Vintage Shop Hop - 4th Annual - March 3 & 4, 2017
Friday, March 3, 2017 at 9:00 AM - Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 6:00 PM (CST)
VINTAGE SHOP HOP - 4th Annual
FRIDAY/SATURDAY, MARCH 3 & 4, 2017
GRAB YOUR FRIENDS. HIT THE ROAD. SHOP HARD.
Please read these details BEFORE you register...it's a lot of reading...but you need to understand the how it works before you start.
The Vintage Shop Hop is a "road trip on steriods"--specifically designed for vintage related businesses in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin to attract new customers! We debuted three years ago and found great success with both the participating shops and the shoppers. Last year over 300 vintage shops, occasional and pop-up shops, boutiques, restaurants and vintage-related businesses participated. It's a two-day vintage shopping event, intended to bring new customers into your store from your own town as well as encourage road trips from outside your area. We encourage the locals to get off the couch and travel around the region to see what's in their own back yard!
This event is a bit different than most in that it is marketed strictly through social media! It's promoted to the public as a self-guided road trip within the Northern Illinois & Southern Wisconsin region and marketed totally through facebook via the event fan page and purchased facebook advertising and boosted posts.
It's easy to participate! What you MUST do as a shop owner...
Each shop owner has only two responsibilities to participate in the two day event, March 3 & 4, 2017:
First, your shop must be either 75% vintage inventory or sell boutique clothing. There are few exceptions to this rule and you can find them below under the "Who can participate" header below.
- You own and operate an ACTIVE* and current BUSINESS facebook page (personal pages don't count).
- You agree to promote the event on your business page--meaning you're agreeing to post the official event flyer on your page several times prior to the event...including daily posts the week before the event.
- You roll out the red carpet for customers by creating an "in-store" promotion. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. During the past three years, shops have done everything from special shop promotions and discounts to product demonstrations, wine/cheese party, music and parking lot sales.
*ACTIVE Business Facebook page = to be considered an ACTIVE page, you MUST have regular and recent activity and posts. In order for this event to be a success, ALL PARTICIPATING SHOPS must do their part by posting to their page. ACTIVE does not just mean you have a page--it means you actively post on your page--with at least two or three posts AND photos per month at the very least. If you are a NEW shop, we understand that and encourage all new shop owners to take part in the event. In fact, it's a perfect way to get the shoppers to know about you. However, in past years I have spent countless hours trying to get shop owners to write a current post with photos to their page. Again, this event is SOLELY marketed on facebook. We do NOT purchase any other type of advertising. Everyone must do their part.
If you submit a registration and your page is not active or current, your fee will automatically be refunded.
Who can participate?
You must own or operate a vintage related business such as a vintage retail store; antique store or mall; flea market; barn sale; occasional/pop up shop or sale; or a restaurant that will co-op with the shops in your area.* However, we understand that there are rural areas that don't have a big concentration of shops to draw from. So, we'd suggest that you reach out further and contact all the other type of retail shops in your respective town or county, and pull in some restaurants, coffee shops and more. You want to create a "day trip", a reason for the shopper to travel to your area. The more you co-op efforts together, the more successful you'll be. Think like the shopper--what would you like to do on your day off with friends? Candy or fudge shop? Quilt shop? Women's boutique? Thrift store? Maybe your local cafe has the best pie you've ever had? Does your local bar have great hamburgers? Ask them to participate as well.
Think about the logic of the getting shoppers from one area to another. Do you have a state highway that runs through your area? Contact shops in other towns along that highway and promote together. You could create a tour for your own county...create a simple map showing where the towns and shops area. Shoppers want to see that there is more than one or two places to go that day...make it worth their while. You should never look at other shops in your area as competition--instead work with them to create a "destination" for shoppers.
Consider creating an "overnight" package for shoppers. We've gotten more and more shoppers who have asked about hotel packages. If you have a bed & breakfast in your area, contact them for a rate special. You can contact hotels that are nearby and block a few rooms for the weekend. By doing so, they will typically give you a better nightly rate.
*We do not allow retail shops that are not gift related, no box stores, no national franchise stores, no new furniture stores, clothing stores are only allowed if they are boutique-style and locally owned, no museums, no "store closings" or close out/liquidations, etc. If you sell "reproduction" antiques, you must mention so in your description. This event is designed for small vintage business to market themselves. The event is marketed to those who like to shop for vintage decor and goods.
What kind of promotions are allowed?
The actual hours of the event within your own shop are up to you...you don't have to create special hours outside of your normal business hours unless you want to. We do suggest that you at least be open by 10am and stay open until at least 5pm or longer both days. The official event days are Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4. If you plan to continue your promotion before or after these dates, please make note of that in your shop description when you register.
Every year, the shops that have the biggest success give some real thought to what their promotion will be and put forth a concerted effort to make it a success. Your job is to come up with your in-store promotion. My job is to promote it for you. You MUST decide on your promotion BEFORE registering because you'll be describing it on the registration form. The description you type into the registration regarding your promotion is the EXACT information (word for word) that I upload to the Google Map and use in my own promotions. In past years many shop owners entered descriptions that were too vague because they hadn't decided yet--and it certainly didn't entice the shopper to choose their shop/town to spend the day in. Be very descriptive and tell us exactly what you're are doing. The shoppers use this info for making their decision on which area they plan to visit. (It is also very important to be gramatically correct, no typos, correct spelling, etc. What you type is EXACTLY what will appear. Pay special attention to your shop's street address, zip code, etc. Because it's integrated into Google Maps, if you put the wrong street number, you'll be in the wrong place on the map.)
In Store Promotion Ideas: The options are endless really. You could host a demo...like furniture painting or decorating with vintage techniques; how to create a decor piece using re-purposed parts; host a musician; "meet" the artisan--lean on your consignors if you have them; a "make and take"; parking lot or sidewalk sale; giveaway; "pop the balloon" to determine a discount; mention the shop hop and draw for your prize (% off, $ off, a free greeting card, mystery prize); if you sell goumet food items, offer samples; put up a map and let shoppers pin where they drove from--offer a prize to who comes from the furthest away; if they mention the shop hop they get entered into a drawing (you probably want to make sure it's something that's easy to ship since most won't be from the immediate area)...put on your thinking cap. One of the most popular promotions is organized by the Rockford/Stateline area. Over 20 shops take part, but one shop owner has chosen to do all the work. They run a "punch card" promotion. Each shop agrees to put a $20 gift card in the prize pot, and they do a map showing the 20 locations and everyone distributes them to shoppers. They must get a stamp on their card from a predetermined number of shops in order to be eligible for ALL of the gift cards. Each shop, each town, each county can do their own thing! The idea is to entice the shoppers to chose your shop or town for their shopping road trip over someone elses. Remember that the shoppers will be coming not only from your town, but from all over the region...as far as one or two hours away...or more!
It's also a good idea to print the final list of shops in your town or area and make copies for your shoppers. Or, some stores have gone a step further and created a simple list of shops and a basic map on the back to hand out. Or, design it and then email the artwork to each shop--so they can print off their own copies for customers. I do not provide any printed lists, brochures or flyers. That is up to you to create and print. There are simply too many thousands of shoppers to make it economically feasible.
Participation in the shop hop is only $25 per business. Yep, that's it! I know, right? I've kept the cost low for small business, yet enough to purchase facebook advertising to get people in your door. Ads will be purchased on facebook only (there will not be traditional media ads purchased). The ads will be focused on demographics of facebook users who are interested in antiques and vintage, women, between 25-65 years old, who live in an hour or two of the towns where your shops are located within the Illinois/Wisconsin stateline region.
$25 per business + $2.37 online fee - if registering between January 1 to January 31, 2017
$45 per business + $3.47 online fee - if registering between February 1 to February 24, 2017
Registration closes on February 24th--NO EXCEPTIONS!
Each shop / restaurant / antique mall / bar needs to register separately if they want to receive a spotlight post on the event FB page and be listed on the Google Map. Only businesses that that register and pay the fee will be mentioned by name.
What does your shop will get in return for the $25?
1) Each shop will be mentioned in posts on the official Vintage Shop Hop facebook page (www.facebook.com/vintageshophopevent). Beginning in late January and over the course of the next several weeks I will purchase facebook advertising to promote the page to more fans. Currently, the Vintage Shop Hop fan page has 14,400+ followers. There will be a new post every day featuring the participants. Regions will be created to groups shops and towns together--making more sense for the shoppers to create a road trip. These include but are not limited to: I-90 Corridor; Rockford & Stateline; Northwest Passage (Stephenson, Carroll, JoDaviess, Ogle, Lee counties); Chicago Suburbs; DeKalb/Kane County, IL; South Central Wisconsin; Wisconsin Fox River & Lakes; and the Madison, WI Area.
I will also promote the event daily on my Nellie's Barn Sale page which has 16,000+ followers. (www.facebook.com/nelliesbarnsale)
With each of the more than 300 participating shops promoting on their respective facebook pages, you can see the that audience grows with each shop that signs on! Last year the participating shops facebook pages added up to an audience of over 200,000+ followers combined! And remember, these people aren't just anybody--they follow your facebook pages because they enjoy what you sell and they love shopping for vintage!!!
2) A full descriptive placement on the appropriate interactive Google Map indicating exactly where you are located with full address and brief description of your business all viewable by a mouse over or a tap of the screen. Remember! the info on the map comes directly from your registration. I do NOT re-type anything--so please, please be careful when typing your address, spelling, punctuation, etc. Last year we had a few shops who contacted me and said they weren't on the map...and come to find out it was because of typos, they were located in the wrong spot on the map. Two shops even typed their city and state wrong--and one typed their house address instead of their shop...so again, please be careful when typing.
3) Everyone will benefit from general publicity through any coverage the local media picks up on. Press releases are sent to regional media. Local chambers of commerce and tourism agencies are contacted with the event information to encourage their promotion through their own websites and social media outlets. Please feel free to contact your own local chamber, tourism office or media. I am only one person and don't know them personally. It's always good for you to make that connection.
4) Once the list of participating shops is final, it will be posted to the event blog page as well (www.vintageshophop.blogspot.com), along with a link to the map. It remains there year 'round for shoppers to use whenever they want.
5) I will email you additional promotional items that you can use in your shop, like signs for your door and cash register area. If you plan to use the event logo on any of your own promotional merchandise, you will be able to get it from the blog page. The logo is NOT to be cut apart or changed in any way.
NOW--go back to the top of this page and click on the REGISTER button. (Be sure you know the details of your "in-store" promotion before registering).
Last year's Google Map can be seen here:
Read what some of previous year's participants had to say about the event:
Thank you too to Ann Campos for the superb coordination involving all things Vintage Shop Hop! Put your ear to the sky Ann, that's a lot of clapping going on.
This is a wonderfully organized event! As a business owner it is a wonderful boost to draw lots of people in to shop and see what you have to offer. It is great to meet new people and have a network of vintage businesses that may not have know about each other without this event.
Customers expressed how they liked the event and how it supported and promoted all the small businesses. Very positive out come all the way around. People are already excited about next year!
This event was great exposure for us, we really appreciate it and will definitely participate again!
An awesome event! It brought in so many new people. Sales were great!! Thank you for all the work you do for this. Well run. Superb!
Thanks for putting the shop hop together. It has really helped bring more business to our local shops.
Had a BLAST today shopping with my girls in the Belvidere, Rockford, and Beloit areas for this annual event. Not only was there free food almost everywhere but some nice drawings, and prizes! -Amanda
I had such a great time checking off the shops with my sister!! All of the shops we visited were excited to be participating. The day had a wonderful vibe with everyone coming together to share their love of vintage. Thank you so much for organizing this fabulous event!! -Kelly
We had a blast shopping! Did not enter either,but we won anyway with this fun adventure! Thanks Ann! - Christina
On Friday we hit 21 stops... Great finds!! Had a blast! -Bonnie
Grab your friends. Hit the road. Shop hard.
When & Where
Ann Campos, owner (Nellie's Barn Sale & Vintage Shop Hop)
I have spent over thirty years in the tourism and marketing industry, and most recently spent the last sixteen years hosting my own vintage events. I own and operate Nellie's Barn Sale, an annual two-day vintage extravaganza featuring 60+ vintage vendors, live music, beer garden and food. I co-host the Christmas at the Farm event, held every November with 25 vintage & new retail vendors selling seasonal gifts, jewelry and vintage. The Vintage Shop Hop is an annual "marketing" event--giving small, locally owned vintage shops an opportunity to group together for bigger impact. Over 300 shops roll out the red carpet to give the shoppers two days of fun together time with their friends.