Seven special event marketing tips - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Seven special event marketing tips

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Another year in operation is cause enough to celebrate if you're a small-business owner, but what can you do to get other people celebrating with you? Special events are a great way to build awareness about your business, and a fun way to interact with your customers.

Here are seven ways to get the most out of your special event:

* Attract customers with special deals, giveaways, samples or drawings. Once you get them in the door with freebies, they'll be tempted to shop.

* Do something for charity. A great way to get your business's name out there - and build good will within the community - is to promote a good cause. Host a cleanup day at a nearby park or donate something from your business to a silent auction.

* Celebrate your event by displaying special event logos in your store and on promotional materials. If you're celebrating another year in business, anniversary seals are a nice way to commemorate the occasion.

* Promote your event on the Web. Create a Facebook page for the event and send out email notifications. Use email marketing tracking services offered by companies such as EasyContact by Deluxe to see if your event is creating more interest than normal messages, or last year's event.

* Partner with a local musician or entertainer to add to the atmosphere of the event, and provide another reason for folks to show up.

* Organize something fun for your customers that relates to your business. For example, if you own a bike shop, host a bike ride along a trail in your town and provide some goodies to people who show up for the ride.

* Host a contest for your customers and offer a prize to the winner. You could even offer free merchandise or a cash prize to the person who creates the best poster to promote your event.

Putting on a special event is a great way to get your customers more involved with your business, so if you're planning an event, ask your core customers for ideas. Chances are others who may be interested in your business would like the same things.