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beauty & style

Taking Over Your Town

Looking for new customers for your business? Throw a massive party.

It's a stereotype that women like to shop and socialize, and yet, well, some of us do. Small-business owners, hoping to capitalize on that fact, are organizing events for women to eat, mingle, shop, and participate in fun activities. Thinking about founding your own gathering? Sallie Brady gathered some great advice.

Everett, Wash. (November 1, 2008) "Work on synergy with local businesses that may not want to be part of the core group of participants, but that may be willing to hold a satellite event. In exchange for a discount at their salon or restaurant, you can offer them publicity with links on your website and negotiate advertising breaks with the local newspaper." —Elizabeth Smith, event coordinator

Diva Daze
Monroe, Wis. (November 7-9, 2008) "At the end of the event, ask vendors and customers for their opinions. We always put a self-addressed, stamped comment card in the swag bag, and last year we got 50 percent back." —Barb Nelson, executive director, Monroe Main Street

Women's Weekend
Lake Geneva, Wis. (March 6-8, 2009) "Include activities that'll appeal to a range of people. Our weekend started with a pizza reception with non-gambling blackjack tables. We also had a restaurant offer a cooking class, the shoe store had foot massages, and a wellness expert led a morning stretch." —Karin Bennett, event founder

Sisters Weekend
St. Charles, Ill. (April 24-26, 2009) "Build up a database of participants, even if you don't know whether you'll hold the event again. We have 3,000 ladies in ours, and right after Thanksgiving we send an announcement, with a ticket promotion as a stocking stuffer." —David Richards, executive director, Downtown St. Charles Partnership

Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.



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