How to Set Up a Winning Off-Site Spa Sales Event

The summer is quickly coming to a close, pool season will be ending soon and, thankfully, cooler temperatures are on the way. This is the perfect time to start planning an end of summer off-site spa sales event, an “End of Summer Spa Super Sale” where customers can “Fall into Spa Savings” if you will. There is no better time promote a warm water activity that can be used all year long. Here are a few tips on how you can set up your own winning off-site spa sales event.

 

A Rose By Any Other Name…

Would you believe that there is actually a list of the top sales event names? Tried and true titles like “Over Stacked and Over Stocked,” “Last Chance to Save,” and “Mega Sale” probably sound familiar. They are familiar to shoppers, too. Maybe too familiar. One of the keys to a successful off-site sales event is choosing a theme that will appeal to the largest number of potential customers.

Even if you’re just setting up a sales event in the parking lot outside your store, a good theme with an attention grabbing name will bring in more potential customers.

 

Giving your event a name that customers don’t see every day will make it stand out from the same old cliché sales. Try using a play on words like “Fall into Spa Savings” or “Harvest Spa Savings Today” for an autumn sales event. Even if you’re just setting up a sales event in the parking lot outside your store, a good theme with an attention grabbing name will bring in more potential customers.

 

Site Prep

Off-site sales events can take place anywhere from a mall parking lot to the state fair to the local home show. Autumn marks the beginning of festival season in many areas which means a host of outdoor sales opportunities are right at your fingertips. Late summer and early fall bring favorable weather conditions with temperatures that are not too hot and not too cold. It looks like a great time for a hot tub sale. So what’s next? Check out this checklist to stay on track.

  1. Decide on a theme and a name for your sales event.
  2. Choose the location of your sale.
  3. Obtain the appropriate permits.
  4. Check local ordinances on noise, fire, safety, advertising, etc.
  5. Identify and provide for power needs including a backup power system like a generator.
  6. Provide shade and weather protection with large tents or portable pavilions.
  7. Arrange for toilets/sanitation if needed.
  8. Ensure a means of transporting merchandise to and from sale location.
  9. Build in setup and tear-down time.
  10. Spray area for pests and/or provide citronella candles for outdoor venues.
  11. Stay aware of weather forecasts and have fans or heating on site.

 

Keep in mind that if you’re participating in a fair, festival, or home show, you won’t be responsible for providing all of this. You will, however, want to make sure the items you require are being provided by the organizers.

 

Site Setup

Greg Mruk, Store Manager at Pool & Patio Center in Coventry Rhode Island, tells Spa Retailer that the keys to a great off-site sales event are “the best selection, layout, product and people.” The first thing you must do is choose what units you will display at the sale site. Joe Stone of Swim Fitness in Northern California stresses the importance of including “a combination of your biggest, largest, and very best, down to your smallest, entry-level model with a couple of nice, in-between choices” to appeal to customers’ different lifestyles, interests, and budgets.

Once you’ve chosen which spas to display, you need to decide how you want to display them. A winning off-site event layout should take into consideration these factors:

  • Enough space between spas for customers to comfortably move around the products.
  • Easy access to all components of the spa so salespeople can explain all the best features.
  • Electrical cords hidden and/or secured to avoid tripping hazards.
  • Effective placement of HD screens for displaying product and brand information.

 

It can be very helpful to outline the layout at the site with a chalk line or tape to get a visual on how much space you’ll need and to ensure you have the right size tent or pavilion to house the display. When your sale items are in place, take a little time to adjust their placement to make sure you’ve effectively accounted for the above considerations and decoration features.

 

Site Decoration

Jeff Kaufer, Spa Manager of Concord Pools & Spas in Latham and Saratoga, NY, encourages businesses to “make the event look professional and festive.” Making your event look professional means having a good selection of spas and good salespeople to work the crowd. Now for the fun part: making your event space festive! This is where you tie your display to your theme. What is one of the major selling points of spas? Year round usability. People tend to think of water centered activities as a summertime thing, so why not use your sales event to show them differently with a “Spa Season Never Ends Sales Spectacular.” Decorate your display space as a walk through all four seasons of the year.

Think about borrowing or renting photo backdrops from a local photography studio to enhance the seasonal appearance of each stage of your display.

 

For this example, you could begin with the first spa decorated in fall décor. Lisa Morgillo of Brothers Pool in Wallingford, Connecticut, suggests “bales of hay and baskets of mums…combined with lanterns with battery powered candles.” The winter season display could include twinkle lights and mulled cider with faux snow on the ground surrounding the spa. Emphasize the rebirth aspect of spring with flowering plants and grass green carpets. Your seasonal spa tour can end with a hot tub party scene decorated with flip-flops, sunglasses, and beach towels.

Think about borrowing or renting photo backdrops from a local photography studio to enhance the seasonal appearance of each stage of your display.

 

Expert Advice

Sean Hunsinger, resident sales expert with Spa Retailer, offers the following additional advice for off-site sales events:

  • Plan to sell one-and-a-half times the units you show at your event. If you show four or five spas, you should sell six to eight spas.
  • Have at least one operating spa on site so buyers can see the unit in action.
  • Staff with people who can make a sale in 30 minutes instead of 30 days.

 

Don’t forget to bring sales terminals, or better yet equip sales staff working the event with mobile devices they can use to finalize sales on the spot. Make sure large signs and banners are visible from a distance and that sign stands have flat bottoms so customers won’t trip over them. Use large planters or bags of spa chemicals to keep sign stands from blowing over in windy conditions and to anchor tents. Be sure to include extras being offered like cotton candy, kettle corn, and children’s activities such as bounce houses or pony rides to make your event an attraction to the whole family.

 

Sales Event Promotion

Large tents, colorful signs, and balloons are all great ways to attract attention, but it’s not enough to depend on event signage to drive traffic. Ryan Pasley, Retail Division Manager of Bullfrog Spas, emphasizes, “If you don’t advertise your event in advance, you’re missing your best opportunity to ensure the right customers come to the sale.” For anyone who’s sold at an off-site sale, you know the difference between a customer who stopped in for the bounce house and one who stopped by after hearing a local radio ad about the special event.

But how do you determine how much budget to set aside for pre-event promotion? Here’s a general, though reliable, rule of thumb: Start with setting your revenue goal for the event. Then spend 5-8% of this revenue goal to get the word out via local media channels. For specifics on ad messaging and media buying, check out H2Insider’s Tips for Messaging Your Ads and H2Insider’s Media Buying Guide.

Off-site sales events can be an extremely lucrative way to expand your customer base and to educate the general public on the benefits of home spas. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your “Spa Season Never Ends Sales Spectacular” now!

 
 
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Lisa Garnier
Lisa Garnier
lgarnier@h2insider.com

Lisa Garnier is a freelance writer and research expert. She writes articles, blogs and web content for a variety of businesses and industries. A graduate of UCM in Warrensburg Missouri, Lisa holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English Composition and has previously taught English Composition at the university level. Since 2015, Lisa has been a contributing writer for BKA Content.

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