Hosting an event can be a great way to attract people into your bakery that wouldn’t have come in otherwise. The idea is that they will participate in the event, sample some of your baked goods, and love them so much they become loyal customers and tell all their friends.
Here’s what you should keep in mind as you plan an event at your bakery.
Set a Budget
It can be way too easy to spend an excessive amount of money trying to put on the biggest and best event for your bakery. But when you get down to it, your bakery probably doesn’t have enough money for the event of the century.
A number of factors will determine the budget for your event, but make sure you think about how many events you will be presenting over the whole year. Does it make more sense for your bakery to have one large event a year, a few medium-sized events, or a bunch of smaller events sprinkled throughout the year?
Whatever the answer is for you, consider that so you can loosely budget for upcoming events as well.
When budgeting, map out your spending as specifically as possible. Instead of noting “decorations,” write out what you want as different line items such as “streamers” and “balloons.” This can help you get a more accurate picture of what you’re spending your money on. And don’t forget to include marketing and promotions in your budget so that people will know about your event.
Always set aside some extra money as a contingency plan. Your goal is not to have to use this portion of money unless something unforeseen comes up.
Choose a Popular Theme
You certainly don’t have to have a theme to your bakery’s events, but they are a fun way to attract customers to your bakery by playing on something familiar to them. It helps them know what to expect, plus it gives you a direction to head.
People often find success when hosting a kid-friendly event, especially during the summer days when parents and babysitters need to keep their kids entertained before they pull out their hair.
When in doubt, look to pop culture interests that will draw in a large crowd:
- Star Wars
- Harry Potter
Whatever your theme is, have fun baking with it! People appreciate details, so if you’re having a summer party, decorate cookies to look like beach balls. If you’re throwing a Halloween bash, bake a cake in the shape of a spider. Remember that your event is still all about your delicious baked creations.
Promote and Advertise
Post on your social media ahead of time and let people know what types of things they can expect at your event. Facebook is especially helpful because you can utilize their public event feature. After the event, post pictures, or even better, have your guests post them to their personal pages for their friends and family to see. Here are social media best practices to consider.
For large in-store events consider using a series of emails to generate buzz. This will increase the chances of someone opening at least one of your messages. Pique their curiosity with the first in the series by letting them know something big is coming, but don’t give them any details yet. Learn more about email marketing for your bakery.
A post on your bakery’s Google My Business page is ideal for events. Since the posts show up with your listing, they are free advertising and can call attention to your event. Add a picture and a brief description, but know that posts will only stay live for seven days. If you don’t manage your Google My Business page, see how you can create and optimize your page.
Coupons and Discounts
While people are having a good time at your event, keep the party going by handing out coupons for future purchases that encourage them to come back to your bakery even when there’s not an event going on.
Multi-buy coupons are a useful way to make your event-goers feel like they are getting the most out of their money. For example, future-use coupons (ex. spend $25 and get $5 off your next purchase) encourage your customers to spend enough to qualify for the coupon and gets them in your bakery another time, where they will likely spend more than the discount. Deals like these give customers an opportunity to try new items and find new favorites.
While people are there, make sure they know about your other specials and loyalty programs. You’ve got them in the door with something they like, but you want them to keep coming back even after the event.
Lastly, if an event is a hit with your community, plan on having it again! Note what works and what doesn’t, and keep all your planning materials, so you don’t have to recreate the wheel for each event. Hopefully, this will help you to find continuing success for your bakery’s events and attract more customers to your bakery.
With more traffic, you may need help streamlining your bakery. Schedule a demo with BakeSmart and conquer the chaos.