Some practices run trunk shows fairly often and others have them only once in a while. Or never. And after working with practices to plan and promote literally hundreds of these events, we’ve learned one essential truth: planning is everything! So, without further ado, here are our top three essentials to planning a trunk show which is fun, profitable, and good for your brand.
#1. Know Your Audience
This one is definitely the most important and will guide the rest of the decision-making process. Think about your main demographic carefully. How much do they earn? What are their spending habits? What fashion types do they lean towards?
You should also think about who the event or trunk show is specifically for. Is it geared towards... Existing patients? Invite-only? New audiences? Open to the public?
The answer to these questions will dictate the timing of your event and the vendors you’re going to want to work with. For example, if you want to plan an event around high-end fashion choices, you could target your top-spenders for a wine-and-cheese evening and spin it as an exclusive event. In this case, discounts may not be necessary as the pull is the chance to see the latest and hottest fashion.
On the other hand, if you are going after a more economical group, a walk-in event or show with an attractive discount might get the numbers through the door to make some healthy profits, even at reduced margins.
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If at first you don’t succeed...You will likely not get it right the first time. Running a successful event is something you get better at with time.
#.2 Timing is Everything
Plan ahead! You can’t expect a great trunk show if you only work on it 3 days before it’s slated to happen. You need to be strategic, starting with thinking about when you want to run your event or trunk show. Choose a time of year that suits the frame line. Avoid the general “sale” season—it’s just not easy to compete for people’s time when they are bombarded with messaging from large retailers.
If your goal is to highlight the newest lines and not a “sale,” then aim for the beginning of the selling season. Alternatively, you could use a promotion or an event to pick things up for slow months. Think about when your target audience has money to spend. Tax returns are good to go after in May and June, while unused flex accounts and HSA benefits are great to capitalize on for November and early-December.
Decide whether it’s a public or exclusive event. If it’s a public event, plan for it to run for at least a day, if not more, and occur during regular business hours so that you pick up sales from your scheduled patients. Arrangements for walk-ins is also a good idea. An exclusive event, on the other hand, would be best after-hours in a more invitation-only setting.
#3. Choose Vendors Wisely
Again, the question of which vendor, if any, to work with depends on your goals and, of course, your audience. Choose a vendor whose price range and style suits that of your target audience for the show or event. For example, if you are trying to target a younger audience, you might choose to feature products that are a bit trendier or edgy than what you typically carry in your dispensary. If you aren’t sure, work with a vendor who is willing to bring a range of styles and see what works best.
And only work with a vendor who’s willing to play ball—and play ball yourself. The vendor needs to be willing to cooperate with you for the schedule and products you want, but they also need to know that their time won’t be wasted. Show initiative by asking ahead for the latest promotional material they have, and walk in with a plan.
Which brings us to the next topic, How To Promote Your Trunk Show or event, coming soon.
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