Without any major gift-giving holidays in sight, the summer typically involves a decline in sales and customer visits. How can you combat it? One strategy is to invite customers in for a special event.
A party keeps you top of mind with customers and encourages them to linger in your shop, said Jennifer Pryor, owner of White House Florist in Lexington, South Carolina.
Mid June (“before the heat gets unbearable!”) is the prime date for her annual Engagement Party Summer Social. Like most florists, she considers the winter and spring to be a marathon of holidays, proms and graduations. And at the tail end of the year, calendars fill up with things like college football games, family gatherings and Christmas parties galore. “You can count on much better attendance in the summer because there’s less competition,” she said. “Especially if you do your event on a weeknight.”
Pryor partners with a rental company, caterer, baker, DJ, photographer and wedding planner to enhance the ambiance of her event. “It’s not a bridal show, but rather a party,” she said. Guests get to mingle with vendors, while actually experiencing their services. They also leave with a gift bag stocked with goodies from the participating vendors.
“Partnerships are the key to a successful party,” she said. “They provide products or services, which keeps my costs low, and they do a lot of the legwork with advertising, reaching out to their contacts through email and social media.”
In addition to Pryor’s Engagement Party, here are other concepts you could try:
- Christmas in July: Put on some holiday tunes, serve some peppermint-flavored treats from a local bakery, and clear out all those vases and ornaments leftover from December 2016. (Perhaps Santa could make an appearance in swim trunks and a Hawaiian shirt!)
- Beach Bash: Decorate your windows with tropical motifs, like flamingos, pineapples and palm trees. Let Jimmy Buffett, the Beach Boys and The Drifters set the mood. Contact an ice cream vendor or a local brewer to serve something cool and refreshing.
- School’s Out for Summer: You could turn this into a two-part event. One night, host a happy hour for teachers, where they can imbibe in an adults-only environment and try their hand at floral design at a flower bar. Another party could focus on the kiddos. They could learn to make a floral ice cream sundae or watermelon, while indulging in the real thing for a snack.