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A Holiday Open House with Style!

Written by Mud Pie Territory Manager, Tracy Alvord

It is never too early to get a jump on the holidays! You want to get out ahead of the competition and start spreading good will and good cheer! So, put on your Santa’s helper hat and let’s get started!

Start early – the first open house of the year always has the potential to get the average buyer thinking ahead and making their holiday shopping list! A GREAT impression at your event can bring the gift shopper back a few times between now and December 25th.

Here are a few best practices from the experts like offering a special promotion, festive ideas and tips to market your event!

Most of all, have fun and enjoy the party!

Make Your Party Fun

  • Go all out — from the minute a customer walks through the door until the last impression at the cash wrap, make it festive and filled with holiday cheer!
  • Jingle bells on your front door are a great way to greet customers.
  • Don’t forget a wreath, stocking or holiday greeting on door.
  • Set the scene — have your employees wear red Santa hats.
  • Take pictures, lots of them — share your customers’ experience and excitement to share on your website and social media platforms.
  • Decorate around the theme — hang glittery snowflakes, silver bells or even sparkly stars.
  • Pre-wrap gifts — use these to decorate your store and have them pre-made for customers to grab and go!
  • Have Santa or Mrs. Claus greet customers when they come to the store!

It’s Not a Party Without Some Music

Here are a few traditional suggestions.

  • The Drifters – “White Christmas”
  • Bing Crosby – “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
  • Frank Sinatra – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
  • Brenda Lee – “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”
  • Peggy Lee – “Winter Wonderland”
  • Eartha Kitt – ” Santa Baby”
  • Vince Guaraldi Tio – Charlie Brown Theme Song
  • Boston Pops – “Sleigh Ride”

Serve Up Some Festive Treats

There are some creative ways to incorporate the holiday into the drinks and appetizers you serve during your open house.

  • Holiday cookies and decorate cupcakes
  • Peppermint bark candy
  • Holiday frosted brownies
  • Your favorite cheese ball recipe
  • Cheese & crackers
  • Fresh veggies & dip
  • Festive non-alcoholic punch
  • Mulled cider
  • Hot cocoa
  • Spice tea
  • BONUS: Use the serving pieces, dip chillers, spreaders and tools you sell when serving your guests. Plus, be sure to sample some of your food items that you sell in your store.

Giveaways & Prize Drawings

‘Tis the season! Here are a few ideas to send your customers home with a little something special!

  • Offer candy canes to customers when they enter
  • Small cello wrapped party favors with a festive ribbon
  • Mini stockings with candy
  • Tiny sprig of evergreen tied with a ribbon

Prize drawings are a fun way to get your customers excited about your open house and a few ways to support other local businesses!

  • Stuff a giant stocking with treats and giveaways! Psst, check with your Territory Manager to see if there are special offers!
  • A nice, quality piece of plush
  • A trip to a local spa or salon (#shoplocal)
  • Giant potted poinsettia donated by a local florist
  • Gift cards to your store — a great way to promote a repeat visit!

Marketing Your Event

  • Create event flyers or postcards to insert into customers’ bags a few weeks before the event
  • Send an out a special invite to your email customer base to let them know about the event and offer a special promotion/discount exclusively for them
  • Promote on your social media platforms — create an event on Facebook and event your customers, tease to your customers on Instagram and Facebook to get them excited
  • Invite other local businesses (like the florist, a baker for the treats, the salon/spa for the giveaway and more!) so they can promote it in their store