5 Ways to Make a Trunk Show Go

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Specialty boutiques and large retailers share a similar struggle:  how do they keep customers attention and loyalty with the growing affinity to purchase online? Many savvy store owners and staff are turning to trunk shows to not only attract customers, but to help determine the viability of a new product or to assist in selling a product they currently carry. Regardless of the ultimate reason for hosting a trunk show, it is important for everyone involved that it has a positive response and products sell. Follow these 5 steps to ensure a successful show:

1. Select the Right Stores

Choosing the appropriate store to hold a trunk show is critical. Choose the wrong store and I don’t use my time or store staff time wisely. Choose the right store and it can serve as a tool for strengthening and growing a long-term relationship.

For me, I know the PHD customer shops at higher-end specialty boutiques. For those I believe could be a potential fit, I will simply go online and research what brands these stores carry. If the brands they sell align with those that “hang” with my bags, I know I have found a possible partner.

Other times, I meet retailers at trade shows who are interested in my bags, but are not yet certain if they want to make a commitment. For these customers, I suggest a trunk show as an easy way to help us gauge the interest of their clientele.

2. Stores Must Call Customers a Day or Two Before the Trunk Show

Today people are always within arm’s reach of their phone, connected online and actively screening phone calls, yet, counter intuitively, the most effective way to get people to visit trunk shows is to not email them or post updates on social media, but to call them one to two days before the event.

3. I Ensure Stores Don’t Hold Too Many Trunk Shows

A trunk show is a social event many look forward to attending, but too many in too short of a time can quickly dilute their intended value. To ensure their uniqueness is maintained, I only work with stores who hold them every two to three weeks. Stores offering trunk shows more than twice a month often burn out their client’s interest which results in lower turnout and sales.

4. I Only Do Trunk Shows with Stores with Experience

If a store does not have the experience, infrastructure, marketing capabilities, customer interest or resources to properly hold a trunk show – everyone’s hard work can fail to deliver the results desired. For this reason, I recommend only working with stores who hold regular trunk shows as a part of their standard business practices.

5. I Pair Myself with Like Designers

Doing trunk shows with designers is a great way to meet others in the business and helps ensure higher profits for the boutique or store. In my years of research I have experienced wonderful successes in doing trunk shows with designers such as Lela Rose, Magaschoni, Rena Lange, Elliott Lauren, Simone Johnson and Stephanie Albertson Jewelry.

Want to come to an upcoming show? See a schedule of our upcoming trunk shows and events. Can’t wait until the next show? Browse our collections now.