The season of summer events has begun!

Friday Night Live, StreetFest, Champaign Farmers Market, Chow Down in Campustown and other events add to the vibrancy of our Champaign Center districts and bring a new audience. Check out these simple tips that can help you take advantage of foot traffic and new potential customers at events happening in your district!



1. Have your door open.

It’s summertime, which means that the nice summer weather will not only be refreshing in your shop, but will also serve as an open invite for passersby to peek inside.




2. Put out an eye-catching sign on your storefront.

Sandwich board signs with catchy slogans or intriguing deals work great to catch the attention of passersby. Bonus points if the message on the board connects to the summer event taking place – attendees will be more likely to stop in!




3. Offer hands-on activities for attendees.

Set up a table outside of your shop with a demonstration or interactive activity to engage with event attendees. This will give attendees a reason to stop- and time for you to share all of the great things your shop or service offers!


4. Tap into the event theme.

Think of clever ways to piggyback on the theme of special events to highlight a special-edition item or deal at your shop. Does the event theme have to do with “Fun in the Sun”? You can highlight your sun-shaped jewelry, create sun-themed food items, or rename already existing items to match the theme. You can even set up a themed photo-op with a makeshift photo booth opportunity.



5. Host a giveaway.

Encourage attendees to earn a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of your store items or services by signing up for an email list or liking your page on social media. This will allow you to continue contact and promotion with potential customers after the event!


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6. Share your involvement in summer events on social media.

A great way to get the word out that you’re open during high-traffic summer events is through sharing photos on social media. Posting a quick photo of your storefront, employees, or event table is a quick and easy (and free!) way to let your following know to stop by and visit.


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7. Encourage engagement on your social media posts.

Social media is meant to be social! If you’re sharing a post promoting your store activity during a summer event, get your audience involved by sharing a call-to-action! You can ask your followers to comment below a post and share what they love most about summer in Champaign or the act they’re most looking forward to during a summer musical event.

When an individual likes or comments on your Facebook post, it will then appear on those users’ friends’ News Feeds, thus duplicating the exposure of your business and your involvement in an event.

8. Use the event #hashtag on any of your event-related posts.

By sharing posts with the official event hashtag to let your customers know you are participating in a given event, you are streamlining your post into a feed of any other posts having to do with the event.


By Melinda Sevilla, Contributing Writer