There are many benefits to hosting a dealership event. They can drive traffic to your dealership, build brand awareness, increase future sales, bring in potential new customers and repeat customers. Events will also help strengthen your relationship with the community and give you the opportunity to give back. Event marketing is crucial to making it a success. With digital marketing and social media being so prevalent in today’s world, there are many different avenues to get the word out. How you market your event will depend on which type of event you are hosting.
Two main reasons to have a dealership event is to bring in business and fundraising. There are many different types of events you can host within these two categories.
Fundraising is a great way to be active in your community and raise money to give to local foundations, charities, and businesses.
Car Show – Hosting a car show is a great way to combine fundraising and brand awareness. You can raise money by donating the ticket price to participate in the car show. This event can be more than just a car show. You can bring in local businesses and food trucks for vendor exposure. Car show prizes can vary from different giveaways and services at the dealership.
Street Fairs/Town Festivals – Support your local street fairs and town festivals. You can sponsor them to get your name out there, or even host a booth and participate in networking with people. This is an opportunity to bring some vehicles and have people meet your brand. You can raffle for giveaways during the event and give the raffle proceeds to a foundation.
Food, Toy or Clothing Drives for Charity – Hosting a charity event such as a food, toy or clothing drive will help your customers feel good about supporting your dealership. This type of event can also reach customers that might not have normally stopped by your lot. It gives them a reason to check out vehicles they could be interested in. A lot of dealerships participate in Toys for Tots around the holiday season. This is something you can sponsor and support, without having to put on an event. Being a toy drop off station doesn’t require the hassle of event planning.
Sponsoring Local Events – This can range from youth sports to your local hospital fundraiser, galas, school events, business summits, etc. Staying busy within the community is important to build a good relationship with your customers. Joining business networking groups will help keep you informed about community events.
Brand Awareness Events:
Brand awareness is key to building your reputation and bringing back repeating customers. These types of events can bring in sales for the future.
Food Trucks/Ice Cream Trucks – A great way to bring in business is to have local food & ice cream trucks stop at your dealership. It gives people another reason to come to your business and makes shopping for a car that much better. With social media it’s easy to get the word out on when the food vendors will be at your dealership.
Ticket Giveaways/Raffles/Social Media Giveaways – Giveaways are always a fun way to bring attention to your dealership. Everyone loves to participate in something that’ll give them a protentional prize at the end. Utilizing social media for your giveaways is a great way to build your social media presence. Create a post with a giveaway of a service, gift card or product. The rules of the giveaway can be to follow your account, repost to their social media pages & tagging their friends. This gives your dealership 3 points of brand exposure online. Raffling off services or discounts at your dealership is a way to bring customers back to your dealership.
Test Drive Event – This is a great way to have customers meet your lineup and meet your dealership while having a great experience. Offering an incentive such as money towards charity, a gift card, or a product if they participate in a test drive is motivation for people to come. This will give them time to check out a vehicle of interest, and time for you to show off all the benefits of why they would love to own that vehicle. Even if they don’t buy a vehicle, they can still get the incentive they came for. This builds a relationship and the potential for them to come back in the future.
Holiday Events – The holidays can bring people together, so why not do that at your dealership?
BBQ/Block Party – Host a BBQ or a Block Party for holidays such as Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and Labor Day. People enjoy eating good food and socializing on their day off. This is also a great opportunity to invite your current customers to come back to the dealership. Building relationships will help with referral business.
Photo with Santa/Easter Bunny – Set up a holiday background and have photos at the dealership with Santa, or the Easter Bunny. You can charge a few dollars to charity or keep it complimentary.
Trunk or Treat – Many dealerships are participating in Truck or Treat for Halloween. This can be a great way for people to bring their kids to a safe trick-or-treating environment, while also being able to show off your vehicles.
Customer Appreciation Event/Anniversary Celebration – This can be anything from a luncheon, a BBQ, free car washes, testing out new vehicles or learning about their vehicles. Something to say thank you to anyone who has supported your business.
How To Market Your Events:
Ideally, you’ll want to work together with your automotive digital marketing agency to build a cohesive marketing strategy, but here are some basic pointers to help you get started! You need to start by identifying your target audience. This will depend on the type of event you are hosting. After you have your audience, you want to start creating your event promotions. This can include flyers, invites, digital marketing, and email templates.
Utilize social media when it comes to promoting your event. Post in community pages, share with local businesses and share on all your accounts. Use your database to invite current customers and potential customers by email invites. Share the event details throughout the showroom when selling. Hand out flyers to any customers at the dealer, and at surrounding businesses.
Create custom digital campaigns towards your event. Have a specific look and use that across all digital avenues. Keeping everything cohesive will help the word reach your target audience. This would be a good time to increase digital spending to boost those event messages.
If you don’t have an agency and would like help developing and marketing the perfect event, Digital 2 Dealer Direct can handle all your event marketing. With experience in every event we covered above, we can handle whatever you’re looking to do from start to finish. Utilizing both avenues will help increase a successful event.
Call us today at 877-958-4524 or contact us online to get started today!
Theresa has been working in the automotive industry since 2012 and began her career after graduating from Stockton University with a major in Communications – concentration in Public Relations and Advertising in 2016. She began working at a luxury dealership handling all the graphic design and digital marketing. For the past five years, Theresa has been fully engaged with automotive marketing. She is very excited to be working for an agency and build relationships with all of her clients!