There are plenty of ways to show off your small business’ products and services. Trade shows, private events, a great website, stellar social media pages – the list goes on and on.
But there’s one avenue you may not have explored yet: a booth at a community event.
Spring and summer bring nicer weather and the promise of plenty of community happenings, from county fairs and parades to outdoor festivals, and most of these events welcome small businesses to set up shop and peddle their products and services.
But how do you prepare for your small business’ time in the neighborhood spotlight? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Mark Your Calendar
Whether it’s a longstanding community tradition or an inaugural event, the secret to scoring a primo spot at a local affair is to start early. Check with your chamber of commerce, parks and recreation department and city hall to see what’s going on in your neighborhood in the coming months. Then reserve your spot ASAP.
Many venues book their spots on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning that if you get yourself on the schedule early, you can get one of the best seats (or canopy-covered plots of grass) in the house.
2. Spread the News
Once you secure your space, start letting your valued customers know where you’ll be. Sound off on your social media pages or send out an email to invite people to visit your small business’ booth at the event.
If you’re running any special offers during the event (and you definitely should be!), feel free to promote a few of them ahead of time to increase your customer count.
3. Have a Shtick
The most popular companies at any parade, fair or festival are the ones with the sweetest swag, so make sure your small business has some goodies to give away. Whether it’s an hourly drawing for a product or service, ice-cold lemonade on a blazing hot day or free balloons for the kids, you’ll want something on hand to draw the crowds to your small business’ space.
4. Sell Yourself
Events can be a lot of fun, but remember: You’re not there just to people-watch. You’re there to promote your small business and make some sales in the process. Each person who walks past your booth is a potential customer, so engage them!
A smile, greeting and a proffered business card can lead to a meaningful dialogue (and maybe even a new patron), so don’t be afraid to bone up on your public speaking.
Marketing your small business at a local event is one of the best ways to reach a large number of people, so take advantage of this opportunity to get out there, shake hands and trade smiles with the people in your community.
Need more tips on event marketing for your small business? Give Mischa Communications a shout.