The Retail Warehouse Sale is happening on Saturday, February 17, and will include top area retailers selling end-of-season stock, at a 20-90% discount. We took the opportunity to ask Anne Pezalla of Lively Running for some tips on how to market such an event. She threw us 4 tips that she thinks can help with anyone looking to attract a crowd for their own event.
TIP #1. Generate excitement with social media posts.
BEST: a photo of YOU with your product. I know it’s not always fun to be in selfies for your business but, honestly, Oak Park really supports its small business owners. You’re sort of a celebrity. You donated to their school auction. You sold their kid their back-to-school outfit. You came through with a raffle prize for their favorite charity. Your customers will also pause their endless Instagram scrolling to give you a like.
BETTER: a photo of the product snapped on your phone. People are going to come to the Retail Warehouse Sale because there is a product or vendor there that is worth leaving their homes for in February. And, for whatever reason, we tend to do really well with photos that I snap with my phone. Maybe because it looks less corporate, more like something a friend would post? Whatever the reason, don’t be afraid to just take a couple pictures with your phone and post them.
GOOD: a stock photo of the product. This is an easy way to showcase what will be on sale at your booth, and it doesn’t require much effort to grab a beautiful photo off the manufacturer’s website.
OK IF YOU’RE PRESSED FOR TIME: An event graphic. This is by far your easiest option. I love that everyone will have a consistent, branded post. And people will definitely come just because of the outstanding list of vendors who have signed on. So share away!
TIP #2. Talk it up! Social media is great. But not all of our customers follow us, and not all of them see every single thing we post, so nothing really beats an old-fashioned conversation. We have a giant rack of men’s clothes out at Lively right now- and we NEVER sell men’s clothes. So it’s an instant conversation starter- and it gives us a chance to tell them just how cheap that amazing jacket they’re admiring will be at our event. Also, it’s not product that competes with our current full-price inventory, so we don’t mind them knowing they’ll be able to scoop it up at a very low price.
TIP #3. Emphasize a charitable partnership! We’re really proud of our partnership with Hephzibah Children’s Association, and the fact that all the proceeds from our VIP pre-shop ticket sales will go directly to Hephzibah and the Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneur Scholarship. Besides benefiting these causes, early ticket sales will really help build buzz and excitement. Tickets are available here, but only in a limited quantity and they will definitely sell out. Make sure your favorite customers are able to get some early.
TIP #4. Invitation to co-host the Facebook Event. Send an invitation out to co-host the event, which in this case has already gotten over 8,500 views. It’s a great way for everyone to benefit from each other’s Facebook followers and help each other.