In the past, there were a lot of assumptions about what events should be. For example, if you have a store in retail and people are going to come through your doors anyway, then it doesn’t make sense for them to buy outside. The problem is that this isn’t always true.
Aussie running company Pace Athletic has a clever way of keeping their salespeople motivated. They created the “Pace Run Club,” where employees get together and participate in different races all over Australia.
These events helped them improve their community and helped expand their business. Will Hatton, co-owner of Pace Athletic, remarked, “Pace Run Clubs are moving ads for our brand.”
Will and his co-founder invested in professional photography for their events, which improved growth. With the high-quality photos on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, they could get better engagement.
“We find that folks tag themselves and reshare our photos a lot more after we started doing professional photography,”
“As our social media numbers trended up, we also saw more folks joining our weekly runs, which was great!”
One of the best takeaways from Pace Athletic’s story is that you don’t need to be a marketing expert or have an expensive budget. You can run events and get people excited about your company by reaching out to their community.
In-Store Event Idea #5: Create a “pop-in” shop
They work just like regular events but happen inside your own space.
If you want to be a pop-in shop owner, some essential things need to happen. For example, make sure your location is appropriate and find someone else who can help with its logistics.
Segara is a swimwear company based in California that sells women’s essentials like bras and lingerie. They recently partnered with Cuyana to hold pop-in events at their location.
If you want to see your store have more of a personal touch, find brands aligned with the values you stand for and host pop-in events. It will be much easier to create an impact by marketing these products together.
In-Store Event Idea #6: Involve an expert.
There are many ways to educate employees that don’t involve formal classes. Some events, like expert talks and commentaries, can also be precious.
Getting in touch with the influencers and experts in your niche is a great way to attract more attention.
The travel and lifestyle brand Away is trying to get away from the general store model by bringing in experts about ancient divination practices.
What about you? Who can your community invite to speak with them in person? Reach out and connect with them.
In-Store Event Idea #7: Organize a meet-and-greet.
It’s essential to get the people behind your merchandise into the store for a meet-and-greet. For example, if you’re launching new products and have ties with their creators.
If you want to get the inside scoop on an author or artist, try reaching out and see if they’d be willing to come in.
Liane Moriarty, the author of Nine Perfect Strangers, toured bookstores to talk about her new novel and sign copies in 2018.
It’s not just about the event, but what you do to set it up. For example, hosting a meet-and-greet or any other type of event can be an excellent perk for your best customers.
They found that people who are allowed to meet and greet with industry leaders like Harper’s Bazaar editor in chief Glenda Bailey, Jeremy Scott (a fashion designer), or even their favorite celebrity tend to be more motivated by it than those without such an experience.
Retail events aren’t just a fad; they’re a long-term trend.
Several of the current hot tech trends have been around for a long time, and we’re ready to wager that they’ll outlast some of the more recent ones.
That’s because individuals will always want to connect with others, and brands that can meet that demand will succeed.