The Solopress 12 guides of Christmas – No.9: Holding an event

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Holding a Christmas Event

In the Solopress Christmas survey*, 57% of shoppers said they’d attended a Christmas event hosted by a business. With this level of participation, it’s certainly worth considering whether putting on a Christmas event for the benefit of customers, clients and the wider public might help cement relationships and even create new ones.

Grotto superstar

Will the man himself be visiting your store or location this December? Hosting a Santa’s Grotto at your place of business is a Christmas classic, and for good reason. You can draw in the crowds and sometimes even charge them for the privilege.

Make sure your close neighbours aren’t planning the same idea, though. Having two Father Christmases in close proximity may confuse young minds and lead to difficult questions for mums and dads to answer.

Other perils of the grotto are just as well-known. Suffice it to say, trusted and vetted seasonal staff with up-to-date DBS checks and impeccable personal hygiene are an absolute must. But get it right and you may create your very own Miracle on 34th Street!


Open your doors

If you’re a business that doesn’t naturally attract a huge footfall, you can still throw open your doors in the season of goodwill. A simple event offering refreshments can work well for a solicitor, estate agent or other high street office business – simply offer a glass of fizz and a mince pie or two.

They might come in to warm up a bit and end up striking up conversations that lead to fruitful business opportunities. Depending on your business model, they may walk out with a purchase, a brochure, a leaflet or a loyalty card. At the very least, you’ll have gone up a few notches in their estimation for showing some hospitality.


Join the Parade

If you’re on or near a busy high street, you might experience success through piggy-backing a local event like the switching-on of the Christmas lights or a Christmas parade. Take the opportunity to hold a drinks reception or a special late-night opening event. You’ll be able to take advantage of the spike in pedestrian traffic and the special atmosphere created by the evening.

A VIP Event

If your place of business is a store or showroom, you might want to consider an exclusive, out-of-hours, VIP shopping event. If you offer high-ticket items, luxury goods, niche products or haute couture, you might want to invite along a handful of valued customers.

Your event will allow them to beat the crowds, experience personal shopping, sample your goods or enjoy refreshments. Ramp up anticipation with golden tickets or gold foil-printed invitations.


Spreading the word about your Christmas event

We asked over a thousand customers how they’d been made aware that a business was hosting a Christmas event. People were allowed to pick more than one option – here’s how they responded:

Window display

A professionally printed poster will almost certainly reflect better on your event than something handwritten or on A4 printed in black and white. Poster printing perfectly targets the people that regularly pass your premises. A Strong window display will announce your Christmas event in fine style, both as pre-awareness and on the day itself.

 

A flyer 

Flyers are quick, easy and inexpensive to print. You can also get smart about when and where you distribute them to target your perfect audience. Start stuffing them into bags and packaging a week or so before the event. Be sure to include details of any complimentary samples or refreshments to tempt them along.  A discount voucher or cut-out coupon will further help to entice visitors on the day.

 

Local press

Contact local journalists to let them know that your event is going ahead – and of course invite them along! If you are donating any proceeds to charity be sure to mention it as this might strengthen your case for coverage.

 

Word of mouth

While word of mouth is a hard channel to strategise for, it’s certainly true that tales of your upcoming event almost certainly originated through one of channels that you are targeting – so keep up the good work!

 

56% of shoppers are put off when the upselling/cross-selling process delays the transaction*Online    

Your own website, your social media, local listings are great ways of promoting an event for free. If you do want to throw some of your digital budget at it though, a paid ad on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn can be specifically targeted within your geographical area.

 


I noticed by chance that
the event was taking place
     

To capture footfall on the day, make sure you make a fuss with display materials in windows and entrance areas. If your window displays and flyers are creating enough of a buzz, other passers-by are sure to get curious and pay you a visit.

 

 

If you want to get in touch about how you can promote your business event this Christmas, we’d love to discuss the options. Call us on 01702 460047 or use Live Chat now.

*All numerical data shown in our percentage wheels was gathered as part of the Solopress 2019 Christmas Survey. All statistics shown are based on the responses of 100% of the 1204 respondents. Data gathered through the survey remains the property of AGA Printing Ltd trading as Solopress Ltd and may not be reproduced without acknowledgement via back link. All copyright and other intellectual property rights are reserved.

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