As a tanning salon, spa or wellness center owner, chances are your business is relatively small and you need to budget marketing carefully. Summer is a busy time of year, particularly when it comes to seasonal events such as fairs and festivals. Would it be worth your time to attend one of these events? Absolutely! Here’s our guide for getting the most out of summer –or any other time of year – event participation.
What Type of Summer Event is Best for Marketing a Tanning Salon?
It really all depends on what you hope to achieve. If yours is a new business, attending local events helps raise awareness. Even if your salon has been established for years, it may be time to find new customers or make the community aware of new services you offer, such as a FIT Bodywrap© system. Another worthwhile goal is to simply start or expand your database.
Any event where you can showcase your products and services is a good one, but particularly if it centers around health, fitness, sports, wellness or beauty. The people who attend events like these are your target market. Such things as fun runs, sporting expos and Chamber of Commerce showcases are all good choices.
It’s important to know how many potential clients you are likely to reach. If the event has been held before, ask the organizers for statistics on past visitors. The longer it’s been going on, the more likely a fair or festival will attract a large amount of traffic.
Ask, too, about any rules or guidelines for vendors at the event. Find out if you are allowed to set up a booth, hand out coupons or ask for contact information. If goody bags will be provided for visitors, make sure your marketing material gets included.
You may also want to consider co-sponsoring the event. This usually gives you additional advertising in the newspaper, on the radio and online. Weigh the costs against the potential business you could bring into your salon.
Planning Tips for Special Events
Although the event organizers are in charge of major advertising, you should do your part, as well. It doesn’t have to be anything costly or extravagant; email messages, website and social media updates, flyers and simple word-of-mouth promotion are highly effective and inexpensive.
Assign staff members to man your booth. Make sure they are energetic and outgoing; the idea is to establish a rapport with as many people as possible so this isn’t a good place to put shy employees. Fairs and festivals are fun; your business should come across as a fun place to visit! Don’t forget to take pictures while participating; these make great updates for your Facebook page and Twitter account.
Instruct your employees to hand out at least a business card to everyone who drops by the booth; better yet is to give away coupons for free tanning sessions or discounted body wrap sessions along with a brochure. If you have a fairly big budget or, if you have leftover products from a prior promotion, consider giving away T-shirts, branded water bottles or Koozie cups.
The best way to promote your services is to show them off. Make sure the staffers manning your booth are tanned and fit.
Offer special package pricing available only during the festival. This encourages visitors to buy a package right on the spot and ensures your costs will be covered.
Provide a stack of small cards asking for each visitor’s name and email address, along with permission to send them marketing materials. If you do this in conjunction with a contest or prize drawing, you are likely to get more information. This is a great opportunity to build your database. Even if someone doesn’t buy a package while visiting your booth, you can send them a newsletter or special offers in the future and eventually turn them into a paying customer.
Summer events and fairs and festivals throughout the year represent an excellent way to get your salon’s name in front of your local community. But don’t miss out on any marketing opportunities; follow these tips to ensure it’s a profitable venture!