Planning a holiday event? With the first day of fall already behind us, now’s the time to get it in gear if you are.

Jen Cullen Williams of Luxury Brand Group, based in LA, says doing something as simple as changing your usual “event music” could go a long way toward giving your party pizazz.

Because, let’s face it. Standing awkwardly around jewelry cases and sipping wine in a store can feel a little stilted as it is, without lulling them to sleep with sedate musical selections.

“Classical music is fine day to day, but for parties, it’s not going to entice you to go shopping,” Jen says. “Go to any store targeted toward millennials, and it’s going to have music that moves. It’s got to have some energy to it. Think about something like Florence and the Machine.”

For a spin on a traditional idea, turn your ladies night wish-list event into a couples’ party. It can be more fun and sometimes lead to big sales right on the spot, says Karen Hollis of K Hollis Jewelers in Batavia, IL.

“It helps the guys get ideas and makes them want to shop early to make sure that the item will still be here,” she says. Hollis invites her top 100 customers and has hosted as many as 30 couples at a time.

Plan something special, too, for your self-purchasing women customers, who might decide they want to do a little shopping for themselves or a lot of shopping for everyone on their list.

Trish Roberson of Roberson’s Fine Jewelry in Little Rock, AR, regularly hosts trunk shows that showcase the designer lines she carries. But in recent years she has realized the importance of shaking up event planning to make her shopping soirees the talk of the town. It’s become her best form of marketing.

She’s taken a small group of women to visit designers on location in New York. And she’s hosted an elaborate, two-day trend event in her store with education provided by visiting style experts from both coasts and a red carpet.

Focusing on self-purchasing female shoppers has proved lucrative. In her experience, if you find women with means they don’t necessarily have a spending limit, as still seems to be the conventional wisdom, beyond which they must check with their husbands. One of her customers bought a $1.5 million ring without consulting anyone, but herself.

Lately, Roberson’s events have generated a lot of buzz while inspiring a deep loyalty.

“I think my whole approach in doing events now is getting outside of the store, whether it’s taking a group to New York, an art gallery or to my home, doing things that are really unexpected. They tell other people, ‘Oh, my gosh, let me tell you about Roberson’s!’ It really has created a stir for us and we’ve had huge sales.”

We’ll cover more last-minute holiday planning tips in the November issue of INSTORE. Stay tuned.

This article is an online extra for INSTORE Online.

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