Make Your Location a Destination: Classes & Seminars

 In Be The Leader, Create Loyalty, Drive Traffic, Drive Trial, Increase Frequency

This month, we’re focusing on ways to drive traffic to your location using in-store events! Marketing your business as a destination for fun and relevant events will help you connect with your local community and increase your sales.

Today, we’ll show you a few ways how a small business in any industry can host a class or seminar for their customers.

Do What You Do Best

If you’re a small bakery, coffee shop, craft cocktail bar or caterer, consider showing your customers how to do what you do. Butter Lane Bakery in New York hosts daily cupcake classes to share their love of cupcakes with the world! Plus, they even offer private classes – perfect for birthdays, a work retreat, or just a fun night out with friends!

Butter Lane Cupcakes

Photo courtesy of Butter Lane Facebook page

Host a Seasonal Event (with another small business!) 

You don’t always have to share what you do best. Why not showcase what someone else (outside of your industry) does best? Early Mountain Vineyards recently invited a local florist to teach a Spring Wreath Making Class at the vineyard this Spring. The florist is in the spotlight, but the vineyard gets great exposure, and is able to offer their food and wine selections to a new group of clients! It’s a win win!

Spring Wreath Making

Photo courtesy of Early Mountain Facebook page

Showcase Your Merchandise

Sur La Table is known for their wide selection of culinary goodies. While they offer cooking classes, they also offer product demonstration classes. In the example below, the Coffee Brewing Demo is a fun and low-cost way for them to showcase the various types of coffee makers they have. Plus, you can bet those customers that attend are looking to purchase a new coffee maker or accessory, and with the knowledge gained from the class, they’ll head straight to the register with confidence.

Coffee Seminar

Share Your Sense of Style 

Not everyone has that creative eye that you and your staff may have. If you run a business that specializes in interior design, fashion or floral design, why not host an event to showcase your talent? This ad from Pottery Barn is the perfect example. The event is free to attend, plus customers get 10% off the featured accessories. You could easily make this work for a clothing boutique (mens suit styling for spring, how to master the new trends for women) or a floral shop (seasonal arrangements, special occasion centerpieces).

Pottery Barn

Empower Your Customers

Giving your customers information to use when they’re outside of the walls of your store will make you a true resource for them. REI (the outdoor-enthusiasts’ depot) offers classes ranging from “Campfire Cooking” to “Backpacking Basics” and “Nature Photography.” While, yes, most customers can purchase the equipment they would need to further these pursuits at REI, the store is connecting with customers on something other than what they sell. They’re giving their customers skills they can use on their next hike or backpacking trip. If you own an electronics store, auto-parts store, you could easily make this type of class work for you!


Photo courtesy of REI Facebook page

Have you attended (or hosted) any great classes or seminars at small businesses? Tell us about them in the comments section below!

Members, check out our tactic on hosting Customer Seminar Series! Not a member? Join today!

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