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My dealership would like to get more involved in our community/city this year, and have tasked me with researching ideas for things we could do.
I was wondering if any of you have experience throwing events, and can give examples of what you did. My first inclination was to target a local university and have a student event with free food, several cars on display that are targeted for that demographic, and staff on hand to educate them and perhaps offer a special incentive for coming to the event.
Too straightforward? Or on the right track?
Erik, I personally like your event idea, and it reminds me of several events that we did at Scion when launching the brand and during the Ford Fiesta Movement, when they were called "Missions". Some other ideas would be to partner with a local civic organization for a fund raising event, something along the lines of The Boys/Girls Club of America, UnitedWay, ASPCA, etc. I would love to see an event such as a fund raiser for ASPCA that features a "Dog Wash" at the dealer's "Car Wash" facility with the proceeds going to the ASPCA.
Ralph, that's a nice idea but reckless, many dog breeds would drown if you ran them through the dealerships car wash system. Please be careful.
Something like 75% of car seats are installed wrong. Many safety groups will host an event to inspect and educate parents on putting the seats in correct. I think www.usa.safekids.org does them and there are many more. You may want to check around. Many babies and young kids could survive a crash if they were just in the seat correctly.
Todd... Good point... What I had in mind were dealership volunteers washing dogs by hand on the wash rack where there is good drainage. All those moving brushes and spinning contraptions would freak out any one of my three dogs! I have participated in Child Car Seat check and install clinics and they were definitely positive for the dealership. I personally witnessed one woman come back to our Chevy store and buy a new Tahoe about a month after one of those events and she said the car seat clinic is why she would not consider any other dealers to buy her new vehicle from.
BTW, Todd... with ASPCA involvement, you can rest assured that no animals would be harmed in any event they partner with a dealership on!
I have got to start putting more elbow grease in my sarcasm... I have been laughing for 10 min strait trying to imagine a dog going through a car wash and how that could actually happen? Anyway, my apologies Ralph, its Friday, Happy Hour, and they have little "hot dogs", a dozen for $6.99 until 7:00PM...
Many organizations in your dealer's community are constantly creating opportunities to reach out to the public with events, charities and help. I would contact the local police, fire department and chamber of commerce to see who needs a partner and location (your dealer) to stage the function. Maybe there is another business that would partner with you as well. Partnering causes your Word of Mouth to spread, exponentially. Many times, just being the location for someone else's event benefits you more. I'm sure you have a few gorgeous vehicles on your lot that these attendees will wander into, without pressure.
Best of luck. Your local community is your customer base and even more so in the future.
Thanks for the responses guys. I checked the Legacy Ford Facebook page and it reminds me of Metro Honda, with their involvement in local schools and whatnot. Definitely on the right track.