In an increasingly connected world, customers are more keen than ever for a hands-on experience when making a purchase. They don’t want to sit back and have products pushed under their noses, but prefer to see, feel and get to know your business in a more relationship-centred way.
Opening your door and hosting an event for new and existing customers is a brilliant way of selling without the customer feeling they’re being sold to. As well as boosting sales, this activity will organically maximise your social media presence and get your brand noticed. Here’s how it’s done:
Keep Your Avatar In Mind
It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important you host an open door event that is appropriate for your ideal customer. Everything from the refreshments to the décor should reflect both your brand and the customer themselves. For example, when we recently hosted an open day event for classic car company Holden Morgan, we created customised bottles of ale with the Holden logo in partnership with a local brewery, had a bar set up with prosecco and even invited the town crier to open the event which gave it a community feel. These details reflected the values of the typical Holden Morgan customer and were talked about on social media as a result.
Get The Word Out
If you don’t tell anyone about your open day event, then you’ll be left feeling a little bit silly when nobody turns up. Don’t expect people to seek you out. Instead, use a platform like Eventbrite to get the word out. You can also create a Facebook event, utilise your email list and even send out physical invitations if you think your customers would prefer that.
Offer An Interactive Experience
When hosting an open door event, ensure you’ve plenty for the guests to do and see. While they may enjoy listening to you talk about the brand and products on display, the average person’s attention span is only 20 minutes and what’s even more surprising is that millennials have an even shorter attention span than older generations. So, if your target audience are in their twenties or younger, you’ll need to really max out on interactive activities and keep the speeches to a minimum. Interestingly, 30% of customers who are offered an interactive experience in store will make a purchase and if it’s the kind of experience they’d enjoy photographing, you can expect a social media boost too. What you offer is really dependent on your type of business, but some ideas could include:
- Hiring a photographer and creating a fun photo opportunity
- Holding a mini auction
- Giving hands on demonstrations of products (e.g. giving a manicure tutorial if you’re in the cosmetics industry)
- Creating a quiz on a topic your customers will have in common
- Hosting a product Scavenger Hunt
- Offering a tasting session
- Utilising technology (e.g. Interactive screens, fun photo booths etc)
- Offering crafts and DIY opportunities
- Handing out goodie bags for people to take home
- Hosting competitions
- Keeping the décor visually stimulating
- Offering food, drink and sensory experiences that are suitable for your customer avatar.
Invite Bloggers and Other Influencers
Blogs are the third most influential digital resources behind retail sites and brand sites, and bloggers themselves are preferred by consumers over celebrities. Therefore, you’d be smart to seek out an industry blogger with a significant following to invite along to your open door event. If your business is on Instagram, you will also benefit from persuading a prominent Instagrammer to publish a picture of your day as it’s unfolding and linking it to your Instagram handle.
Document The Event
Finally, when hosting an open door event, you’ll need to measure its success. You can do this by establishing a set of KPIs in advance. These could include:
- Revenue vs overhead costs
- Ticket sales
- Social media activity
- Product sales
- Company sales for the months following the open day event
You may also want to create a post-event survey to send out to the attendees. This will give you further insight into what went particularly well.
Remember, the purpose of an open door event is to create brand awareness, boost your social media presence as well as your customer base, and ultimately sell more products. It should also be a lot of fun for all involved. So, why not give it a go?
The first step in planning your Open Day is to get really clear on who your perfect client is. And it might not be who you think it is! So we’ve developed a free guide to give you a hand. Download our free guide ‘Who is your ideal customer’ by clicking HERE.