I could write a post about how my job has changed from retailer to events coordinator, but this is about planning our Grande Re-Opening party. It's on Sunday, November 4th and it's our fourth one of these (a grand opening and 3 anniversary parties).
The SCA will be attending in force. They'll be featuring fighting competitions with knights in armor and women doing traditional medieval dance in traditional garb. We struck out with getting access to the parking lot, due to an easement issue (which I understand), but we've got the sidewalk and the parking spaces surrounding it. Most stores in the strip are closed on Sunday, so we should have lots of room for ourselves.
We'll be doing our usual free popcorn and drinks think. I've always wanted to do some sort of catering from a signature restaurant in the area. Endgame does a brilliant thing with a local hot dog seller. Being out here in the burbs, I think we lack that kind of restaurant with character. We would end up with Subway, rather than a Casper's. Casper's is really good, by the way. If anyone has any suggestions for a place in the area, please let me know.
We're decorating this time with black and purple helium balloons. We're taking a chance and ordering a disposable helium tank and the balloons online. The cost isn't the issue as much as finding a florist or other shop that will deliver on a Sunday morning. I'm told I've got 8-hours tops on latex balloons, with probably twice that on Mylar (but they're 5 times as expensive). This means we can't have them delivered the night before. If you want to volunteer to come in Sunday morning to fill them up, we could use the help.
We'll be doing open gaming unless we can think of some sort of themed event. We've got a calendar packed full of events for November: World D&D is the day before, our Game Auction/Ding & Dent sale is the following weekend, and our board game mini convention is the weekend after on the 17th.
Our wild card event right now is something for the kids. I'm working on finding someone for face painting, but I'm tempted by the various magicians available. I'm using an online "talent" broker called gigmaster.com. You tell them the type of entertainment you want and for how long and various lunatics, err, I mean party entertainers, email you their information and rates. I've got my eye on a magician, but the rates are pretty high. I really just want a nice face painting lady.
KKDV, the local radio station, will be broadcasting live from the event. We'll be driving traffic to the store with a radio ad blitz for two full weeks before the grand re-opening. I'm expecting a lot of muggles to show up, so popcorn and face painting should be helpful. This kind of advertising is more a nod to our toy department than anything else. The holidays are fast approaching and nobody knows we have all these toys! Our cable TV ads are targeted more to our gamer demographic.
We're doing so well right now, I almost regret signing the ad contracts. Our direct mail, convention efforts and word-of-mouth have done the trick. Now we're about to do some overkill with the expensive stuff. Despite predictions of the worst Christmas season in five years, I have very high hopes.