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Creating Buzz-Worthy Events

Monday, August 31, 2009

(GIFTBEAT)

Want to make extra sure that your store event is budget friendly—and the buzz creator that you envision? Follow these tips from uber store event planner Lynni Megginson, author of The Absolutely Essential Guide to Planning Fabulous Retail Events: Recession Chic Edition and owner and principal of Maryland-based L&M Designs.

E-mail Goes Eco. "I'm saving a minimum of $400 per store event by making no apologies and telling customers I'm going green. If they want to be invited to events, they have to sign up for email. If you use a positive spin about going green, most customers are delighted to give you their email addresses. I still believe that event postcards are super, super important. However, if I have a customer's email address, I go into my software and delete her address so she doesn't receive a postcard too. In addition to sending email, I also post store events on my Facebook and Twitter pages. When publicity is created electronically, it can be used over and over again."

Timing is Everything. "As a rule, I usually have my events on a Thursday night. It is close enough to the weekend, but doesn't interfere with customers' personal plans—which always come first!"

Eat, Drink and They'll Be Merry! "I always like to spice up my events with items that tie into the event theme like food from a local restaurant, a fun cocktail or chocolate. Cocktails can have made-up names like "Santa's Little Helper" made with peppermint schnapps and Godiva chocolate liqueur, or "Goddessitini" with limon vodka, champagne and peach nectar. For handmade, personalized chocolates that will make your customers swoon, try Sweet Shop USA in Texas" (800-222-2269, sweetshopusa.com).

Note: Megginson can be reached at lynni@lynni.net. To purchase her book, visit bestfriendsmarketing.com.

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