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4 Steps to Throwing A Holiday Event That Works Both in Person and Online

Build your holiday sales by reaching those clients who won’t come into the store.

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WITH THE EVER-CHANGING nature of our “new normal,” maintaining a hybrid business model is a must for high-end jewelers this holiday season and beyond.

In-person events are facing an uncertain future — but that’s no reason to fret. The secret to generating sales in any setting and establishing a profitable “Plan B” is a flexible framework that creates dynamic events and experiences both online and in-person so that you can reach your collectors where they’re most comfortable and be prepared to pivot at a moment’s notice.

And with these 4 simple steps, you’ll be on your way to a successful hybrid holiday season!

1. Choose a theme that translates virtually and in person.

Look to thematic elements such as color stories, music playlists, food and beverage, etc. that can be brought to life in a variety of settings. For example, “An Evening of Jewels and Jazz” can be hosted as an intimate in-studio event or a luxurious online experience with a little help from Spotify and a wine delivery service!

2. Go big with your guest list, even if you’re planning small.

Of those you invite, 50 percent will RSVP. Of those who RSVP, 50 percent will attend. Of those who attend, 20 percent will buy (although not necessarily during your event).

Translation? For every 1 sale that you hope to make, plan to invite 20 collectors and connections to your holiday experience.

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3. Identify no more than 10 perfect holiday pieces to show.

Having a variety of accessible entry-level pieces, signature and staple items, as well as a couple of mega-offers, can be just the holiday spice your audience needs! But be careful not to overwhelm your guests. Stick to a curated collection of 10 pieces or less.

4. Have a plan to reach out before and after your experience.

Aside from sharing an invite to your email and social media audiences, personalized invites should go out to your guest list along with same-week and same-day reminders. After your event, be sure to follow up with those who didn’t attend to let them know about their options to watch a replay and take advantage of their exclusive window to book an appointment or buy your pieces in advance (and yes, you should be offering these perks to your best people!).

While it may seem difficult to move forward when you don’t know exactly how your event or experience will play out, the key to selling in any setting is knowing that most sales actually depend on what happens before and after your event, not during.

With these four steps, you can plan your way to a profitable holiday season — no matter what this year throws your way.

Kathleen Cutler, profit expert for high-end jewelry brands, focuses on helping jewelers understand how to convince younger, affluent audiences to buy, combining modern tech with retro-style relationship building. Kathleen has a degree from GIA and has coached 100-plus jewelers. Reach her at [email protected]

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Bil Holehan, the manager of Julianna’s Fine Jewelry in Corte Madera, Calif., decided to go on to the next chapter of his life when the store’s owner and namesake told him she was set to retire. Before they left, Holehan says they decided to liquidate some of the store’s aging inventory. They chose Wilkerson for the sale. Why? “Friends had done their sales with Wilkerson and they were very satisfied,” says Holehan. He’d enthusiastically recommend Wilkerson to anyone looking to stage a liquidation or going-out-of-business sale. “There were no surprises,” he says. “They were very professional in their assessment of our store, what we could expect from the sale and they were very detailed in their projections. They were pretty much on the money.”

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