Celebrate with customers on a regular basis with an in-store party. This is a great way to create excitement, drive traffic and change up the daily routine for your customers and employees.


Parties are a great way to create excitement in your location. There are tons of reasons to throw a party…

  • Holidays: There is an excuse everyday to throw a party! Just look at our Marketing Holidays Calendar. See In-Store Events: Holiday Party for more details.
  • Promotional Kick-Off Party: Add excitement and draw attention to your new promotion launch, like your new Autumn Menu Celebration.
  • New Product Launch Party: Draw attention and celebrate the launch of a new product, like a Beaujolais Nouveau Release Party.
  • Guest Appreciation Party: Dedicate an event to honoring your guests for their loyalty.
  • Anniversary Party: See In-store Events: Anniversary Party

Planning Your Party

Throwing a party is fun! Think of the things you do when you throw a party at home and incorporate what is appropriate…music, games, food, etc…

To ensure your party is a success and lots of customers attend, make sure you plan out the details carefully.

Here is an example Timeline and Activity List you can use to help.

Four Weeks or More Out

  • Pick your party theme, date and time. Consider a less busy day to help drive traffic to your slower times.
  • Plan out the elements of your party…decor, food, music, activities, sampling and demonstrations. Include a cake cutting or toast as part of the party. Have special discounts or promotions during the event. Plan relevant activities that promote your offerings like Wine Tastings, Make Your Own Cupcake or Making Your Latte at Home to be part of the event. Put all these details on your signage and invitations.
  • Get your employees involved in the ideas and planning.
  • Consider inviting any vendors or suppliers to participate by doing demonstrations or tastings.
  • Send a Calendar Listing to local media to spread the word.

Three Weeks Out

  • Create signage, like a counter card or table tents, to put it up in your location where customers will see them.
  • Create invitations to distribute to customers in store.
  • Distribute invitations outside your location to businesses and other places with potential customers as identified in your Trade Area Assessment.
  • Send an eMail invitation to your eMail list and announce the event on your website.
  • Promote via your Social Media channels.
  • Schedule extra labor for the day of the party.
  • Order extra supplies needed, especially of new products you want to sample.
  • Order extra merchandise needed for extra sales on the day of the event.

Two Weeks Out

  • Order a cake and have it decorated to celebrate the occasion.
  • Order food and beverage needed from local caterer or deli/gourmet store.
  • Consider any party favors or take-aways you’d like to give and order appropriately, like samples of a new product. You could also ask suppliers to donate these.
  • Promote via your Social Media channels.

One Week Out

  • Review all the party details with each employee.
  • Talk up the party with your customers inviting them back next week for the party.
  • Order balloons to decorate the inside and outside of your location on the day of the party.
  • Promote via your Social Media channels.
  • Talk up the event to customers.

One Day Prior

  • Pick up / gather supplies: cake, food, beverage, balloons, extra cups/glasses, etc…
  • Confirm with music, vendors/suppliers.
  • Prep any activities and party favors.
  • Prep for any sampling planned.
  • Promote via your Social Media channels.
  • Ensure your location is stocked, clean and ready for guests.
  • Talk up the event to customers.
  • Send a reminder email to your eMail list.

Party Day

It’s party time! Make sure all the party elements are in place prior to the event.

  • Decor
  • Food & Beverage
  • Music
  • Activities
  • Sampling and Demonstrations
  • Party Favors / Give-aways
  • Talk up the event all day to customers.
  • Promote the event on your a-frame chalkboard in front of your store if you have one.
  • Have an employee at the door to greet customers and welcome them to the party.
  • Actively sample throughout the event.
  • Have a great time!

Photo Source:flickr.com/photos/sodexousa/5958118182