Here are some events you can start to plan for 2024 that have been wildly successful for some of our Hardware Innovators in the past – but remember, don’t plan on scheduling every one of these events because you will likely give yourself and your employees burnout!
- BBQ – This is a great event to have throughout the year – some of our innovators even host this weekly and make food for their employees. You can have an employee get a BBQ expert badge through ACE, and they get the opportunity to run the event – which includes running the budget, project execution, and understanding the manpower required. A great way to create ownership.
- Pro Tip: One of our Innovators recommends giving $100 toward the grill of their choice every time the event is hosted.
- Passport with Local Businesses – Bring small businesses in your community together to put on a passport. At each location, community members can get free swag, get a stamp in their passport book, and be entered to win a grand prize at the end of it all. For some inspiration, check out what the City of Flagstaff does.
- Kids Workshops – The opportunity to host kids’ workshops is endless. You can teach them how to build a birdhouse, learn beekeeping, and include anything with STEM. When it comes to building brand loyalty and building a legacy store, these events are the building blocks.
- Ladies Night – Ladies Night is a great opportunity for women to come together and learn more about the things that their husbands usually do. So when thinking of ideas for that night, ask yourself: what is my wife (or what am I asking my husband) to do? Things like mowing the lawn, hanging a picture, getting out, and snow-blowing are all great starts. Don’t be afraid of asking each department in your store to come up with fun and engaging games, for example, taking a leaf blower and shooting a tennis ball into a barrel.
- Grand Reopening – These are the perfect time to host big “all out” kind of parties. Invite vendors to set up booths, have grilling demos, include non-profits, have a bounce house and face paint for kids, and give away tons of freebies, samples, and swag. Reopening are perfect for your community to get to know who you are as a store and the “why” behind who you are.
- Dog Days – Invite a mobile groomer, professional photographer, doggie gift bags, toys, partner with non-profit organizations, and have a stick library. You will have hundreds of dogs in store – so be sure to take lots of photos! You can even round up at the registers for a local non-profit rescue. Families will love this, your customers will love this, and so will your staff!
- Sourdough Baking Class – This is a great class to have over winter. Invite vendors to donate bags of flour or any other materials that you need to make sourdough.
- Canning Class – If you sell a lot of mason jars in your store, you might want to consider hosting a canning class. Be sure to have someone there who is well-versed in canning safety, but these experts can give people a quick “how to” on canning. This would be a great class to hold during the summer!
- Gardening Class – Speaking of summer, you can never go wrong with gardening classes! You can include kids in this class and have them build an herb garden or fairy garden. Reach out to your local Cooperative Extension and ask if you don’t have experts in your store!
- Invite Santa or build the North Pole/Whoville in your store – One hardware store owner goes all out when it comes to decorating her store to look like Whoville. She has a 25-foot-tall Christmas tree, hangs giant ornaments from her ceiling, has a photo booth set up with lights, invites the Grinch and even Santa comes. What’s better than kiddos getting pictures with Santa? This is another one of those legacy-building type events!
- Valentine’s Day DIY – Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to have fun DIY kits – whether for adults or kiddos, it doesn’t matter. Invite community members to come in and build a candy machine, photo frame, or wine rack! Bonus points if you have chocolate and wine!
- Unlock Spring – This event had one hardware store overwhelmed with the line that wrapped around the building! Everyone who spent $20 in-store received a key that may go to a lock on a locker that had prizes ranging from $300 to $10,000 side-by-side. Remember, vendors LOVE to donate to these kinds of events.
- Annual Golf Tournament – This annual event held by Valley Ace Hardware is all about fun and games that go towards a good cause!
Do you have events that have been successful in the past that you want to add to this list or do you need support when it comes to launching events? Feel free to fill out this contact form!