Cake rivalries aren’t just for reality TV. Real-life bakery owners face fierce competition from other retailers, and research shows that competition is set to get even stiffer. The bakery and confectionery industry is expected to grow by 9% by the end of 2022. So business owners are looking for fresh bakery marketing ideas to attract customers and stand out.

Need some sweet inspiration? Thankfully, we have a few bakery event ideas to engage your community and increase business. Plus, we spoke to two Eventbrite creators who’ve successfully hosted events dedicated to decadent desserts. Keep reading for bakery themes you can sink your teeth into.

Bakery pop-up shop ideas people will drool over

Pop-up shops have popped up everywhere over the last few years. One of the reasons for their popularity is their exclusivity. Typically a pop-up shop is a brand’s way to offer a limited-edition item or introduce a new product. It also meets consumer demands for a novel experience and gives brands the chance to create something unique and memorable.

There are many ways business owners and event creators can organize pop-ups that draw a crowd. Below are three pop-up ideas to get you started.

Winter holiday-themed pop-up

The holidays are an ideal time to host a pop-up. People are looking for the perfect gift for their loved ones and searching for the perfect treat to satisfy their sweet tooth.

You have many options for creating a sweet and unique holiday experience for customers. For instance, you can host a winter wonderland-themed pop-up complete with special snowflake-decorated goodies. Don’t forget to beautify the space with icy decor, such as faux snow and frosted trees. You can even team up with a local coffee shop to help you deliver cozy beverages like hot chocolate.

To ensure you have enough winter-themed goodies to go around, have guests RSVP online. Eventbrite makes it easy for guests to RSVP for your event, and our market-leading event technology allows you to manage guest lists, track responses, and analyze your event performance.

Pupcakes pop-up

Customers can shop for decadent desserts for themselves, their friends, and — that’s right — their dogs. Research shows there’s a huge market for specialty dog treats, and due to the surge in adoption rates during the pandemic, the demand for pet treats has skyrocketed. The pet snack market is expected to grow by nearly 12% by 2030. A bakery pop-up for pups is a great way to draw customers by serving a growing market. Now is the best time to draw in customers with a pop-up dedicated to their pups.

How do you go about planning a pop-up for dogs? First, scout out locations near areas frequented by dog owners — think dog parks, grooming salons, etc. You can also partner with local pet supply shops to sponsor and cross-promote the event. That way, attendees can get a bite for their dogs and see what local pet brands have to offer — a win for you and your partner.

Before the event, drum up excitement with early bird ticketing. To incentivize advance ticket purchasing, offer a discount to early buyers.

What about the treats for your pop-up? If your bakery doesn’t typically whip up pooch-friendly treats, challenge your team to think outside the box. For example, craft a red velvet “pupcake” with carob instead of cocoa powder. Of course, make sure to label the treats clearly so pet parents know the ingredients.

Petite dessert pop-up

Mini is in. One trend that’s taking over social media is petite treats. Hop on this trend and serve small portions of baked favorites. For example, you can serve up mini goodies like two-bite brownies, cream puffs, muffins, and cakes to ticket buyers. Small desserts served in jars are also hot.

Not only do petite desserts let patrons sample your offerings, but they also have a “cute factor.” Photogenic treats help you get extra attention on social media, too — just give attendees a hashtag to use.

Don’t just stop at serving tiny goodies — weave some art into your pop-up event. For instance, you can commission local artists to create mini dioramas that coincide with your mini bakery treat theme. With this idea, your guests can enjoy delicious bites and bite-sized art sculptures.

Community event ideas to attract customers to your bakery or small shop

There’s nothing quite like bringing your community together through delectable confections. Hosting events is an excellent way for bakery shops to invite people to try their offerings and grow their customer base. It also helps business owners establish their brand as trustworthy. People want to meet the team behind the business, and community events let owners interact with their audience.

Below are bakery promotion ideas that foster a relationship with community members and increase business.

Partner pairings

Partner with a local coffee shop, brewery, or vineyard to create pairings for your confections. For example, a chai tea latte would be a great match for a blueberry crumble muffin. Or, a dark ale would perfectly complement a savory pretzel. Collaborate with other businesses to create the perfect pairings. Then host an event that gives people the chance to try them out. You can even make it into a mixer, where people socialize while they chow down.

Eventbrite creator Stem Ciders has mastered the art of pairing. This Colorado-based cidery has over eight years of experience working together with local businesses to develop complementary offerings. They’ve collaborated with many businesses in their community for their events — from cheese shops to sushi restaurants to bakeries.

Stem Ciders’ pairing events are an opportunity to introduce their customer base to other local businesses, increasing engagement for them and their partners. Arline Kellog, general manager at Stem Ciders, told us how they do it. “Our events are unique because not only do you get to experience something from a local shop, [but] they are all perfectly paired with a flight of our ciders…creating a fun and tasty experience.”

What does a Stem Ciders bakery pairing look like? A decadent flight might include a raspberry cider complemented with a s’mores cupcake or a lavender cider matched with a lemon cheesecake treat. Tasty indeed!

Fun Fridays with the family

Baking is fun for the whole family. You can involve your community and promote your bakery by offering classes. Of course, you want to ensure that your classes are suitable for all ages; consider a straightforward task like cookie or cake decorating.

Don’t be afraid to get creative! This is your chance to wow guests and leave a lasting impression. Kellog from Stem Ciders let us in on a secret for delighting your guests: “When you are doing a special event, do not just use your typical treats. Come up with some fun and unique treats that all fit under the same theme to engage new customers and old.”

For example, you could host a movie-themed cake decorating class and have attendees design cakes inspired by movie motifs. Parents and children will enjoy decorating a cake and sampling treats from your bakery. You also can amp up the fun factor by incorporating movie trivia during the class. This kind of event would engage both the kiddos and their parents.

Paint-n-bite

You’ve heard of a paint-n-sip, but this idea involves bakery snacks instead of alcohol — making it ideal for people of all ages. Attendees get to enjoy an evening of painting and trying your best desserts.

To leave a lasting impression, don’t forget to incorporate branding throughout your event. For example, use old branded bakery aprons as paint smocks. You can also gift goodie bags containing a few of your bakery’s best-selling goods and branded merchandise.

FAQs

Are you inspired but need extra help to further promote your bakery or small shop? With input from Eventbrite creators Stem Ciders and Curate Mercantile, we’ve answered top questions from small confectionery and bakery businesses like yours.

How can I promote my small bakery?

One of the best ways to enhance your bakery marketing strategy is by involving other businesses in your area. This way, you can cross-promote and introduce your goods to each other’s customer bases. Let’s take Curate Mercantile, for example. Curate Mercantile is a Denver-based shop and home to over 100 artisan and boutique vendors. On the weekends they turn part of their store into a pop-up event for local bakers, and their customers enjoy treats from bakeries throughout the Denver area. This is a great opportunity for local shops to increase their customer base. Curate Mercantile owner Karli Millspaugh tells us, “Pop-up events often offer seasonal goods that our customers can give as gifts or include in their entertaining.”

How do you engage the community with your small shop?

Online promotion is essential for gathering support from your community. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram let you spread the word about your events. You can even target a specific audience with social media ads.

With Eventbrite Boost, you can launch Facebook and Instagram ads with advanced audience targeting to reach the people most likely to visit your shop or attend an event. Convenient, right?

How can a bakery increase sales?

The key to increasing bakery sales is to showcase your value. First, start by offering free samples — no one can resist a freebie! You can either provide samples at a community event or at your shop.

Similar to freebies, people are more inclined to try discounted items. For example, you could offer discounts on day-old items. Don’t forget to attract customers by posting your discounts on social media.

How do I make my bakery unique?

Every business owner has a story — that’s ultimately what makes their brand unique. Think about why you started your business. Your authentic origin story helps your bakery to stand out from the others.

You can also think outside the box regarding your menu. Keep your eye out for new food trends and come up with ways to put your own spin on them. Doing this helps establish your shop’s unique selling proposition.

How can Eventbrite help you promote your shop?

Eventbrite creators Millspaugh and Kellog exemplify how easy and effective Eventbrite can be in promoting events. The straightforward interface lets all creators market their businesses and host successful events. Here are two Eventbrite features that are key for marketing your bakery:

  1. Social media integrations: Ease of communication is what makes Eventbrite effective. Creators like Millspaugh from Curate can promote their event with only a few clicks. As she told us, “Once we post a pop-up on Eventbrite, it also makes it easy to create a Facebook event that can link back to our Eventbrite link and enable people to RSVP for events.”
  2. Smart targeting: How do you attract customers to your bakery? Speak to the right crowd. Eventbrite’s audience recommendations ensure that your ideal potential customers see your content. Kellog from Stem Ciders notes, “Eventbrite has helped promote our cidery by allowing us to tag our events with specific keywords that really allows us to target people looking for the experience we are creating.”

Sweeten your bakery events with Eventbrite

When it comes to bakery marketing, you have to go to the people. Offer fun and immersive experiences that give potential customers the chance to sample your menu. These community events will also add an interpersonal element to your brand.

And when it’s time to serve up your event, Eventbrite provides advanced tools to reach your audience, manage guest lists, and re-engage attendees.

Ready to get started on your next bakery event? Create an event listing for free.

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