1. Themes to Entice Customers
2. “Endless Summer” Promo
3. Entertainment Events
4. Promotions Using Social Media
5. Holidays Sales Events
6. Autumn Promo
7. “Deal of a Lifetime” – Viva Las Vegas!
8. Pay it Forward Day Promo
9. “Kid’s Day” Promo

People are excited and looking for things to do and places to go. What could be more fun than taking a visit to your local car dealership to view all the new 2023 models that are out there?

Think about this. How likely are you to take public transportation during this Pandemic? I for one would prefer to travel in my own neon green crossover. (My grandkids think that it is the grossest colour they have ever seen!) Consumers who never owned a car are now likely to consider purchasing their own vehicle simply to avoid close contact with public transportation. In addition, many families would prefer driving vacations within Canada as opposed to flying which presents many obstacles. In general, there is a tremendous pent-up demand at this time for car ownership.

I used to love visiting car dealership events near me. There is just something exciting about getting into a brand-new car, smelling the new car smell, running your fingers over the smooth steering wheel, and playing with the seat positions. The seriousness of the negotiations, the yellow paper pad where the car dealership salesperson scratches out the best deal for your dream car and then visits “upstairs” to speak to their manager. I enjoy the back-and-forth wheeling and dealing. And finally, the culmination of the deal, signing on the dotted line. Whoa, I just bought my new car!

How do you attract potential buyers to come into your car dealership? Remind them that purchasing a vehicle can be a fun and safe outing for the whole family!

Most people who visit a showroom will state that they are just looking. Convert those “lookers” into purchasers by offering them a memorable experience in your dealership. Here are a few unique ideas to attract even the most hesitant of car buyers:

1. Car Dealership Events Using Themes to Entice Customers to Your Showroom

Themed events are always a drawing card to get customers into your showroom.There are many themed events that you can tie into promotions such as a car reveal or a servicing promotion. Consider the following fun dealership themed events…

  • A Hawaiian theme complete with Hawaiian costumed greeters offering a lei to visitors, palm trees to set the mood and tropical beverages such as Hawaiian Shaved Ice.
  • A Star Wars theme appeals to young and old alike. Star Wars characters roam the showroom handing out branded light sabers to all the visitors. May the Force Be With You!
  • Invite existing and potential customers to an afternoon Tea Party with the Mad Hatter. Giant flowers and giant mushrooms installations make for an authentic Alice in Wonderland theme.

2. A Car Dealership Promo Featuring “Endless Summer”

Extend summer throughout the year with warm weather types of promotions that work well indoors or out to attract customers into your dealership.

  • Ice cream is delicious all year round! Brand an ice cream cart and distribute frozen treats to draw customers in for a car reveal promotion.
  • A Carnival theme is great for attracting customers to your dealership showroom. Costumed stilt walkers outside will draw customers inside. Slushie Rentals and Candy Floss Machines add to the festivity
  • Golf is many people’s favourite summer activity. Rent a Mini Golf Course and advertise a car-related prize for a “Hole in One”

3. Independent Car Dealership Events with Entertainment

We all love to be entertained whether you are young or old. Plan an entertainment package with your event planner that will be guaranteed to provide a memorable outing for your customers. Combine this event with a free accessory package with the purchase of a new or pre-owned vehicle.

  • A balloon twisting clown can produce wonderful take home sculptures.
  • A roaming illusionist will entertain your potential customers with jaw dropping tricks. “How did he do that?”
  • Engage a caricaturist to capture fun images of your customers in a showroom car. Prepare for lineups!

4. Car Dealership Promotions with the Use of Social Media

We all know how effective social media is to spread the word. Use this form of advertising to your advantage at your next dealership test drive event.

  • Use a step and repeat wall with your dealership name as a background for your guests to take photos in front of.
  • For a new car reveal allow your guests to sit in a luxury car to take selfies and ask them to post on their social media in exchange for an entry into a contest.
  • Enlist your event planner to create a set around an introductory new car and have a professional photographer photograph your visitors.

5. Car Dealership Sales Events Celebrating Holidays

What better way to get customers into your dealership than with a celebration of a Holiday. Many of our holidays involve a gift. Promote your dealership with the gift of a car wash and watch the celebrations start!

  • For Christmas hire Santa to give out small gifts to the children while his elves direct the parents to the car wash.
  • On Valentine’s day, invite welcome customers through your doors which are beautifully decorated with balloon sculptures. And nothin’ says lovin’ than a heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie. Yummy!
  • Your staff as well as your customers will have so much fun celebrating Halloween! Invite employees as well as guests to come in costume to your fully decorated “House of Horrors Showroom” Party Planners love designing the setting! Don’t forget about customers trick or treat bag to take away.

6. Independent Car Dealership Events are Perfect for an Autumn Promotion

Your expert event planner will incorporate this with your promotional giveaway such as free gas for six months with the purchase of a new car. What a deal!

  • Have a Hot Dog BBQ with all the trimmings
  • A candy floss machine and an old fashioned popcorn cart will create a visual scene to passersby. See our Candy Concepts.
  • For a fall dealership promotion a hot chocolate cart with an engaging server will bring in potential customers. P.S. don’t forget the mini marshmallows!

7. Creative Dealership Event Idea is “Deal of a Lifetime”. Viva Las Vegas!

Create excitement by inviting customers to a Las Vegas Day. Offer potential or existing car buyers a chance to win free oil changes for the year. I’ll “bet” that will bring them in!

  • Invite your guests to play blackjack with professional dealers. Your “funny money” is branded with the name of your dealership. Let the players purchase small branded merchandise with their winnings or to get entered into a draw for larger prizes.
  • Vegas Show Girls would be an awesome addition to a Car Dealership Casino event. They will engage your customers and happily pose for selfies! Encourage your guests to share on social media.
  • A Vegas theme for your Dealership Promotion needs a Roulette Wheel! Listen to the cheering as your customers place their funny money bets down. Great fun!

8. Sponsor a Car Dealership Promotion with a Pay it Forward Day

Corporate social responsibility influences many of today’s consumers. For instance studies have shown that 55% of customers are willing to pay more for a product or service when a company gives back to the community.

Send invitations through social media and your email base. Your favourite party planner is standing by to help you organize this worthwhile project.

  • Build a Buddy” is a perfect family activity that gives back to the community. Have your attendees build a huggable animal and donate them to a local women’s shelter. Don’t forget to share photos on social media.
  • We have all missed the CNE the past two seasons. An outdoor carnival complete with a colourful and very visible carnival tent will attract many people to your dealership. Games such as Sombrero Toss, Gone Fishin’ or Whip & Skip are just some ideas that your event planner can arrange. Charge a small fee to play each game with proceeds going to a local charity.
  • During Covid many families purchased dogs for their families and they have become very attached to them. Sponsor a Doggy Day at your dealership. Your event specialist will arrange a special doggy park on your lot complete with water bowls, doggie toys and poop bags! For each visitor who comes to the event, your dealership will donate a set amount to a local animal shelter. The bonus here is that while your customer’s doggie is taken care of they are free to browse in your amazing showroom.

9. Car Dealership Promotions Featuring a “Kid’s Day”

It came as a great surprise to me when my 12-year-old granddaughter expressed excitement when her mom bought a new car. My daughter-in-law involved her in her decision-making. Further research showed that 80% of parents are involving their kids in making big ticket purchases. Dealerships can capitalize on these facts by having events which include children. A draw could be a free car seat clinic for attendees.

  • A face painter can provide great entertainment for children. Be prepared for lineups
  • Inflatables especially when they are strategically placed outdoors will be a very visual invitation to come into the dealership
  • Craft Stations are a very popular activity for children. What fun to build and paint a dream car to take home.

If you are in charge of advertising for your car dealership and want to drive traffic to your showroom, think seriously about engaging a professional event planner. I promise you that your ROI will be well worth it.

For all car dealership event ideas, think outside the box. Contact us, your professional event planner, for some great ideas to drive customers to your showroom. We will help you convert those folks who are “just looking” into “just bought”. We are waiting for your call!

Eventfully yours,
Elayne Isenberg