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Old 02-21-2013, 10:54 AM
AllieMackie's Avatar
AllieMackie AllieMackie is online now
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Location: Ottawa, ON
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Default Pet events - Chazzers, help me brainstorm!

Well, it's the time of year where I need to compile event ideas to present to the rest of my crew for consideration for the year. Given that my life is pretty tumultuous lately, I'm a bit brain-muddled and would love some Chazzer help.

The scoop:

My store is a pet food store franchise that focuses on healthy food for cats & dogs, but we also sell for small animals and we sell overall pet supplies too. We own two of the stores in the Ottawa area. One in the far west end of the city in suburbia, and one in the central Ottawa area, just southwest of downtown. I'm the events/marketing manager for both locations. Even though we're franchised, we pretty much have free reign with what we want to do event-wise.

My bosses really want to veer away from the large-scale events that take place across the city and focus on community events within the respective neighbourhoods. We want some events to be in-store, and some events to be out and about.

Ideas I have so far:

- In terms of weekend rescue days, I want to have one every two months where a rescue can come in, bring some foster animals, products for sale, etc, and educate. I want to start focusing on non-dog rescues a little. Our last five events have been for dog rescues. I want to do a rescue day at the store for ferret rescue, cat rescue and something multi-species like Big Sky Ranch.

- I want to have several outdoor community events in the spring/summer! You guys might remember that I coordinated and hosted a dog movie night last year that made a lot of press; we're doing that again in July, but it's expensive so we can only do it once. My boss had the idea of some sort of kids+dogs event but I worry about liability... we also tossed around a singles mingle evening for dog owners. Maybe a community dog walk in both locations, raising money for a rescue somehow.

- I want to do more fun field marketing. Right now I'm drawing a blank as to how. Screw mailing coupons, screw blatant advertising. I want us to be a street team that just goes out and talks good stuff about our stores. HOW we do it is the logistic I'm figuring out.

I've been doing some Googling at what other pet stores do in terms of events, but it seems the same as what we do. I want to start thinking outside the box. Hard to do when my brain is broken!

So, Chazzers, given the criteria and thoughts above, what kind of things would you want to see an awesome local pet food & supply store doing in your community?
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:44 PM
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milos_mommy milos_mommy is offline
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Our rescue is having a bowling event this weekend (which I'm unfortunately not attending).

We're charging $20 for the night, and signing up "teams" up to six people for a tournament (so lots of families will go play together, groups of friends, and even some businesses, sports teams, etc.). The bowling alley often does nights like this where it's like $5 a person, so I'm assuming they're paying the alley that money and keeping the rest.

$20 gets you shoes, a night of bowling, and pizza and soda all night. The bowling alley will make extra money on beer/other food, so they're all for it. I think it's a cool event, and even for $10 if the bowling alley was taking $5 would be good.

Other things we've done:

Small in store adoption events
Larger outdoor adoption events - these often include local DJs, sometimes radio stations, lots of donated food, vendors for kids like face painting/games, and training demonstrations (sometimes the local police bring dogs, or therapy dogs/SAR owners come and talk), trick/costume contests, local businesses set up booths, raffles, etc. They're big, fun, community events.

We also had an event at a nightclub, once. Originally it was said that all dogs would be allowed in the nightclub (and the two story nightclub would have the bar/dance floor upstairs and dogs allowed in the lounge) but THANKFULLY that brilliant plan was scrapped for health codes and only a couple of specific, bombproof rescue dogs came as mascots. But the club just had a cover which all went to the rescue, and I think maybe gave tickets for one drink? It was only $10. And then the rescue took donations and also sold merchandise for extra money.
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