Holding a customer appreciation day gives you a productive way to tell buyers how much their loyalty means to your business. Not only is the event fun, but it also gives you a prime opportunity to showcase your current lineup or to introduce a new line of products and services so customers know what else is available to them.
Timing and Budget
Set a date right after your busy season to help boost sales as your slow season begins. Figure your budget based the cost of renting a venue, if necessary, and providing food, beverages and customer gifts. Include the cost of creating and sending invitations, holding event activities and advertising. If your budget seems small, ask vendors or a non-competing business to go in with you. Or, ask a nonprofit organization your company supports if it would like to go in with you, as the event helps them meet more people while giving your business the opportunity to showcase your philanthropy efforts.
Select a Venue
Hold the event at your facility if it can contain the number of guests you want to invite. Otherwise, rent out a restaurant, banquet hall or other venue. Check to see if the venue offers food and beverage service, or if you must bring in caterers. Find space big enough to hold tables to display your products, room for people to mingle, and tables and chairs for those who want to sit, eat food or listen to a presentation. Decorate the facility with banners that say “Customer Appreciation Day” or “Thank you to our customers!” and hang balloons and other decorations to make the venue more festive.
The size of your invitation list helps determine what type of appreciation event to hold. For instance, if you want to thank only your top 12 customers for their support, plan a more intimate thank-you event, such as a dinner party. Put together an invitation list broken down into your top-dollar customers and others who shop but spend less. Consider inviting your top customers to the event before everyone else if you choose to include a sale or other discount on your products. Create a “save the date” invitation to pique interest about four to six weeks ahead of the event. Mail the actual invitations a few weeks before the date.
The possible activities to offer at your event depend on your purpose. If you plan to introduce a new line of products or services, use the event to get customers enthused. Make introductions to staff members and thank customers for their business. Hire a keynote speaker to provide useful information related to your business, giving customers something they’ll remember long after they leave. Include a raffle in which everyone enters for a chance to win. Provide a small goodies bag of promotional gifts with your company name and logo on them to everyone who attends. Come up with a promotion or discount you can offer attendees to turn the event into a sales-boosting day. Arrange with a caterer or the venue manager for food and beverages, with options ranging from appetizers and beer or wine to a buffet and an open bar. Hire entertainment, such as a live band or a magician to create a festive spirit.