With Glasses, Donuts & Love
8 simple (and delicious) steps to putting on a wildly successful trunk show
On Feb. 26, 2016, I checked off one of my own practice goals: Put on a wildly successful trunk show.
Here, I’ve written a behind-the-scenes guide of what my practice did in the hopes it may help you put on your own wildly successful trunk show.
1. PICK THE RIGHT DATE.
For us, February is historically the slowest month of the year, so we wanted to have our event during that month to generate some cash flow. We also made sure to pick a Friday, as most people don’t mind taking time off from work on a TGIF.
2. SELECT A REALLY UNIQUE, #HASHTAG-ABLE THEME: #GLASSESDONUTSLOVE.
We wanted to throw a trunk show that was catchy, fun, original, and social-media savvy. Before we even thought of a theme, we had to make sure it was #hashtag available—meaning that it was an unused social media hashtag.
This was quite the challenge. After some brainstorming, we came up with: #glassesdonutslove. It was catchy, fun, and available. After all, who doesn’t love a great pair of glasses and donuts?
3. CREATE WIN-WIN PARTNERSHIPS.
This was the most important component for success. Our first step was to partner up with our neighborhood donut shop and make it a central part of our trunk show theme—donuts.
We would heavily promote the donut shop in the weeks before the trunk show on social media and, in return, we would be able to advertise directly at its location with our jumbo business cards (more on that later). The owner of Donut Savant was so jazzed about the idea that she provided all of the donuts and coffee for us at no charge.
Our second partnership was with the ZEISS lab. We negotiated with its reps to provide its premium, single-vision digital CR-39 lens at no charge for 100% of our trunk show work.
ZEISS was so excited by our #glassesdonutslove event that it provided printed graphics, banners, and our awesome giveaway (more later), and flew two people up from San Diego to help at the event.
The third partnership was with Oliver Peoples. We really wanted our rep to walk away from the event wanting to do it again. Instead of diluting sales by having more than one frame vendor, we concentrated on just one. Let’s just say, our rep broke his record for most frames sold at a trunk show. He already told me he’d be back next year! Winning.
4. CREATE GORGEOUS DIGITAL AND PRINTED GRAPHICS.
We really wanted to grab the attention of consumers by creating simple, memorable images. So, we designed 500 jumbo square business cards that we handed out at local businesses. The most successful location was the donut shop we partnered up with.
Word spreads fast on social media. We posted twice a week starting in February with eye-catching images. It was effective. We got many established and new patients to schedule appointments just by seeing our Instagram and Facebook posts.
5. OFFER AN UNMISTAKABLE GIVEAWAY.
With each trunk show purchase, we gave away an awesome coffee mug for donut dunking. We kept the graphic the same as the jumbo business card to keep it cohesive. The mug created such a buzz on social media that people were approaching us to purchase one before the event even began.
6. MAX OUT YOUR APPOINTMENT BOOK.
We did not want to rely on walk-by traffic. We wanted the for-sure thing. On the morning of Feb. 26th, we had 52 confirmed appointments for our trunk show. We accomplished this feat by sending out four email blasts to our established patients.
The four blasts were all different so that our audience wouldn’t get bored, and we made sure they contained beautiful images and fun-to-read copy. They responded. We scheduled patients with our two eye doctors every 20 minutes. Deferred dilations. And, no contact lens exams.
One wonderful lesson we learned was that our established patients were much more excited about the trunk show and therefore spent more money than new patients. Who knew?
7. MAKE A DIY PHOTO AREA FOR SOCIAL MEDIA PHOTOS.
We decorated a wall with cutouts of glasses, donuts, and hearts on a string and called it our “photo booth.” During the event we went live on social media and posted photos of patients having a blast.
We hashtagged all photos with #glassesdonutslove and #welovezeiss. It definitely created a buzz, and so many patients in the following weeks expressed how bummed they were to miss out on the event.
8. SPREAD THE #SELFIE LOVE.
Our practice really wanted our trunk show to continue with a life of its own even after the event was officially over.
To make that happen, at each glasses dispense from the trunk show, the patient was handed a selfie card with instructions. They received a $5 iTunes gift card simply by posting their selfie with the hashtag #glassesdonutslove. And, better yet, the best selfie won an Apple Watch.
It has been so much fun bringing our #glassesdonutslove trunk show from concept to a wildly successful event. We learned what worked and what we can improve on for next year. And yes, there will be a next-year #glassesdonutslove. People are already asking.
—Tanya N. Gill, O.D.
Tanya N. Gill, O.D., is the owner of Oakland Vision Center Optometry in Oakland, CA.