Don’t be like Build-A-Bear: Event planning, anticipation and production

The current media market makes it difficult for even the largest brands to break through to their consumers. One way to create buzz is to hold a large promotion, like the “pay your age” promotion Build-A-Bear ran this week. While buzz was created, the event was a major flop, creating hordes of angry parents and crying children in malls across America. Don’t be like Build-A-Bear, follow our event planning advice to keep things moving smoothly.

  1. Be prepared

It is important to be prepared when planning an event. You can never be too prepared, especially in regards to the implementation of an event for your brand or company. So many things can happen that may throw a wrench in your plans so you must be prepared to deal with changes. It is always good to have a plan A, B, C and sometimes even D.

One way you can prepare yourselves is by doing research on social media. Is your campaign creating buzz? Are people responding to social media event pages? Use these numbers to estimate your crowd, and always plan for more customers to show up day-of.

  1. Don’t overpromise

It is important never to overpromise. When it comes time to launch your campaign or promote your event, make sure you are not promising things that you can’t pull off. An easy way to ruin an event is to make promises that you cannot deliver.

In Build-A-Bear’s situation, they should have known that they have a maximum capacity. How many bears can they stuff in a day? If you’ve gone through the bear-making process, you know it’s not a short one. They should have created parameters like making the deal for the first 100 customers at each store.

  1. Be prepared to apologize

If something at your event or during your campaign goes wrong, you must take responsibility. People tend to be more understanding of mishaps when ownership is taken. Trying to cover-up or put the blame on someone else will create distrust between you and your consumers.

You should always prepare for the worst, and in this case, Build-A-Bear needs to be prepared to help children build their new stuffed bunny safely. Offering coupons or extending the offer for a few more days could help quell angry moms and dads.