5 Unusual Events to Host This Holiday Season

by : 

Megy Karydes

September 26, 2016
Marketing Mondays - 5 Unusual Events to Host This Holiday Season

In one week, we’ll officially be in the all-important fourth-quarter season for retailers. It’s a favorite time of year for many, and retailers can make it even more fun when they organize events their customers want to attend! Events are fun and bring out people. The key to making them a success is to properly market and promote them. Make sure you have an Events page on your website and post the link regularly to remind customers to check out what’s coming up throughout the holiday season!

Last month we shared how to plan, market, and launch special events like a rock star. This week, we’re going to share five unique events that will appeal to a number of your customers. Schedule one a week starting next week with the month of October and you’ll have a ready list of things to do leading right into the busy month of December.

1. Stitch or Knit & Bitch

The popularity of knitting shows no sign of waning, and there are plenty of people who don’t know how to do it but would like to learn. Invite customers to learn how to knit or crochet an easy scarf as a gift. Anyone attending can also take 10 percent off purchases that evening. Encourage people to bring a friend. You supply the wine and cheese, and violá, you have a girlfriends' night out and customers through the door after hours.

2. Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest

Host a contest for the ugliest holiday sweater. Ask customers to send in pictures of themselves wearing their favorite ugly holiday sweater, and post them on Facebook or Instagram (or both!). Allow your customers to vote on their favorite via likes. Winner gets a gift. Make sure to abide by Facebook and Instagram's contest rules.

3. Food Fridays

If you sell food or kitchen accessories, offer your customers a happy hour on Friday afternoons complete with finger foods, coffee, tea ... the works. You can even make it a drawing for a gift by asking people to submit their favorite cocktail party finger-food recipe. Share the winning recipe online for all to enjoy.

4. Play That Funky Music

Kids young and old love music, and if you sell musical instruments, this is a no brainer. Invite the community to stop by your store (out in front) on a Saturday to play. Or, man a table in front of your shop with a bunch of instruments on it and encourage kids to try them out.

5. Photo Op With Fun Characters

Rent or buy costumes for characters like Olaf and set up a family photo op photo booth. Make sure to research trademark restrictions. With Disney characters, for example, you can rent them and use them but you can’t use the name Disney in your promotional material or charge for the photos.

Megy Karydes helps small businesses harness their marketing power. She’s also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic’s CityLab, Midwest Living magazine and Chicago Tribune, among others. Find her at MegyKarydes.com.