Most practices hold events from time to time. The most common is a trunk show, where more often than not, a vendor is involved.
You can also look beyond that and hold the equivalent of a trunk show, but in a given category — like sunglasses, for example, or even spectacle lenses. You can also call it by another name — like ‘Patient Appreciation Day,’ for example.
Here’s a quick guide to organizing an in-store event like a trunk show or an annual gala event.
1. Frequency. Don’t think of something like a trunk show or a special event as a one-time shot. Make it annual, at the very least, and always hold it during the same month. That way, it becomes both a staff and community routine.
2. Timing. Any time of year works, but schedule it for when weather is likely to be its best. As for the time of month, many practices prefer scheduling it in the middle or toward the end of the month. One reason is that this timing will also encourage incentivized staff members who are working toward month-end numbers.
3. Pre-Planning. Work way in advance with eyewear vendors. Also, contact a local photographer to capture the event, perhaps a local musician to enhance the mood, as well as a caterer to provide great goodies. If possible, partner with (and promote) a local food establishment.
And don’t forget that you need to reconfigure your space a little for an event. Do you need more seating or should you move displays? Think ahead.
4. Extras. This is a perfect opportunity to tie sales to a local charity. ‘Buy X and we will donate Y.’ Or conduct a raffle for dollars toward a purchase or for actual product. Promote it all in advance, and you’ll likely get a vendor to comp the ‘prize.’
5. Partnerships. Look beyond eyewear for your event. Can you include something else, based on your relationship with another local business — like offering makeovers or a color analysis?
6. Promote. A great idea is just that — an idea. But without a lot of promotion, both online and in-store, that cool concept won’t translate into more than a lot of extra effort. Send actual invites (post cards are great) to customers as well as to local community organizations. And, make sure you follow up a week or so prior to the actual date.
7. Personnel. If you plan to sell at the event (and why wouldn’t you?), make sure you have plenty of dispensing staff on hand to answer questions, help with selection, and, of course, to fit eyewear on the spot.
8. Info. Don’t forget to make sure that everyone who attends is welcomed as they arrive (critical) and then asked to sign in. Get as much info as possible — email, etc. — so that you can follow up.
Do you already hold trunk shows or events for your practice? Or have ideas to make them more successful? If so, please share below and join in the conversation on our ClubZero Facebook page here.