How to Host a Demo Day at your Baseball or Softball Academy
As families begin to look for holiday gift ideas, you should be offering great deals on baseball equipment that your players would love to see under the tree.
One way to make it easier for parents who may hesitate to shell out hundreds of dollars for a new baseball bat is to let their kids try the bats out for free.
Demo Days have more benefits than just your baseball academy profits from retail sales. Your clients will appreciate the chance to try out the newest models, even if they don’t buy. And if you market the Demo Day well enough, you might even draw new clients to your facility for the first time.
Find a Vendor
First, you need a relationship with a vendor who will supply your retail products.
Those of you who already run pro-shops or sell equipment can skip this step. However, if you don’t have any retail relationships yet, it’s not too late to get started.
Reach out to vendors whose products you like and are familiar with, and find out about their pricing, commission rates, and minimum inventory orders. Ask about what they do to help with Demo Days and anything else they can do for you to help you promote and sell the merchandise.
(Baseball and softball academies that use eSoft Planner scheduling software can avoid having to buy thousands of dollars of upfront inventory because our relationship with Marucci Sports. If you want to know more about that, just send me an email)
Plan Your Demo Day
Once you have a vendor relationship in place, choose a date and start marketing. Just like any of your other camps, clinics, classes or events, you should start getting the word out about your Demo Day 4-6 weeks in advance, if possible. Follow these steps:
- Start Contacting Your Network – Follow this marketing plan for camps and classes, and don’t forget to use every opportunity to remind your clients about the event as it approaches.
- Reserve the Space – As with any event, use your scheduling software to make sure your cage space is reserved to give your clients plenty of room to try all the equipment.
- Prepare Your Staff – Make sure your staff understands and is knowledgeable about the products that will be available to try during the Demo Day. They should also know about any other products you’re selling through your vendor.
- Display Your Products – Have the vendor’s web site readily accessible (on a computer or tablet) so you can display the additional colors, sizes and models that you don’t have on-hand. Set aside a clean, clear space to display your products. A regular folding display table with a cloth usually does the trick.
- Prepare Your Order Forms – Print plenty of flyers that list each products’ benefits and order forms for your customers to fill out (or, if you use eSoft Planner, you can use its point of sale system to submit the orders as they’re made by your customers).
- Create and Test Your Ordering System – Instruct your staff to greet and possibly collect information from everyone who comes for the demo day so that you can contact them for future merchandise promotions and demo days. Also consider handing out coupons to new clients for your other services, such as lessons, cage rentals, camps or clinics, to encourage them to come back.
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