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How to Plan a $20k Trunk Show

We’re sharing a peek at the learnings and best practices from Texas State Optical’s network of independent optometry practices.




“Good fortune happens when opportunity meets with planning.” – Thomas Edison

SPRINGTIME IS AN excellent time for private practices to hold and participate in community events. In considerable measure, achieving success in a community is about being a part of that community. It says that “Our community is important.”
Holding special events is a great way to connect with your community. A well-planned event can generate thousands in sales. The most critical part is planning.

Here is what we have learned:

  • Hold the event to sell eyewear. Although this objective may seem obvious, it is often overlooked in the planning.
  • Allow enough time to plan. We have developed a twelve-week production schedule.
  • Set an adequate budget. While a successful trunk show can produce large sales volumes, there are necessary expenses for promotion and catering. Some vendors will be happy to help cover the costs but be careful, they are doing so to achieve their objectives, not yours.
  • Schedule properly. The correct date is based on what is best for the people you hope will attend. Most work Monday through Friday and are unlikely to take off to attend your trunk show or event. Our experience has shown that Saturday is the best day. Picking a time of day is also essential. We hold events from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM in a come-and-go fashion.
  • Select the right brands to feature. Our general rule of thumb is to work with eyewear brands that consumers recognize and find appealing. There are many well-made frames with excellence in design that no one knows or recognizes. Remember you want to persuade people to give you a few hours on a Saturday, and that’s best done by using brands they know and want. Make sure they are represented at the event by good sales reps who are also motivated by taking home a big order.
  • Promote effectively and often. A key advantage of allowing adequate planning time is that you can be very effective in building awareness of the event through promotion over time. The more time you have to promote the event, the less expensive the promotion. We recommend allowing eight weeks to promote it. We have found four ways to be most successful: targeted email to your database, in-office flyers over the eight weeks, a feature on your website’s main landing page, and personal phone calls to those who have purchased the event’s featured brands in the past year.

Create an atmosphere that makes shopping fun! Try holding drawings for nice door-prizes throughout the event. Special events can be seriously profitable with preparation. Having more than $20K in optical sales can be expected from a well-planned event.




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