As you may already be aware, the Winter Back-To-School Buyer’s Guide is here! Folded inside the front cover you’ll find a resource that will keep you brainstorming, demoing and connecting with customers throughout 2019: the Customer Engagement Calendar. It is peppered with the mainstay Holidays, niche art-related celebrations, Days of The Year and themed months. Let’s take a look at January and get the creative juices flowing.
National Handwriting Day
January has three major themes: hobby, papercrafting and handwriting. We suggest choosing one theme to focus on throughout the month, based on what is popular with your customers. Depending on the size of your store and how granular you get with your customers, it may be in your best interest to loop in employees who spend the most time on the floor as you brainstorm this. If someone is particularly excited about a theme, encourage them to take leadership and run with it. We’ve chosen January 23rd, National Handwriting Day (and John Hancock’s birthday) as an example; read on for demo ideas.
Handwriting Is For Everyone
Handwriting can be as personal as a fingerprint and as expressive as a dance. If that seems ridiculous, see our article on calligraphy and you’ll understand why handwriting deserves a certain amount of reverence. Unfortunately handwriting is no longer taught in most schools; cursive worksheets have been replaced by typing classes, and in the professional world handwritten notes and letters are now scribed rapid-fire via texts and emails. Consider January—and the new year—as a chance to get back to the rhythm and flow of writing. The term “handwriting” casts a broad net, from learning to form letters, improving handwriting, practicing a personal signature, letter writing, hand-lettering or even calligraphy.
Three Demo Ideas
Secret Codes and Ciphers
- Engage children ages 6-8 with a workshop that involves a little mystery. Create a cipher or find one online. Display the ciphered message on a large screen or poster. Use the first 10-20 minutes to let everyone copy the ciphered message and go through and write your code key as a group. If you see anyone struggle, focus on the formation of each of the letters one on one, and provide handouts with simple instructions on forming letters so any parents attending can assist. Provide clues on how to decipher the message and lots of different styles of pens and pencils for participants to try.
- Bonus: De-code a message that leads to a “clue” and form a mini scavenger hunt in/around your store. The hunt could lead participants to various writing supplies, like the STABILO EASYergo mechanical pencils or large pads of paper for practicing.
Hand Lettering Pop-Up
- Provide lettering worksheets on clipboards (there are hundreds of free ones on Pinterest) and a variety of pens for customers to try their hand at different lettering styles.
- Make sure you have your pens and markers labeled as “Testers” so that you don’t experience damaged inventory.
- Post a phrase in store and on your social media accounts and announce a competition for the “best handwriting.” For instance: January 23rd is National Handwriting Day, and we are giving away an $X giftcard to the best handwriter in three categories – Child, Amateur, and Professional. To enter, post your entry online with the hashtag (Insert your stores #hashtag), tag us (your stores @handle), and use the caption “My entry for (store name)’s 2019 Handwriting Competition.
- Make it a month long event, and set up an impartial judge or online voting system on Facebook (likes = votes).
Other ways to engage with the calendar in 2019:
- Tweet or post content on Instagram/Facebook to celebrate, using hashtags and relevant images to build your social media presence
- Incorporate themed signage and displays
- Weekend events, related movie screenings or workshops
- Send us pictures of what you do so we can share with the community!