January '20

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18 THE SHOP JANUARY 2020 islands in the parking area are a nice aes- thetic touch, for instance, but they're not conducive to parking big rigs and display trailers in neat rows. What works at a fairgrounds probably won't translate well to your parking lot, so be conscious of the size of the displays that you want or ask for ideas from your vendors. Better to barter? Decide up front whether you expect your vendors to help pay for food and beverages along with the publicity, or if this can be done through discounts or credits against your account. While it can be a combina- tion of both, consistency is better. You don't want to be inconsistent in what you are charging for booth space at your event, even though there may not be equivalency in what one vendor or another offers as door or raffle prizes. Sales & marketing may not see eye to eye. With numerous consumer events on a mar- keter's schedule, store openings or local gatherings might not pique his or her interest. Be cognizant of their reluctance to participate, and don't take it personally. It may require your sales rep or their manager to get involved. In SDHQ's case, few marketers embraced the initial idea of just how grand this grand opening would be, as many on the manufacturers' mar- keting personnel had not seen the size of its previous facility or fully understood the scale of its operations. Have contingency plans. For SDHQ, a radio group willing to trade spots to advertise the anniversary celebra- tion and add the shop's logo to its promo vehicles appeared to be a win-win situation, since it required only the labor to modify the vehicles. When the station didn't have a promo vehicle to modify in time for the event, however, advertising plans shifted to social media, word of mouth and outdoor dis- plays in the form of banners and signage at the site of the new store. Remember, radio stations and local news- papers are mainly interested in selling you advertising space, and not necessarily in informing the community about your event. Be accommodating. Getting trailers in place required angling them to fit and rearranging the vendor booths at least a dozen times to ensure Plan ahead if you expect a big crowd and results to match. NEW HORIZONS FOR MOTORSPORTS The showroom was jammed with attendees eager to see SDHQ's brand-new facility. Not the storeroom, this is a part of the showroom with its massive inventory.

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