If you run a retail business and could use some fresh event ideas, this article is for you. Retailers are always looking for ways to stand out and be memorable and one good technique is promotional events. You could start by inviting the customers in your point of sale system who frequent the location the most and send out email or postal mail invites. Check out these event ideas and choose the ones that will work for you.

Classes: Offer to hold a class that teaches customers how to use one of your products. If you have a craft or art store, you could have customers make a project or host a drawing or painting class. If it’s a one-time event, it can be free and if it’s ongoing, they can sign up for the class for a small fee. Then try promoting the products they used to make the project after the class.

Themed Events: Spas might offer a pajama night with a free movie and a discount on their services. Restaurants have open mic nights or DJ themed parties.  Any holiday makes a great theme or you can make an event out of the first day of a big sale. Many stores have openings for semi-annual sales and special event sales for only the customers who join their rewards club. Be creative!

Block Parties: Team up with the retailers that share your building or street and create a group event. Ask neighboring restaurants if they can sponsor the food served. This will bring out a more diverse crowd and potentially attract new demographics to your store. These are rare so if you get the word out, people are likely to make a night out of it and check out all the locations. This may be a good opportunity to network with other local stores and learn some new techniques.

Screen Printing Parties: Have customers bring in T-shirts or other clothing to be screen printing with your logo and maybe website information. Play music and offer a small amount of food and drinks. It’s also a good idea to have a raffle where you can both hand out cool free stuff (that could also promote your business) and collect contact information.


All of these are fun ways to increase business and get the word out about who you are. Plan to host these events once a year or once a season.

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