Talking Shop: 10 Things to Remember When Marketing Your Trunk Show

You've finally got some designs in stock and you're ready to hit the streets and start selling through a big event. Or maybe you have a lot of excess inventory left over from the last season and you're looking to get rid of it. Or you just want to celebrate! Trunk shows are a great way to bring together your existing customer base, draw in new customers and buyers and get your product out on the street. Marketing them can be a little tricky, especially in event saturated Denver. So I created a handy 10 piece reminder for you to follow along with! 1. Choose your guest base.  When you're marketing your event, you need to be clear on who you're inviting. Is this a trunk show to clear out old inventory and gain new customers so you're looking for consumers to attend? Or is it a trunk show to show off a new line that you're ready to wholesale and you want buyers to attend as well? Knowing who your guests will be will influence everything from location to what items you bring to how you market. Step 1 - lock that down.

2.Add your event to Facebook. Even if you don't invite anyone, a Facebook event will appear on your business's public page and easily holds all the information for your event. It also gets automatically pulled to the Denver Style calendar, eliminating an extra step in promotion!  A word of warning: make sure you're creating the event on your business's public page and not on your own personal page. Personal events don't have the same level of visibility as other events and make it hard to invite friends to.

3. Create a graphic that's properly sized. I've raved about Canva before and that's because it's purely the most simple way to create professional looking graphics, especially if you have no graphic design experience. The best part about Canva is that it allows you to create graphics based on what you're going to use them for. Meaning if you're promoting on Instagram, Canva will create the perfect square sized image for you. Taking the time to do this step means your event looks great, no matter what platform it's promoted on.

4. Plan a month (or more) before. Promote two and a half weeks before. Denver is a finicky beast when it comes to events. The average Denverite, for whatever reason, fears commitment and is not likely to RSVP or even remember  your event more than two weeks before. Why we can't just add things to our phone calendars and remember them when they happen is beyond me. We like to plan events about a month out, knowing all the vendors that will be involved, all the fun things that will be taking place and any other details. Then we start heavily promoting about two and half weeks before the event.

5. Write a social media calendar. We create social media calendars for everything and trunk shows or other events are no exception. The easiest way to create a social media calendar is to work backwards. Get the date that you're hosting your event and day by day plan what you'll promote, when and what channels. I prefer to write it out on a paper calendar; if digital is more your speed, that's fair too.

6. Write a note. In the same way that you planned your social media, plan out a newsletter schedule. We often receive newsletters for events 1 to 2 days before they happen. This is nowhere near enough time for us to get a photographer there or for us to even plan to attend ourselves without more of a notice of the event. Planning ahead ensures you won't rush and forget to invite people.

7. Reach out to your friends. Now is not the time to be shy. You want to promote, promote, promote your event to everyone you know. Send emails, Facebook messages, texts - whatever it takes to promote it.

8. Share your story. When you're promoting your event, make sure you're focused on your story as well. There are so many events and so many brands around Denver, your story will be what sets you apart. You want to tell people what's unique about what you offer and what's unique about the event that will make it worth their time to attend. Your presence is magical but it's not enough to garner attendance.

9. Connect with the neighbors. Printing posters and postcards can be an expensive undertaking for a small design company. However, getting a very small quantity printed & sharing them with surrounding businesses and community locations in the area of your host site can reach a new audience. Just like everything else, make sure you've planned about two weeks in advance to put the posters and postcards up (not to get them printed!) so they'll be up long enough for people to take notice.

10. Keep posting. Post almost continuously about the event the whole time leading up to your event. Do not let people forget this event is happening! Write out several different captions and phrasings for all the activities you'll be having at the event to keep people interested versus writing one caption and continually copying and pasting it.

And a bonus - Promote the day of (and after!) Don't forget to post about your event on the day it happens! This final reminder could make the difference between someone attending and not attending. It's also important to take photos during your event so you can share on social media and blogs in the days after. You want to make people who didn't come sad that they weren't able to make it. If you can't take photos, find a professional photographer (or hire one through DSM!)

You know have all the tools you need to pull off a successful marketing campaign for your event! If all of this sounds like just too much work for you, Denver Style Magazine offers event planning and promotion services for every size event and we'd love to help you grow. Party on, Denverites!