Get out there: tips for standing out at your local fall and winter events

You’ve reserved your spot at your town’s fall or winter event, and now it’s time to start planning how you’ll best utilize it to your business’s advantage. And there are plenty of advantages: recent studies show that 44% of businesses see a 3 to 1 return on their investment when getting involved with local festivals and community gatherings.

So, how do you make the biggest impact?

Keep decor festive, but brand specific

Your setup’s decorations should fit the theme of the event, but also your brand’s aesthetic. If you cater to a more mature crowd, avoid gimmicky cartoon witches and goofy looking elves. Instead, opt for a clean, seasonal color scheme and more elegant touches; think a rich purple and rusty orange coupled with silver and gold sprayed pumpkins, or wintery blue and white with plenty of fairy lights. Are your customers younger? Hit up Pinterest to see what they’re adding to their boards and incorporate those elements into your design.

Schedule energetic employees, not your team’s proverbial Grinch

Your employees are fantastic at their jobs, but that doesn’t mean they’re all cut out for bringing the charisma necessary for a successful booth. And this time of year, with festive spirits in high swing, energetic charm is even more important. Event goers are excited and jolly, and they don’t want a grouchy, standoffish employee bringing them down.

Incorporate seasonal entertainment

You can’t stand outside all day handing out brochures and expect to see any return on your investment. People are at the event to have fun, and if you want to gain traction, you need to provide that fun with seasonally appropriate entertainment.

Add a photo area with fall and winter props. Advertise that the pictures can be used for holiday greeting cards, gather up props like pumpkins, faux fall leaves, Santa hats, and fairy lights, and give customers one free image. Go all out by hiring a local photographer, or add some retro fun with a rented photo booth. If possible, incorporate some of your business’s products into the prop selections.

Set up refreshments. Hot apple cider, hot chocolate, cookies, and caramel popcorn all go over well, warming up event goers and drawing them in (who can resist a sweet treat)?

Get some music going. If the event allows, hire a local performer to provide entertainment at your space. This time of year lends itself well to softer music, which works beautifully for you – less equipment means less space required, and it won’t be so loud that your staff can’t interact with visitors.

Give out seasonal gift bags

Make sure event goers walk away with something to remember you. Freebies and swag bags are infinitely more effective than business cards or branded pens, although a few items emblazoned with your company logo are necessary. However, add some extras in there that aren’t related to your business to create a lasting, positive impression: a pumpkin spice or evergreen candle, baggie of gourmet treats, packets of hot cocoa, and ornaments are all solid additions. Make sure that any extras, sans branding, also fit your business. If you run a local gym, some pumpkin protein samples are a good addition; a salon might add in a deep conditioning hair mask to combat winter dryness; and, a boutique might throw in a pair of warm gloves or a scarf.

Start planning now, and you’ll be ready to draw in new customers, talk with your current customers, and increase your business’s status in your community.



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