A vision care company I have worked with in the past does an optical trunk show every year for all employees in the same building. The volume of business done on this optical trunk show day is the biggest of the year and there is a plus from the residual effect of new and repeat customers that are generated from the event. They are located in a large medical building so they have a built-in customer opportunity. The same type of opportunity exists for any optical office located in an area of concentrated business.
The success of this optical trunk show comes from good planning and execution. There is a lot of publicity for it the month before and consumers are encouraged to have eye exams before the show. Here are some suggestions for a successful optical trunk show:
1. Choose your vendors and reps carefully, these are the people making the trunk show happen so they have to be willing and enthusiastic participants. You should include lenses as well as frames.
2. Choose an good date to hold your optical trunk show, make sure there are no conflicts with other events and that participating vendors are available to be there for the whole day.
3. Approximately two weeks prior to your show, you should send out a minimum of 400 invitations to all your patients and businesses in the immediate area. Include patients who are due for an eye exam within the next 3 months. Call your top customers, personally invite them and ask them to bring a guest. Call local businesses and personally invite them as well.
4. Advertise, including print, radio, posters, banners and fliers. Select a theme for your show, for example, Anniversary Celebration, Season Preview etc. Contact local media and invite them to the event, send a press release.
5. Ideas to enhance your optical trunk show: have a hair stylist, wardrobe consultant, make-up artist in conjunction with the show. Consider a special offer such as a gift with purchase, free eye exam or discount on selected frames purchased on the day of the show. Co-ordinate with a local clothing store to perform a mini fashion show with models wearing selected eyeglass frames. Maybe not quite as extreme as in the picture below but this is attention getting! (Image is from Anina.typepad.com)
6. In-Office Preparations: Create an eye-catching frame display incorporating POP materials and visual props such as fresh flowers, fashion accessories or create a theme. Optylux’s Ete brand has coordinating accessories and make for a perfect trunk show display.
Have office staff dress to match the theme. Serve refreshments to enhance the party atmosphere. Have a register book for your guests to sign in and you can then send a follow-up mailing.
7. Have fun with your optical trunk show but take it seriously so that the planning and execution part is done right.
Source: Optylux, and SPS Associates