We had our own Christmas Open Evening at the Basingstoke Salon last week. We’ve run similar events in the past but we decided to do things slightly differently this time.
One of the key issues we’ve had in the past with open evenings at the salon is that people, after promising they’ll come, shy away when the night comes and we are left with low attendances.
So, we got people more engaged up front… by charging them £10 to come.
If you are going to ask people to pay to come to an open evening you have to offer them a lot of value – ie. make it worthwhile them a) buying the ticket and, b) turning up on the night.
We managed to do this with some great speakers AND some great offers on the night. Obviously, with the run up to Christmas, it’s also a good time of the year for people to come along, have a glass of bubbly and a giggle and have a good old nose around the salon.
Following our recent foray with a local hair salons open evening, we knew we had to have something special. So, we managed to invite three great speakers…
- Kate Jones from House of Colour came along with a 20 minute talk called “What Not To Wear This Christmas”.
- A Cosmetics company did a demonstration of Dermal Fillers for those of our clients who were interested in the treatments they offer.
- Finally, our rep from Jessica Cosmetics was meant to come to demonstrate Geleration. Unfortunately, she was very sick so we had to skip this one. We did, however, have a room set aside where one of our therapists did an eyelash extension with a small audience and also threading.
The thing I find – especially as a non-therapist – is that clients often need a platform to learn. Therapists know what they do inside-out, whereas many clients are novices when it comes to skin or nail care. The more they can understand, the more loyal they will become to our salon and the more they will spend.
Offers and Prizes
To add more value, we also managed to deliver…
- Over £400 worth of prizes, including a £250 session with Harley Court Cosmetics, vouchers for House of Colour, vouchers with our salon, some products, and also a local hairdresser donated a prize.
- A goody bag for everyone with vouchers and samples worth over £30.
- 10% off any purchase on the night – advanced bookings on treatments, gift vouchers, and products.
Salon open evenings are hard work and don’t necessarily make you any money. For instance, as well as the hard work that went into organising the event, we also had to close the salon for 4 hours. Multiply that by five therapists and you have 20 hours that could have been charged bringing in around £600 at full capacity.
But, in terms of raising our profile with existing (and some new) clients, it was worth every penny. By making sure we offered value we could sell tickets to cover the cost – we sold 50 which paid for the event.
And, because people bought the tickets, they were more inclined to turn up – we had a 96% turnout.
Both of the suppliers who came and did talks took money on the night – something they say has never happened before, so they are also happy.
Would we do it again? Definitely, but it would need to offer a similar (if not better) level of quality to keep the salon brand enhancing. Something educational, something with value for them to come and something that generates us ongoing value too.
I hope our story’s given you some ideas.