Top Tips For Hosting An Event In Your Bridal Store
I was recently asked by Attire Magazine for my top tips to create a well-executed event in bridal boutiques. A well-executed, on brand event can really impact business - here are my tips to ensure it's successful.
Have a clear objective
In-store events are great, but you have to ask yourself why you are doing it. Is it to attract new customers? Is it to showcase a new collection or to get local press to your store? Is it all of those? Having a clear idea of why you’re doing your event sets the tone for the planning.
Visualise your event
You’ll have an idea of how you want your event to look and feel. Ask how many people you can realistically have in store or is there an option to have a showcase in store and then go on to a local bar, for example. Think how your dresses are going to be viewed – will they be on models or mannequins? Models can really bring the dresses to life and add an extra wow factor which is great for images to share on social media.
What’s the ambience?
Sensory marketing is everything, so each little detail really adds to the overall feel of the event. For example, what music will be playing? How will the store smell? What drinks will you serve? Everything should be complimentary to each other so that your guests understand the ethos of your brand. So, if you make vintage-style gowns then the playlist should reflect a vintage era.
Now everyone loves a glass of fizz, but there is an opportunity to get creative with your offer in line with your brand. Is there a certain brand/season colour that you could incorporate into your drinks offer? Could you name the drinks after a certain dress or collection? Even subtle differences can be hugely memorable for guests and again, great sharable content.
Give yourself time to shout about it
The most successful events happen when there has been a good lead time in the build up to it. Think how you are going to promote it and formulate a plan around that. Is it a select guest list from your database or is it open to all? What former clients could you invite to rave about your business? Really think about who your ideal guest is and how you can attract them. How are you going to invite people? Social media is a great outlet for creating a buzz about your event and it’s free which also helps but for more exclusive, bespoke events people love a personalised invite. Also, what social handles are you going to use, will your event have a hashtag? If so, make sure it’s on everything.
Press and local influencers
Remember to invite key local press (print and digital) as well as local bloggers and influencers as well as like-minded business owners. Once people know you and your business, they’ll be mindful about promoting you in their circles. Also invite press to come along and ask if they can cover your event or ensure they know you are free for comment and interview – remember, they have to fill their pages and press love a local success story.
As boring as this sounds, an event is a great way to engage with your potential clients and invite them to sign up for your brand updates, whether that’s social or a regular newsletter etc. They are in your space so are already on board so don’t forget to get their details. Another option is to host a competition on the night and collect data that way. Do remember though that you need consent before emailing anybody, but you can make this clear that by them giving you their details, they are signing up for your marketing updates.
Don’t forget the follow-up
A lot of the time, clients have a wonderful event but then leave it there, but the success really is in the follow up. Make sure you thank all your guests for coming, maybe as share with them an offer or incentive to make them feel inclusive and part of your brand.
Are you planning an event and need some professional help? Maybe I could be on your books as one of your recommended wedding planners? I’d love to chat more. firstname.lastname@example.org