How NOT to Cancel Your Holiday Cheer!
written by Rita Wade
The impact of Coronavirus on our Holiday event schedule has been rather difficult to navigate but certainly NOT impossible! The bottom line is that the show must go on! When it comes to the “Gift Giving” Season of the year, it only comes every 12 months and there is simply NO WAY we can CANCEL Christmas! I am writing a few last-minute tips on how to keep the jingle going on your “Mix and Mingle.”
You have probably heard me say this a million times in past articles but let me say it one more time… PLAN AHEAD! You are planning a party or 30 – 40 of your BEST FRIENDS… and you really want to show them how much you appreciate them, please folks… Don’t wait until the last minute to plan for their arrival! It isn’t too late for a Holiday Event but if you are reading this article… I urge you not to wait! Let’s get something on the calendar today!
Now you are thinking 30 or 40? And most of you are saying that you can’t have that many people in your store at one time without getting a massive fine from your local authorities. And I am saying OK… Let’s think OUTSIDE THE BOX… or in some cases, OUTSIDE! If the restaurants can do it, why can’t you?
Here is the strategy I am seeing work REALLY WELL for folks:
1.) Your Holiday Event will NOT be 1 Day or even JUST 2 Hours
It will need to be spread out over a couple of days with several opportunities to join in the fun!
2.) Begin ALL your Events with a FUN Virtual Event
Girls Night OUT for some may be GIRLS NIGHT IN and you can honor every single one of them with one of the GREAT Girls Night In boxes chocked full of fun, games, gifts and goodies! Accompanied with information about your LIVE Facebook Streaming or Zoom event showing them a SNEAK Peek of the amazing collection of items they will have an opportunity to select from for the next few days of an IN-STORE experience. Inside our “Girls Night In” Boxes, you’ll offer an opportunity to WIN something for watching. Boxes are distributed the week before the event and make sure there plenty of publicity for picking up the Girls Night In Gift Box! An example of what we suggest you put inside your boxes are a small bottle of champagne, a savory snack, chocolate, and several sweet snacks along with information about the show. I recommend a QR code to connect them to the zoom for an easy way to get folks right on. If you need help on doing a “Streamed” LIVE event, I would be happy to help you!
3.) Make your In-Store events TICKETED…
There are some GREAT apps out there that you can set up a ticket for your event. I even recently acquired a QR code and placed in the printed invitation and folks registered by scanning the QR Code which took your guests to this event planning app. When guests arrived at the event, I was checking them in at the door and everyone got to celebrate in a very SAFE and LEGAL Way!
Let’s talk a little more about the “Ticket.” The ticket can be FREE or you can attach it with a payment of $5 with the money going to a local charity. When attached to the charity it may give you an opportunity to invite some of the folks from that charity by way of “Sharing” the invitation with their list of donors. Opening you up to seeing a few new faces for the evening.
4.) Know your local regulations for your In-Store experiences and then expect to be a little creative! People still WANT experiences!
If your state is allowing you only a certain number of people IN the store for an IN-STORE Event, then make sure you know what that number is. If it is as small as 7 people, then do like we are doing in Damariscotta, Maine, where the owners of Stars Fine Jewelry have ordered a tent and heaters and will be adding a little fun with a very unique and special outdoor experience. Their town is so excited that it will likely be a case that all the tickets will be gone for the event in a matter of a day. If you have a parking lot and enough space for a place to have a fun outdoor experience then make sure you are embracing the change and offering folks exactly the kind of gathering that will make them truly loyal.
5.) Be FESTIVE for your evening with all the “fix’ns” of a GREAT Party!
Pull out the decorations, send out the pretty invitations, offer fun and personalized masks to everyone, swag bags and lots of giveaways!
A Few Final Tips
- Make your VIRTUAL Night Wednesday Night! 7 PM is the MAGIC Hour!
- Make your “In-Store” Party on Thursday evening and if it normally is a 2 hour event… Make sure it is 3 hours! From 4 to 7 PM or 5 to 8 PM is the best time to do the event. Add an extra hour to help keep the traffic flowing and moving.
- Food and beverage may need to be catered and managed by an outside service to keep folks feeling safe. Find partners and consider an option to “Trade” it out.
- Add Friday and Saturday for “Private Appointments” with a special gift for coming to their appointment. I have had some of the BEST experiences lately with my local retailers and the offerings at the private boutique appointments and they REALLY do work. If you use the EDGE then download the customers history in advance, know what their significant other has purchased in the past and then be prepared to offer the “Gift Giver” a list of options along with the “Wish List” the recipient has given to you. The key here is BE PREPARED, have a plan! I guarantee when you do this you will close every private appointment with a SALE!
The key to your Holiday Events is to continue to celebrate and honor your good customers with that same kind of experience that helps to make them loyal. I heard someone say to me within the industry today that NO ONE wanted the pandemic to be here, but it certainly has made all of us stand tall and do everything we could to be the VERY BEST at what we do and in the end we will all come out stronger! I believe that is true! Blessings to all my Jewelry Friends for this Holiday Season… and as always…Go and BE GREAT!