I’m looking for some winter time into early spring events for a retail garden center. What are some wintery events you have tried that were hugely successful that could be a big hit in a retail garden center? And what are some that bombed that you’d never do again? What have you done event-wise — from workshops to wine & cheese parties — to get people in the door during cold winter months when gardens — and customers — are frozen?
Jay’s Answer: It depends on your budget and your demographics. In general, the key is to excite people about enjoying garden.
For example, you could have a slide show of local gardens remodels (before/during/after), with experts on hand to describe how they did it as well as how you could do-it-yourself. Have people bring in pictures of their gardens, and the experts can provide free advice for a redo. A door prize winner would get gift certificates for plants, tools, and/or consulting services.
An essay contest (kids and parents alike): “What my garden is missing”. Let people dream big. All entries are in-store. All customers get a free vote for the best dream. Winning entry gets $X towards making the dream a reality.
Or even, how to bring in the garden into your home (creating garden rooms/effects) lecture/give-away.