Planning successful salon events
Posted on 24th January 2013 by Madeline Maguire
Want to make money, retain more clients and attract a few new ones along the way? Hosting in-salon events for your clients is one seriously smart way to do it. These events are nothing new to our industry, but if you still find them to be more pain than pleasure, you’re not alone. So what is the key to holding a successful salon event that will get you the best return on your investment? It all comes down to planning…
Choose a theme
Whether it is around a calendar event like Halloween, or a more general concept like “Girls Night Out”, the best events are always centered on a single theme that resonates with your clients.
When starting your planning, start with the client. Think about issues and topics that your clients care about and will get them in your door. Then, consider how these topics can be angled into a theme that will harness your team’s talents and sell products.
For instance, if you cater to a family-oriented market and you’re looking to host an event in April, consider doing a “Prom Hairstyle” workshop where your team demonstrates styles on models or even attendees. Then, hand out at home how-to sheets with all the products used or make rebookings on the spot for a day of the event appointment. Similarly, you may consider doing a Mother’s Day themed event with special mother/daughter package service or retail deals.
Lock down the details
Once you have decided on a theme, you’ll need to plan out all the aspects of your event. First, determine your event budget – what you are willing to spend and what the return on investment should be. From here, decide what items fits within your budget and are required for the event’s success.
- Additional furniture, AV equipment and decorations
- Guest list
- Retail and product requirements
- Activities for the night – raffle, speeches, lucky door prize etc. and required materials
With these details locked down, create a timeline with deadlines and designated responsibilities for your team leading up to the day. This way you’ll ensure nothing is left to the last-minute and everyone is on the same page.
Investigate cross-promotional opportunities
Need an item for an event but your budget is running thin? You still have options! One of the best ways to save money is to partner with local businesses for a cross-promotion. If you have a favorite restaurant nearby, consider asking them to cater your event with hors de oeuvres and cocktails in exchange for distributing their marketing materials. Additionally, local fashion boutiques, coffee shops or liquor stores may be interested in donating a door prize or raffle item.
If your budget is extremely small or even non-existent, reach out to these businesses about offering your services at their events, such as free hair consultations at a boutique’s fashion preview party. Not only does this add value to their event, but also gives you direct access to their client base.
Get the word out there
To get the right crowd to your event, ensure you reach out to your guest list in a number of ways and give them plenty of notice. Email and SMS marketing are cost-effective ways to do this, without going over budget. For any missing RSVPs, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and follow up – the time you take to do this will enable to you maximize your catering and retail investments and save you a lot of headaches on the night.
Create a Run Sheet
One of the common pitfalls of event management is a lack of a running plan for the event day itself. Beat this by creating a detailed run sheet starting with the pre-event setup and running all the way through to clean up. You will no doubt have a number of activities during your event – think serving of food, speeches, demonstrations – and these should all be included and allocated a time. This will be a huge help in managing the ‘flow’ of the event to help you feel in control while your crowd stays entertained.
You might be exhausted, but the days following the big event are the best time to sit with your team and debrief on the event. What worked and what didn’t? Where could money have been better spent? And of course, don’t forget to thank clients who made it out; the success of any event wouldn’t be possible without them! Plus, a quick thank you follow up often results in an additional sale, rebooking, or an opening of the communication channel to create a loyal client.