Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tip # 202: 5 Tips for Creating a Memorable Promotional Event

Hosting a promotional event is a great way to develop new customers and increase traffic from existing customers. RCI member, Randy Good of Good’s Candy Shop, instructed attendees at RCI’s Merchandising Essentials course on how to execute a successful promotional experience. Here you will find five tips for building your business through effective promotional events.

Abbott's Candies demonstrates hand tempering for tour guests.
#1: Design an Event Around What You Do Best

For candy makers, this is the perfect opportunity to illustrate the care and attention that goes into your confections through candy-making demonstrations. Open your production facility for tours and allow guests to watch and sample your products.

We recommend complying with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), by requiring guests entering your production space to wear hair/beard nets and closed-toe shoes, to remove jewelry and abide by any other regulations made by Federal and State government. With clear communication of your guidelines, your guests will understand and appreciate the steps you’ve taken to ensure for the quality of your products and for their individual safety – plus, who doesn’t love taking a selfie in a hairnet?!

#2: Create a “Sticky” Event Name

When creating a name for your event, think of names that will “stick” or stand out in peoples’ minds. A memorable event name will help with the promotion of your event by capturing the attention of possible attendees, as well as the local media. If you host the event on an annual basis, this will also increase the chances of attendees to remember the previous events and the great time they had!
Goodstock is just one of many events Good's Candy Shop hosts to draw traffic to their retail store.
Staff at Good's Candy Shop take pride in representing their brand.
 #3: Represent Your Brand at its Best

Before you welcome new visitors into your business, keep in mind you only have one chance to make a first impression. Make sure all aspects of your business represent what your brand is or hopes to be. Not only should your store sparkle from front to back (even the area behind the counter that “no one” sees), your staff’s appearance should also reflect your brand. If your associates have a uniform or dress code, before an event is a good time to evaluate whether or not they need new aprons, name tags, branded apparel, etc. and to remind all staff of any guidelines pertaining to their attire. If you don’t have a dress code, consider creating an event t-shirt for your staff to wear – this will not only create a more cohesive look for your team, but help customers better identify staff if they have questions.

#4: Train Your Staff to Give

Successful events are about giving to the community. Train your staff on how to give information, courtesy, smiles and samples. Providing basic talking points or key phrases can help staff feel confident and better prepared to offer exception customer service to guests.

Samples are served with a smile at Rebecca-Ruth Candies.
Donaldson's Finer Chocolates is prepared to handle a crowd.

#5: Plan the Logistical Flow of Guests

Creating a plan for the flow of traffic through your facility can make a significant impact on the guest experience. Determine a plan to gently guide guests within your space by assigning specific staff to various touch points. Starting (most importantly) with a welcome greeting at the entrance, plan for three to four touch points (or more depending on the size of your store). At each touch point, station staff to offer product samples and even the chance to win a prize for signing up to receive promotional emails or joining your birthday club.  By planning ahead, you can prevent potential bottle necks and ensure your guests get the most out of their experience.

Stay connected with RCI through Facebook for more tips and inspiration dedicated to the retail candy maker. Not a member? Click here to learn how RCI can help you build your sweet business.

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