Customer Service, Event Marketing, Events & Schedule, Getting Results, Marketing, Restaurant & Food Service, Retail

Marketing Strategy: Host a Holiday Event to Promote Sales

1 Comment 19 November 2010

Tis the season for a holiday marketing strategy. Want to sell more in your retail store or restaurant this year? Try these marketing tips for your holiday sales event, and we bet you’ll sell more stuff!!

Know what people like about the holiday seasons? It gives everyone the excuse to party a little bit more. Holiday events – complete with holiday food – are one of the things people like most about the winter holidays. From Halloween bonfires and chili fests to New Year’s Eve late-night bashes and appetizer buffets, the whole gamut of winter holidays gives us all plenty of opportunities to get together, celebrate, eat, and enjoy the season.

So why not use the natural inclination we all have to mingle and munch? Create a holiday event for your brick-and-mortar local store; invite your customers; promote it publicly; and then be a great host or hostess and watch sales happen.

Keys to a Successful Holiday Event

First, you’ve got to create some holiday spirit.
Don’t try to host a Christmas open house if the only decoration you have is a spindly wreath on the front door. Put up a Christmas tree, hang some lights… you know, deck the halls. Get a selection of Christmas music and make sure it’s playing throughout the party. Make the place smell Christmasy by burning cinnamon-scented candles or having a big bubbling pot of apple cider.

The point to remember is that if you’re going to invite your customers in to celebrate the holidays at your retail store or restaurant, you need to create a holiday-themed, celebratory atmosphere. Go all out.

Second, give people a reason to linger.
Food is a key ingredient in a successful event; have plenty of munchable items and a selection of drinks. Make it easy for people to munch, browse, and talk. Keep trays and drinks refilled.

If you’re hosting a holiday event in your restaurant, your food options increase exponentially. You can host a themed dinner, a dessert party, anything you want because you’re equipped with the kitchen and seating. If you’re a retail shop, set up a food area and a bar, hire a couple of servers, and make the food easy to eat (think finger food) so people won’t struggle with using a fork while balancing a plate and a cup.

Entertainment is always a good option as well. You can have party games, a live band, an old holiday movie showing on a big screen, a raffle, a dance floor, a stage for karaoke. It’s up to you and what will work for your space and resources. People don’t need expensive, fancy entertainment to have a good time.

Third, display your products prominently.
Don’t be shy about what you’re trying to sell. Create holiday specials and make big, beautiful displays to show them off. Make it easy for people to see what you’re offering. You might consider having a raffle or giveaway and let one of your holiday specials be the prize. Offer special, event-only discounts and deals. Go over the specials with all your employees so they can easily show them off to guests.

Use your online presence (website, blog, Facebook, Twitter) to promote your event. If you have an email list, send out a special invitation to your email customers. Put up signs in your store. Put an ad in the local paper. Invite the town and be sure they know what you’re offering: food, drink, entertainment, a fun night out. And, of course, some of the best deals of the holiday season.

Image by ms. Tea.


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  1. How to Promote a Holiday Event in Your Retail Store | Results Revolution - November 20, 2010

    [...] you’ve decided to host a holiday event at your locally owned, brick-and-mortar retail or restaurant business. You’ve got a night picked, a theme, and you’re busy planning decorations, [...]

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About Marianna Chapman

For the past 15 years, Marianna Chapman has been creating game-changing big ideas resulting in big returns for dozens of businesses and communities across the U.S.

Today, Marianna and her team help business and non-profit clients at Big Idea Company, Inc., writes the Results Revolution blog, serves as Executive Editor for Eat Cities, LLC media outlets, and is a frequent speaker to national and regional conferences.

Marianna is a professional problem solver and rainmaker for hire.

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