Successful pet events can lead to a significant growth in business.
Anyone can host a pet event at his or her retail store or grooming facility—but it’s how you plan, promote and host the event that will make your business stand out. I have been to hundreds of pet events over the years and have hosted close to 600. This experience has ranged from: helping clients plan, promote and host events at their pet retail stores; small happy hours or gala black-tie events for animal rescue organizations; “ask the vet events;” boutique business-to-business shows; responsible dog ownership classes; events for pet professionals and many others.
Planning, promoting and hosting your pet event properly can make or break it, and—if it doesn’t go well—can leave you frustrated and unexcited about hosting another. For storeowners who are incredibly busy with the day-to-day operations of running their businesses, the thought of having a pet event can be daunting. However, giving yourself and your employees enough time leading up to the event, and working on a schedule to plan and promote, will make a big difference.
Here are some perks of hosting a successful pet event to help grow your business:
- Getting new customers through your doors.
- Obtaining attention from local media and press.
- Making more sales on the day of the event.
- Providing education about a topic to pet parents who attend, who in turn will return to your store more often.
- Bringing the local community to your store .
- Creating awareness for an animal rescue or
- non-profit if your event is cause-driven.
- Adding names and contacts to your email list.
- Generating excitement about your next event.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but often, many important areas of event planning are skipped, or not even thought about. For example, do you have permission to host the event in your store (if you rent your facility, do you have to run this by your landlord)? Are there certain ordinances in your town, village or state that you have to abide by? Did you make sure you have everything in place so people and pets attending are well-catered to during your event? Something as simple as having enough water bowls for any pups attending is skipped so often it boggles the mind.
Everyone thinks of social media as the best way to promote. However, while this is an effective tool, recent changes to Facebook and those lovely algorithms on Instagram mean your event may not even be seen. There are many ways to promote your event beyond social media. I’ll show you how in my seminar.
Do you have enough people to help you on the day of the event? Do you have employees designated as cashiers so you are not trying to do both? Did you plan enough ahead of time so you are not stressed out the day of? Do people know what to do when they get to your event? Big or small, you would be surprised how often event hosts miss these key elements of hosting.
Pet parents love to bring their pets to these events. They want to take a ton of pictures and share them all over social media. They want to be there to see friends, meet new pet parents and have fun. Pet parents also want to learn about new products and meet experts who will educate them on caring for their pets even more. They love to be supportive and spend money at your store during the event. Pet events are opportunities to increase your bottom line; get new, loyal customers to your store and become the place pet parents want to go to again and again.
Nancy Hassel is the founder and president of American Pet Professionals, an award winning business-networking and educational organization for the pet industry since 2009. A public relations specialist for the pet industry, she works with pet companies in many aspects of PR, event planning, media relations and training for pet professionals. Hassel is also a speaker at various pet industry conferences, a writer for pet trade and consumer magazines, a blogger and photographer, and was a TV producer and production coordinator for 10 plus years. She also created a Responsible Dog Ownership program and taught over 2,500 pet parents in a five-year period. Hassel resides on Long Island, N.Y. and is the proud pet parent of Cody, a rescued American Pit Bull Terrier.
COME TO NANCY HASSEL'S SEMINARS
Fun & Newsworthy Ideas to Get the Local Press Into Your Store
Thursday, March 22, 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM
New Product Showcase
Hosting a Successful Pet Event
Thursday, March 22, 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Hosting a successful pet event is a daunting task for most busy pet professionals, from the smallest event to a larger annual event. But well-done events are vital to bringing in new customers, helping local animal organizations, getting your business name promoted and standing out from the crowded marketplace. In this seminar, we will cover: organizing the event, promoting the event properly (and with enough lead time), selling tickets, staffing employees (or volunteers) to help at the event and drumming up excitement about the event. You will learn how to raise the bar for your next event, and easy ways to promote your event, get new customers, help out your community and get press coverage.
Using Video to Market Your Pet Business
Thursday, March 22, 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Using video to market your pet business is no longer something you can ignore. In this seminar, we will cover how to do easy videos, LIVE streams and Q&As at your pet business on a regular, consistent basis. It doesn’t matter if you are a retailer or pet product manufacturer, video is a must if you want to stay current in social media, bring in new customers, educate your clientele and, of course, have fun with it! People love to see pets on video and learn from the comfort of their own homes. As a former TV producer (10+ years), and media person in the pet industry, Hassel has an endless number of simple ideas to help you get over your fear of video and learn how to use it to enhance your pet business.