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How to Engage Your Community in an Event

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, September 14, 2017
Updated: Monday, September 11, 2017

How to Engage Your Community in an Event

 By Stephanie Shiman

Shop events are a great way to connect with your current customers and attract new ones, but how can you get the word out? Here are some ideas for publicizing your event and making it enjoyable for everyone.

Get the word out

Use your social media outlets and start mentioning the event two to three weeks in advance—or earlier if it’s a bigger event, like a weekend retreat.
Place eye-catching posters at other business or places where potential attendees will see them. Fabric stores, bead stores, and coffee shops are all good spots.
Put invitations in customers’ bags when they make purchases, perhaps including a coupon that is only valid during the event.
Post to your city or town’s online calendars. 
Consider cross-promoting with another small business. Will the local cupcake shop set up a table and sell goodies at your event? Will a local brewery or wine bar give out free samples? Help each other advertise and you will both benefit.
Signs and balloons outside your shop during the event will help get you noticed and make it easy for new customers to find you.

Provide some “shoppertainment”

Learning opportunities and demos during an event are great ways to get people excited to come and learn something new. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Set up a few tables and show simple but useful ideas and techniques, such as pom-pom and tassel making, needle felting and god’s eyes. A quick search on Pinterest for “simple yarn crafts” will bring up a wealth of clever ideas.
Coordinate vendor trunk shows with your event. Feature one brand or type of yarn during your event and have sample garments on hand for inspiration. Keep in mind that trunk shows often need to be reserved months in advance.
Feature a specific yarn’s story and help the customer get to know it better. For example, the story behind a hand-dyed yarn, or facts about raising alpacas and how their fiber is processed. When customers understand the story behind a product, they will more easily connect with it and have an appreciation for it.
Encourage your customers to bring their favorite knitted garments for a fashion show. Everyone loves show and tell!
Offer an exclusive buying opportunity during your event: a limited-run colorway or a flash sale.
Last, the classics are always a hit: free food and door prizes!

Learn all you can for the next event

Be sure to take many photos during the event and post them on social media. That will help people visualize what happened, even if they didn’t come. When you host the next event, they will have a concept that you can build on.

As soon as you can after the event is over, put everything you learned into a big envelope and label it “Next Event.” You can pull this information out next time, and it will give you a jump-start on planning, getting the word out, and providing a fabulous experience for you and your customers!

About Stephanie Shiman

Stephanie Shiman (www.frabjousfibers.comstarted frabjous fibers and Wonderland Yarns in 2004 with a box of yarn stashed under her dining room table.  Now, with a team of a dozen or so creative people, FF&WY hand-dyes fabulous yarns and fibers that make their way to LYS all over the world.

Tags:  business  business tips  TNNANews 

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