Make Your Location a Destination: Host a Tasting!
People love to try before they buy! That’s why sampling and tasting events are usually so successful. No matter your industry, hosting a tasting event at your location is a great way to drive traffic and create buzz around your products. You can highlight new offerings, create food/wine pairings, or just showcase something that you really like. Check out these great examples below for inspiration.
Regional Wine Tasting
If you own a wine shop or a bar, why not showcase a certain region of the world? These types of tastings help to highlight the variety of wine you carry, and can draw attention to lesser-known wines on your list. Paired with some tasty (and regional) snacks, it will be a fun event for everyone! If possible, you could even invite a wine distributor or wine maker from that region to further engage with customers.
Educate While You Taste
Help your customers learn about where your delicious products come from, and why they are so special. This is the perfect type of tasting for gourmet goods that may cost a bit more than your average grocery store brand (coffee, chocolate, whiskey, cheese). Your customers will leave feeling educated and better about purchasing the various gourmet products you offer.
In the example below, a Brooklyn-based charcuterie company teams up with a Brooklyn brewer for a fun beer and charcuterie tasting. We like how they offer options for people who might only want to taste beer or charcuterie. The best part is, both companies reach a different audience, and customers will leave knowing how to pair beer with charcuterie for their next party (and know where to go to stock up!).
For speciality retailers (tea, olive oil / vinegar, coffee, juice bars), it may be hard to get customers to invest in your products, especially if they can get something similar at their local grocery store or coffee shop. For this reason, it’s extra important to promote tasting events so that your customers can see, smell and experience the difference! You can even host private tasting events for larger groups, like Ah Love Oil & Vinegar in Arlington, VA. They offer exclusive use of their space, unlimited tastings and 10% off all purchases for the group! What a great idea!
Make it a Neighborhood Thing
Get your whole neighborhood involved! In the example below, from The Winey Neighbor in Brooklyn, they created an event that not only showcased their wines, but also the treats and products of several other local retailers! It was a one-stop-shop for customers to buy local, and I’m sure it instilled a sense of camaraderie among local businesses.
Have you hosted (or attended) any great tasting events? Tell us about them in our comment section below.