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Any small business can hold events. Events help you grow and expand your client/customer base. Events create excitement, get the word out, move some merchandise, get better known in the community, and bring in referrals.
1. Holding a sale is an event. 2. Holding a grand opening (or re-opening, or anniversary) is an event. 3. Holding a special reception to honor someone in the community is an event. 4. Partnering with an organization to hold a fundraiser is an event. 5. Throwing open your place to a networking group is an event. 6. Showing a movie is an event. 7. Bringing in a local band or musician every Friday evening is an event. 8. Partnering with the local baker to serve free cookies and cake is an event. 9. Holding a free demonstration of what you do is an event. 10.
Holding a fashion show with live models can be a big attraction.
Example: Marie runs a specialty shop. She offers one-of-a-kind, handmade items consigned by artists and artisans from far and near. It's a fairly large store--jewelry and blown glass, leather bags and paintings, turned wood bowls and silk scarves, women's clothing and children's games, and much more. The store attracts customers looking for unusual gifts, keepsakes and things to wear. Marie wanted to attract attention during the Christmas season. She cleared everything out of the shop's big window, lined it with reflective foil, and installed a Christmas tree--upside down. The tree was fully decorated and hanging from above. On the floor, she scattered gift-wrapped boxes tied with fancy ribbons. People passing on the sidewalk stopped in their tracks--and then they came inside. The local newspaper sent a photographer, and a picture of the upside down tree appeared on the front page. This was an event that brought lots of attention and free publicity. People talked about it, tweeted, and emailed their friends.
Example: Dale is a massage therapist. To attract more attention to his massage studio, he brings in related therapists for open house/demonstrations once each month. These have included hypnotists talking about weight reduction, nutritionists talking about healthy eating habits, meditation experts, acupuncturists, and others. These sessions have been popular with the general public, anxious to learn about various holistic practices in a non-committal session where they could ask their questions and get answers. Dale always gives a massage demonstration at these sessions, and he has signed up additional clients. He's thinking about expanding into a full wellness center, making arrangements with these other therapists and experts. Meanwhile, his reputation is spreading and referrals are calling.
Events attract attention in the community. They can be elaborate and costly or they can cost you very little.
To promote, write up a short news release and send it to your local paper. Post it on your Facebook page and other social media. Send out announcements to your email list. Announce it with a poster in the window, mention it to customers as they come in, string a banner across the street, place a magnetic sign on your delivery van--use your imagination.
You are already creative, or you would not be in small business. Put that creativity to work in marketing your business. Events can greatly expand your market.