Business accelerators: Hosting private events for VIP customers

April 18, 2017

If you’re familiar with the 80/20 rule, you know that it’s the regulars that keep a business in business. While you may already know the critical value of knowing your best customer, here’s something you may not have considered—loyalty programs, if not done right, can feel automated and don’t differentiate your business from most other retail stores. Savvy entrepreneurs look for more personalized loyalty perks. Hosting a VIP event, for example, is an excellent way to make customer feel special, create an intimate experience that customers will remember, and get valuable insight into why they buy from you.

Here are 8 tips to make your next customer event unforgettable.

1. Give them a reason to come.

While discounts are a popular reward for loyal customers, they aren’t the only way to entice customers to come to your event. For many fashionistas, being an early adopter of a new style is desirable, so heighten the sense of exclusivity by emphasizing the ability to see and buy new styles before they hit the racks. Use events to introduce new lines, styles, colors, or seasons. Make it invitation-only and when your shop is closed to everyone else.

2. Make it fun.

Allow VIPs to bring one guest with them. The event will feel more intimate and fun if they have a friend with them, and this helps introduce your products to new potential VIPs.

3. Glam it up.

Set out some wine or champagne, and a few tasty hors d’oeuvres. Relaxed customers are good customers. Consider having a stylist suggest accessories, or a quick hair adjustment for photos.

Read more: Marketing & Promotions tips and tactics

4. Create photos opps.

Make your best customers feel like super models. Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of clients in the new items of clothing. Take a video of them walking the catwalk in your latest styles and make a video for your website. Still shots and short video clips can be used on your social media feed. Not only will this help market new looks to others on your social media pages, it’ll make your clients feel like rockstars, and heighten the sense of relationship between you and the customers. Just make sure everyone participating signs a release document.

5. Make it viral.

Customers can be shy about sashaying down a runway, so make it irresistible. Offer a free outfit to the person who gets the most “likes” on social media post-event. This is a great way to get word-of-mouth advertising organically.

6. Make it personal.

Buying is an emotional decision: People buy clothes and other products because of the way the products make them feel. Making them feel like runway models not only encourages them to try on new styles, and see how great they look in your new clothes, it’s also is also a way to highlight your stellar customer service. Offer as much one-on-one service as possible. Give them a personal stylist who will help them choose the style that works for their body type.

7. Tailor it to them.

Let’s face it—no matter how beautiful the clothes are, they likely won’t fit everybody perfectly. Bring in a tailor who can show customers that a few simply adjustments can make the styles look even better and more tailored to them. Rather than offering a discount, consider offering vouchers for tailoring services.

8. Encourage big sales.

If you’re going to discount, make it count. Now that you’ve whet their appetite with a fashion show, tempt big spenders with a special offer such as $50 off $500 or more.

Before wrapping up the event, encourage VIPs to suggest future events that would be particularly compelling or useful for them. The key to a successful event is making it fun for your loyal customers, so get feedback.

Ready to host your event? Start by determining your best customers with the free Clover app, Insights. Then get more ideas on how to reward loyal customers using loyalty apps like Rewards. Check out more in the Clover App Market.

[image: Hors d’ Oeuvres by Championship Catering on flickr]

To learn more about Clover, visit