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Planning and pulling off a successful in-store promotional and marketing event takes a lot of resources - time and money to name just a few. Since it’s such an intensive process, and there are a lot of expectations riding on the outcome, following several best practices can greatly increase the success of the event.

Get the Word Out

If you want to attract a large number of customers, it’s imperative that you get the word out. In store signage promoting an upcoming event is a good start, but to truly get the word out, you are going to need a little more. Printing off flyers that customers can take with them as a reminder of the event details or to pass along to people they know is an effective method for spreading the word. Thanks to technology, there are tons of social media channels that also offer free ways to promote your event. Tweet and post teaser messages about your event or create a video to give customers a sample of what they can expect at the event. Getting a discussion going online is easy and free. Also consider sending a press release to helpful hints local news stations or take out a radio ad. If your budget is on the slim side, use your store space to promote an upcoming event like a killer window display or outdoor signage.

Do Something Different

Any go holiday can provide a lot of inspiration and customers are expecting certain types of events during specific times of year. For instance, around Easter customers may be actively seeking a free Easter egg hunt in their community. That makes it a great time to hide eggs throughout the store, in the freezer, next to the corner guards, or any location where the prize is hiding in plain sight. However, to truly stand out, consider coordinating a promotional event during the off time when other businesses are not competing for attention.

Make it Exclusive

If customers are given tickets to attend or have to register for an event, they are much more likely to show up on the big day. Creating an air of exclusivity makes people want to come. It also helps you gauge the number of people that are actually going to show up.

Decorate the Store

Have employees wear outfits that correspond to the event and decorate the store to give your customers a one of a kind experience that they know they won’t get at any other time. Encourage them to join in on the fun and come dressed up for a chance at winning a prize.

If you need some inspiration on event ideas consider one of the following:

* Demonstrations

* Classes

* Scavenger hunt

* Pictures with a figure or important person

* Arts or crafts

* Offer a trade-in day for old merchandise

* Contests

* Autograph signing

* Invite mobile businesses for a cross-promotional event

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