Food and wine festivals. Music venues. Block parties. Local events go on all the time in neighborhoods, towns, and cities. You probably attend your fair share of these events every year. Like many enterprising dry cleaner owners and managers, you’ve probably wondered how you can make money from these events.

Event Everywhere

Make no mistake. Local events CAN help you make money. That’s because they’re powerful promotional tools. It’s why 84% of industry leaders see them as critical components of their marketing arsenal, says one report. The key is not to ignore or underestimate them as marketing tools for pumping up business at your dry cleaner.


Put another way; local events can help you boost profitability and growth—no matter what size your business or how deep your marketing budget. By piggybacking on them, you can drive exposure, create awareness, and generate new customers for your business. You can also use them to build your brand locally.


Below provide tips on how to make money at a local event by piggybacking on them. Our article covers:


  • Key steps you need to take before local events
  • Advice on setting goals for your marketing effort
  • Proven tips on marketing yourself at these events


Implementing the tips we provide in this article will show you how to make money from events, supercharge your marketing, boosts exposure, and increases profitability and growth.


Critical Steps Before Selecting a Local Event

So, how do you make money at a local event? By doing your homework. It’s a critical step in the process. Doing your homework means researching the heck out of these events and talking to people that attend them. Dig up as much information about them as possible, like key target audiences and event reach. Every bit of information helps.


Nailing down this information can help you make critical business decisions, such as: Is the event right for you? How involved should you get? What types of marketing tools work at the event? More importantly, it can help you make the most critical decision of all—whether or not to have a booth at the event.


Sponsoring a booth drives marketing at local events. Booths


  • Give interested parties a chance to approach you
  • Assure customers you’re a legitimate business
  • Provide you an aura of professionalism
  • Meet prospects in a relaxed, friendly manner


Sponsoring a booth is also a great way to show prospects—and customers—that you’re a fun company to deal with—a big plus these days.


Make sure you talk to other business owners that have marketed at the event, however, before doing anything. Ask them what they did to market themselves and how well it worked. They can also provide valuable intel on what didn’t work. That can save you time, money, and energy and boost your chances of succeeding at an event.


Set Marketing Goals for the Event

Another pre-event “must do” is setting a marketing goal or goals for the event. For example, do you want to generate leads from the effort? Or, maybe you want to convey a specific brand message. Then again, maybe you want to educate people on a new service, like pickup and delivery—a service Enlite’s software solution makes possible. Whatever goal or goals you choose, make them quantifiable.


Having done your research and set your goal or goals, you now need to start thinking about marketing tactics for the event. Here’s a proven tactic if you sponsor a booth: Have a fishbowl at your booth for business cards. Entice event attendees to drop their cards in the bowl by offering an article of clothing as a prize plus a discount dry cleaning.


Five Proven Local Event Tactics

Of course, we’re just spitballing here. The idea is to be creative with your tactics and find something that’s fun and professional. Below are five proven tactics that you might consider for a local event:


  1. Become an event sponsor — This tactic might seem expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. It all depends on what you get with your sponsorship. If you get a booth with the sponsorship that makes this tactic worth it. It’s a great way to keep your dry cleaner top of mind with people.


  1. Embrace social media — Social media is a great promotional tool. You can promote your appearance at the event, invite people to stop by your booth, or announce a discount on your services for people that attend. If you don’t have a booth, you should still promote the event on your Twitter or Instagram account.


  1. Hold a giveaway — Giveaways are cost-effective ways to create a buzz at a local event. For example, you can raffle off an introductory package to your services or promote a new service, like pickup and delivery. Even if you don’t have a booth, you can still hold a giveaway. You need to find the right way to do it.


  1. Give away company branded swag — This tactic is a great way to collect customer information. For example, you can trade swag for a business card, phone number, or email address, which you can follow up on post-event. Or, print up business cards and give them away with the swag. Make sure you print your social media handles on the cards so that people can link up to you.


  1. Create a reason to stop by your storefront — Think about running promotions in conjunction with the event that will get people to stop by your store. You can run a promotion on any site you want. You could, for example, offer a discount on your services for sharing your event photos, tweets, and videos.


These five tactics are just some of the ways you can promote yourself at local events. Many more exists, like sending out a press release to local papers, feeding attendees, holding a contest, or selling something at a reduced cost, like a tee shirt with your logo.


Local events bring people together.  Don’t underestimate them when it comes to making money. They’re powerful marketing tools that make an impact. But you’ll need to figure out how you’ll make money at the event first. Focus on what makes your company special, and you’ll have half the battle won.

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