dealership events

Are you looking for a way to build brand loyalty while attracting and retaining new customers? Your dealership could serve a dual purpose of holding an event while also allowing you to introduce your new and old customers to your vehicle inventory. Not sure what type of dealership events to offer? We’ve got you covered with a few ideas below: 

Have new car reveals 

Drivers may already be keeping up with the latest news about a preferred automaker’s new models, like the Toyota Corolla Cross or Cadillac Lyriq. For this reason, it’s a great idea to have an event to unveil a new car model and introduce customers to its features. Not only does this help you get customers in your door, but it can allow you to answer any questions they have, offer them a test drive, and encourage them to sign up for updates on pre-ordering.

Use the holidays to your advantage 

Sure, it’s summer now, but we’ll be on the fast track to the holiday season in a couple of months. You can throw dealership events that capitalize on the holidays. You may want to hold a Halloween event where families can come by and trick or treat. Alternatively, you can have a professional Santa Clause come and take photos with customers. Opening your dealership’s doors to allow customers to create lasting holiday memories will resonate with them and give you an opportunity to promote any holiday promotions. 

Check out this excellent Halloween event example from a few Harrisonburg, VA dealerships. 

Offer free car washes and detailing 

Who doesn’t like free perks, especially when it comes to cars? You can offer drivers in your community the opportunity to have their cars washed and detailed for free. This event can serve two purposes. First, it allows you to give back to your current customers and say “thank you.” On the other hand, it showcases your commitment to customer service to new customers. 

If you need some inspiration, take a look at California-based Carson Nissan’s creative video to promote their free car wash and coffee events. 

Throw a community volunteer event 

According to Aflac, 77% of consumers are motivated to purchase from companies committed to making the world better. Many customers are more inclined to interact with and buy from brands genuinely interested in bettering the community. You can capitalize on this by partnering with a local nonprofit or charity and holding a volunteer event at your dealership. 

Related: 6 car dealers committed to corporate social responsibility and community give back

For example, you can run a canned food drive, where customers can come and distribute food. Alternatively, you can hold a clothing drive on the premises and invite customers to stop by and support. Not only are you getting to know customers with these events, but you’re also showcasing your dedication to the community. 

A great example of this is Jeff Smith Automotive teaming up with the United Way of Central Georgia to host a raffle for a new car at the dealership. The effort raised $114,485 for the United Way. 

Offer a car seat safety check event

Invite parents, grandparents, and guardians to a free class that walks them through correctly installing a car seat. You can also offer to conduct safety checks and inspections with the help of the local police department. Like the community volunteer events, it lets individuals know you and dealership staff are invested in helping the community. Yet, it also allows you to introduce families to models that fit their lifestyle, like a crossover or SUV. 

Lindsay Volvo Cars of Alexandria in Virginia worked with the local Alexandria Police Department to offer this service. Check out the promotion for the event

Don’t forget about sale-based events 

You can also hold a classic promotional event based around car buying itself. Try holding a promotional loyalty sale targeting customers who have already purchased from you. You could offer discounts on various models and nudge them toward making a repeat purchase when they’re ready. You can also throw a price match event, where you commit to matching the price of competitors. Both events show that you’re dedicated to helping customers save a few dollars, which can go a long way in a season where car prices are some of the highest they’ve ever been

Take a look at this 0% APR event for loyal Acura customers at Leith Acura in Raleigh, NC, and this parts price match event by Tri-County Lexus in Little Falls, NJ, for a couple of examples. 

Final thoughts 

Throwing an event can be a powerful marketing and branding tool. While purchasing cars online has grown in popularity, face-to-face interactions are still a considerable part of the shopping experience. According to Cox Automotive, walking into a dealership is still a popular form of initial contact for half of potential car buyers. These events can facilitate initial or repeat contact with customers and increase the chances of them making a purchase. 

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