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Car Dealership Event Ideas to Bring in Business

In a similar trend to several Highstreet, the car market has made a substantial shift online, with more people looking to buy and sell cars over the internet. Twenty years ago, the number one place to buy and trade cars were through visiting a dealership or an auction house, however recently, a seismic shift has been undertaken with the development of online car retailers. Due to these traditional dealerships are having to shift their entrenched business practices to meet the new wave of online demand.
Although the shift online has meant a decline in traditional footfall for car dealerships, it is important to note, it is still in customer’s interest to view the product before they buy. This is where the car market has moved away from the trend of Highstreet stores moving online. Even though this is the case, there is still a considerable decline in footfall, and therefore, dealerships must be increasingly clever with their marketing strategies.
One of the most effective marketing strategies dealerships are using is event marketing. The Business directory defines event marketing as, “the activity of designing or developing a themed activity, occasion, display, or exhibit to promote a product, cause, or business”. This piece aims to provide some simple event marketing ideas for your dealership.

Be Spontaneous and Creative
The main aim of any marketing campaign is to increase awareness and engagement of your business with potential or returning customers, as the increase with customers who are engaged and aware of your business increases the likelihood of conversions into sales. Dealerships that go above and beyond the traditional persona of a salesman and a dealership, will gain a greater sense of reliability with the target market you are trying to influence into using your services. With whatever event you are planning, it is important that it is designed with your target market in mind, whether this is local clients or those looking to buy high-end vehicles.
At the end of the day, marketing is about creating a relationship with your customers, to increase your profile above your direct competition. Big promotional deals, giveaways, etc, are all great ways to bring in customers. It is how you portray yourself as a business and what you offer that determines the basis of what sort of event you want to have.

Engage your local community
In similarity to restaurants, bars, cafes, most of your business will often be local. Knowing exactly and whom their money is going to is a large factor in determining where and whom a customer is going to trade with. Simply if you are not or have not built up a level of trust or engaging with your local customers, you will not be fulfilling your market potential. Engaging in local events, whether this is sponsoring or partaking, are great event ideas and opportunities for your business. Through partaking in local events will help you increase interaction with your direct target market, drive traffic, increase awareness and most importantly put a face to your brand. Developing your relationship with your customer base will have substantial benefit with increasing your level of trust associated with your business.

Create in-store promotional offers and incentives
A simple method to increase footfall is incentivising people to look at cars in-store, incentives that cannot be gained online. Through using incentives and in-store promotional offers, allows you to create/ use these events all year-round round. You do not simply want one single event throughout the year, you want to hold a series of offers throughout the year to attract customers all year round. However, it is important to note that you don’t want to saturate the year with too many events as that will decrease the effectiveness of the offer.
If you are struggling to think of an event idea to fill a gap, a promotional offer is a simple and useful marketing strategy to increase footfall and attract customers.

Create an experience
You ultimately want your customers to return again and again and be the first port of call when buying or selling a new car. Creating an experience of some sort is an incredibly useful way of attracting customers into the showroom – this is an especially useful tool for dealerships which deal in brand new cars. This is not to say it cannot be achieved with second-hand dealerships.
A dealership which deals with brand new vehicles can create an experience every time a new model of a vehicle or a completely new car is released. This is your chance to create an experience which both draws people in but market the car bespoke to the customer each time through events such as free test drive days. A similar event can be achieved for second-hand dealerships, but you might have to be a bit more creative with the basis of your event.
This piece has aimed to give you some ideas of events that you can host or get involved with at your car dealership. These are only a select few ideas of events; with a bit of research, you will be able to find several more ideas. It is important to note that event marketing shouldn’t be the basis of all your marketing strategies, it should be an element of a wider car dealership marketing strategy.


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