need more event ideas to attract customers


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Nov 1, 2004
Kankakee, IL 60901
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Currently, our evening events include:
Acoustic/Open Mic Night
Poetry Night
Solo Musicians/Bands
Dance Parties
Board Game Night (includes Chess Club)

Some of these events do better than others, and not every evening is slotted for an event.

Got any new approaches?
Not Much Help

being that we're a drive through I can't hold too many events, but I did manage to pull in 20 wrapped vehicles for a wrapped show that went over really well and I made a lot of business contacts...I know that doesn't work for you.

Do you have wifi? If so why not a gamers night...they bring their notebook, log on and play interactive video games...that way they can team up against another group playing somewhere else...challenge a coffee house in California...
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describe wrapped -- wifi not working

We haven't heard of a wrapped show...what is it?

our wifi is down right now, but a former internet cafe's experience with gamers: they didn't buy the we're not too eager to try it.
Toppless not put a lid on any of your drinks(unless they ask) You would be suprised how many people this will attract...the world is full of dirty minded people :twisted:

Our delivery and future cart is wrapped...vinyl wrapping outside the vehicle for display...we simply invited the company that did the wrap to invite their clients created a different kind of car show. The benefit to us was meeting the businesses more then anything...we're in a business area and so thats how we pick up our best new customers.


topher said:
Toppless not put a lid on any of your drinks(unless they ask) You would be suprised how many people this will attract...the world is full of dirty minded people :twisted:

Not sure about yours but our baristas' wouldn't go for topless tuesday....neither would my wife...not sure I'd want her to either....j/k of course.

Its cute but I think in some places it has negative repurcussions (sp). I think in SF it would rock and in the bible belt you might find yourself getting a pastorial visit :twisted: :? :shock:
Try something on a Saturday/SUnday morning. I used to work at a coffeehouse that used to get a masseuse (sp?) to come and do chair massages. The masseuse did it for free, but it would probably be easier to find someone if you offered to pay them or let them work for money in your shop.

You could also conduct a coffee information session (I think it's called a "cupping") for your customers if they're enthusiastic about their coffee. Let them sign up for the class (for free, but to limit space) and teach them about coffee like you would teach someone about wine. Like how to taste differences in roasts etc.
Hulkster...good idea...but to be honest most customers do not long as it taste good and the price is to cupping...the average person is not going to get into it....most like to swallow...
Key question - which customers do you want to attract? If you aim to take customers away from Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks or McDonalds, you might want different events than if you are trying to pull people away from powdered hot cappucino at the 7-11.

If you start with your business goal, then look at the target audience, the specifics of the events will become much more clear.

Competitive tastings (Pepsi Challenge style) can work and win some PR if you're willing to engage the local media and take a chance that you might not win.

Mug swaps. Bring in any competitor's travel mug in any condition and get a new one from your business with a discount on refills. Make sure you mention this on the mug. You might want a special run of mugs for this even or at least some permanent waterproof stickers.

Raffles work. People always over-estimate their chances of winning and the strange mix of competition and something for nothing will attract people. Just align it with your business and the economics of your business. Trip to Maui might get lots of interest, but you have to want those customers and be able to afford the prize. What is your expected draw, what is your expected retention?

Good luck. let us know what you end up doing.
Here a small and affordable idea. If you are in a sporting town (hopefully your home town team doesn't suck) and you can afford to buy a small block of tickets, then try a monthly drawing for a pair of tickets. If you use punch cards, have the customer put their name and phone number on the back once their card is complete, then enter into a collection box of which you will draw the winning ticket. Then you can call the winner and post their name on your specials board showing everyone who won the tickets. We've done this promo for years and it always seem to attract new customers as well. :D
Some other ideas:

Book club. I've noticed they tend to be coffee drinkers - not necessarilly during the club meeting, but when they are reading. Perhaps a tie in to coffee they can take home to brew.

Foreign language mixers. We're in a small town and there are a handful of people who speak Italian or German or other languages. For them, those languages are getting rusty because they don't have a place to practice. You might want to tie into a local high school or college to get students involved, too. That makes it easier to find your audience. If you get Europeans or people who have studied there, they probably have a good espresso habit where your margins will be higher than brewed coffee.

I've found some German pop music on Apple's music site. With that in the background, it helps create more of an environment. Possibly queue up some additional sales. Build a community.
BTW I can't do this because I"m not a sit down...but those with full coffee houses should probably join your chamber of commerce and host a they have those every month where I'm at and it doesn't seem that hard to get in line to host one...
How about a Java Jacket Coupon? We have a nice printer here in Houston I've dealt with before that can print custom java jackets. Once I get things started I plan on stuffing them in the local papers and leaving them at the local bookstores.

I think it's a neat idea, anyways.