When Linda Johnson, owner of Village True Value Hardware in Western Springs, Illinois, held the store’s second ladies’ night last August, she turned to both local businesses and national vendors for help with seminars and product giveaways.
“Being in the Chicago area, we’re close to a lot of vendors’ offices, so we asked several of them to come in and demonstrate some of their products, especially new ones,” Johnson says. “We wanted to pull in local businesses as well.”
In addition to product giveaways and a discount on all purchases during event hours, a local business branching out into baked goods demonstrated their product, homemade appetizers were served and a local winery provided refreshments, while product specialists from GE Lighting, Rust-Oleum, Bona and more conducted demonstrations.
Store associates skilled in electrical and plumbing demonstrated how to change a lamp switch and snake out clogged drains. Local master gardeners also taught attendees how to prep their gardens and landscape for the fall and winter.
The lamp switch demonstration is what originally kicked off the idea for this event, says Johnson. “We get questions about replacing sockets or wall outlets or lamp switches, and a couple of our female customers had commented that they’d like to attend if we ever did a seminar or class about how to do these small jobs. That’s what started this whole idea.”
As she made plans for ladies’ night, she talked to her female customers to find out what they wanted from the event. She suggests other retailers who want to host a ladies’ night, or other similar event, do the same. “What your customers may want to learn or experience could be different than what you think they should learn or experience. Talk with your audience to determine what they’re looking for.”