Hosting an Event at your Salon
Hosting events in your salon can be great for your business; whether you're a small company run by one person, or you have a team of staff behind you, the benefits can be huge.
How do I host an event?
Firstly, think about what you want to host your event for. There are so many occasions to run an event in your salon, from seasonal events like Christmas gatherings, to demonstrating make-up tips or new treatments, or even showcasing a new product line you may be retailing. A launch event to show your clients the ins and outs of your salon gives them the opportunity to get to know you better, and likewise, you can get to know the interests of your clients. It's a great way to get them booked in for their next appointment, and to maximise on your retail opportunities.
In-salon events promoting a new treatment or launch have been hugely successful for brands in the past, as they're a great way to bring in old customers who haven't booked in a while, or to encourage new customers to book a treatment and hopefully become a loyal client. Offering your guests an incentive to return is always beneficial; you could offer money off their next treatment, or sell tickets to the event which can be redeemed against a purchase on the night.
What do I need to consider beforehand?
The planning of the event is crucial to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the night. Not only do you have to organise the event itself, but you'll need to set some time aside to market it to your clients. Social media is a great tool for this – whilst posting and sharing on your own page is free, you could take advantage of the paid for opportunities that allow you to promote your post out to a further audience.
Always remember why you're doing the event and make sure the planning doesn't hinder this. If you want to make a profit, then keeping costs low will be important. Of course, if you want to give your guests an incentive to come, then be sure to promote this. The more appealing you can make it to guests the more likely you are to achieve your goals.
Also, don't be afraid to ask for help with your event. Contact your suppliers to see if they could donate products for your goody bags, or if they could send over a representative to help with demonstrations on the night.
Here is some advice from the experts:
Sophie Hill, PR & Events Consultant:
• “Holding in-salon events should be one of your essential PR tools to promote your salon. My recommendation would be to start with a small number [of events] – perhaps host two in the year – but do them really well. Once you have run a couple and can see what works and what doesn't, you can then add in a couple more so that you have an event once per quarter. Any more than that and you can get ‘event fatigue' from your team and your clients!”
Sharon Seymour, owner of West Yorkshire-based salon Beauty Concepts:
• “Each event must have a different theme, [for example] a Christmas event to showcase new packages and gifts, key anniversaries, promotional events such as a masterclass for small groups, educational events with guest speakers and events to launch a new treatment or product.”
Alice Howard, PR Manager at CACI:
• “By having an incentivising offer or exclusive discounts on the night of the event, salons can help to attract attendees and of course generate additional revenue.”
Sharon Hilditch MBE, MD and founder of Crystal Clear:
• “Write yourself an event plan with a timeline and make sure you stick to it. [You will need to] give clients plenty of notice; send invites by email, social media, announce it on your blog if you have one. Send out flyers, have notices up in the salon; make sure everyone knows about it!”
Marie-Louise Coster, salon owner and beauty trainer:
• “I would strongly recommend you have it as a ticket only event so as you have an idea of how many people you are expecting, you don't want to be stood there waiting and no one arrives, or equally not be prepared for how many clients do arrive.”
It's the big day
When the big day arrives, make sure your salon is looking tidy and clean – act as though this is your opening night; there could be lots of potential new customers walking through your salon doors for the first time, so it's important to make that good first impression.
As the host, you need to speak to everyone individually. Your guests are at your event because they're interested in the product or treatment you're showcasing, so make sure that you are forming positive relationships that will benefit your business in the future, and don't forget to thank those who visited the event.
And finally, take note of the things that worked, and the things that didn't, so you can improve on these for your next event.