We’re hosting an open house for our top 100 customers this week, based on their annual purchases in our preferred customer program.  We plan to serve food samples from neighboring restaurants, and to demonstrate some of our most popular kitchen gadgets.

A few weeks ago we asked a few of our sales reps for items to put in the goody bags that each guest will receive. A number of the companies they represent responded by sending a quantity of a specific item for us to give away.  And two of our reps generously forwarded a big box of their road samples.  Some of these items are quite valuable and others are fairly small, which led us to ponder how best to make use of them.  We’ve come up with an idea that will hopefully make our event even more fun for everyone who attends.

One of our staff members is going through these varied donations and sorting them into four levels of value before putting them into individual bags. Each item will be labeled A, B, C, or D, with the A bags like the top row of carnival prizes that are rarely won, and a diminishing value for the remaining three letters. We’ll put all the grab bags into four big baskets by letter.

The plan is to have a variety of games for our guests to play, ranging from cooking trivia (one of our staff members owns a set of culinary quiz cards) to standbys such as balloon pop or ring toss.  We want those attending to get lots of prizes, so even those who don’t win get a consolation prize from the D basket.  If we don’t got through all the grab bags as game prizes, at the end of the evening we’ll have guests draw slips of paper with A, B, C & D on them to give away the remaining ones.  

It will be fun to see everyone head home with a goody bag with gifts from our vendors as well as these grab bags of miscellaneous prizes.  We hope they’ll also have some purchases with them, since we’re offering 20% off almost everything that evening.  But we know their main takeaway will be the knowledge that their loyalty as top customers is very much appreciated — by us as well as our generous vendors and reps.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder

PS the illustration with today’s blog is from Brandon Concessions