Bridal retailers looking to stay ahead of the game need to think of new, innovative ways to drive more customers to their boutique. Hosting an event in your store is a fantastic way to set your business apart from the competition
Planning is extremely important for any business success. It provides clarity and helps with motivation, but most importantly, it outlines exactly what you need to do to achieve your goals. When planning an event for your bridal boutique there are a few things you should organise before anything else.
The most important thing to outline first is your budget as this will determine your entire event. While it’s important to throw an event that will impress and stand out, you need to make sure it is realistic and affordable for your business. Once you have your budget set its time to start thinking about your theme. Your chosen theme will set the tone of your whole event so it’s important to think carefully about this. Make sure your theme complements your bridal boutique and is something that your customers will enjoy.
Finally, set a date! It’s extremely important to give yourself plenty of time to promote your event, so make sure you plan at least a few weeks ahead. The most successful events are such a hit because of the buzz and anticipation they have created in the buildup.
When planning your event, it’s also important to set out your goals. What is the purpose of your event? What are you looking to get out of this? Whether it’s to build brand awareness, boost sales or gain publicity, having a clear understanding of your goals is a great way to stay focused on the bigger picture every step of the way.
However, how you quantify your goal is just as important. Set your event some key performance goals and try to achieve these. For example, you could agree that to determine your event a success you must have X number of customers in attendance and X percentage of these customers purchasing something from you.
When announcing news of your event make sure you also reveal any special offers that will be available, as this is a great way to attract more interest. However, it is not always feasible to offer any special discounts, and if this is the case, just highlight everything else your event will be offering. This could be things like a live band, DJ, free food and drink or even a guest appearance from an industry professional.
Who you invite to your event is essential for its success, therefore you need to think long and hard about who you want in attendance. It’s a good idea to have a mixture of potential customers, local bloggers and influencers, press, industry professionals and similar small business owners. It is also important to think about how many guests your boutique can realistically hold.
Collaborating with other small local businesses can have a significant positive impact on your event and could mean new opportunities for your business. You could do this by asking a local photographer that needs to build their portfolio if they would like to come along and take some photos. You could ask a local florist to donate some flowers in exchange for some free publicity or you could even ask a local DJ looking to gain experience if they would like to perform.
Not only will this boost your relationships within your local community, but it will also give you access to their social media platforms and vice versa.
The turnout of your event will depend on how well you promote it, so it’s essential to spend some time doing this. Promoting your event could consist of anything from sending invitations (both physical invites and E-invites), to creating a Facebook event or even a countdown calendar. Other ways to market your event could include putting banners outside your boutique or sending flyers around local businesses and houses.
Just because the event is over doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Following up is just as important as the event itself, so make sure you keep this in mind. Reach out to all of your clients and thank them for attending your event. This is also a great opportunity to get some real, constructive feedback – ask them what they enjoyed and what could be done better next time.
For more advice like this, take a look at our guide to reading your customer’s body language.