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How to host your own local shopping event

STN

Now in its fourth year, Yellow Pages’ Shop The Neighbourhood campaign has evolved from a single-day event to a year-round celebration of shopping locally.


But that doesn’t mean that events don’t have a place in the program!


Just the opposite, in fact. There are many dates across the calendar year that lend themselves to local events, from back to school promotions to spring sidewalk sales. And of course, the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday remains a critical one for the ongoing success of small businesses nation-wide.


Here are a five steps you can take to plan a local shopping event in your neighbourhood:

  1. Find a date
    There are a number of events throughout the year that inspire Canadians to get out to shop, from Valentine’s Day to Halloween. A great place to start is the traditional Shop The Neighbourhood weekend, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Since many Canadians turn to big box stores and online retailers on those days, encouraging them to get out and shop locally – keeping their dollars close to home – is a great idea.

    TIP: Plan in advance! You want to start promoting your event about a month before the date, so start your planning a month before that.
  2. Build awareness
    Like any promotional campaign, there are a number of ways to get the word out. If you have a list of email subscribers or a regular newsletter, that’s the easiest way to get started. But consider some more visible media as well, such as local ads or billboards.

    TIP: Mix up your medium! Don’t just rely on one communication; use of multiple mediums – such as email, direct mail, and local radio spots – will help ensure you’ve got the attention of your local businesses and shoppers.
  3. Get social
    Don’t underestimate the power of social media. More and more businesses have their own Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and more and more shoppers are searching for and finding small businesses on these channels. Promote your event across as many channels as you can, and ask your members to join the conversation.

    TIP: Use a hashtag! You can take advantage of the Yellow Pages Shop The Neighbourhood hashtag: - #ShopTheHood – or create your own. Just remember to keep it simple and include it in all of your promotional material.
  4. Hit the pavement
    There’s nothing like getting some solid facetime with your member businesses. Stop in to their stores and restaurants. Let them know about your event – not just the when, but also the why. Help them understand the importance of small businesses on building a community.

    TIP: Break out the swag! The more goodies you have to offer your members, the more excited they’ll be to participate in your event. Have posters and window clings that they can put up in their store to promote the event, as well as giveaways for the actual day. Reusable bags are a great offer – they’re practical, environmentally friendly, and customizable with a logo or message.
  5. Share the news about Shop The Neighbourhood
    While not a one-day event, Shop The Neighbourhood has great resources online for small businesses and neighbourhoods to help them see the value in shopping locally and supporting their community.

    TIP: Follow us on social media! We’ll be sharing news and updates year-round on how you and your community can get involved. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to ensure you don’t miss a thing!

Shopping locally isn't just something people should think about once a year. But hosting a local shopping event in your neighbourhood is a great way to start a new habit. With these tips, you’re well on your way to getting started!

Get involved


Show your support for shopping in your community by displaying a Shop The Neighbourhood window cling in your storefront, or a digital banner on your website. Get yours for free today!

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About Shop The Neighbourhood


Shop The Neighbourhood is a Yellow Pages initiative to encourage local shopping and support for small businesses. Shop The Neighbourhood raises awareness of the large-scale push from retailers both online and across the border which moves dollars away from the small businesses and directly impacts the health of our neighbourhoods and our communities.

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