From a field team management perspective, store events are an exercise in precise retail execution and event planning—

plus an excellent opportunity to leverage mobile data collection. At the same time, field team representatives can drive sales and make an important impression on both the customer and the retailer.

Here is how to create maximum exposure and add value:

It may seem obvious, but your products must be in the right place, facing the right direction and properly stocked. Presentation is of upmost importance. Check that there is enough of every product on the shelves and in the stockroom, especially for top sellers. Ensure that the employees know the re-stocking process so that there are no empty shelves or missed sales opportunities.

Consider asking a store employee or another field representative to record the event by taking careful notes, talking to customers and employees, and snapping photographs when appropriate. In this way, a key person can act as the media and the information gathered may provide good fodder for media outlets or for internal content. An extensive review of a store opening or special event will also aid future event planning purposes.

Rewarding customers who first purchase a new product—or who are the earliest people to shop during an event—is a great way to build loyalty and brand affinity. Make these customers feel special; it strengthens your brand’s relationship with them and works as an incentive in the case of future requests. Loyal customers are invaluable when your brand is entering a new market or significantly changing a product.

As the saying goes, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Do your homework. Will competitors be at the event with you? What do you know about them and their latest innovations or merchandising strategies to win customers? Who is your specific target demographic at this particular store? With good knowledge of your target demographic, you can produce and distribute content in strategic ways to make them aware of your event. You may even consider getting involved in the local community before the event. Nothing is more impressionable than word of mouth and face-to-face conversations. You’ll learn more about your target demographic and build trust even before the event.

Special events are great opportunities to create buzz. Contact local media outlets that might be interested in covering your event. Social media channels are great free ways to create brand awareness. By the same token, make sure your internal public relations and promotional materials are up to snuff.

An event is a valuable opportunity to showcase your expertise, so get in front of your audience and be a friendly authority. If a customer can buy your product elsewhere, ensure that your knowledge and relationship are what keep them returning.

Store events are often much busier than regular shopping days; that’s why it’s important to leverage a strong, user-friendly mobile data collection application. You need to be comfortable collecting data on the go, and that data should be accessible immediately—to you, your field team, and your colleagues back at headquarters. Make sure you have a mobile data collection tool at your fingertips during the next in-store event.

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