One of the best ways to gain exposure to your pet sitting or dog walking company is to host or participate in a holiday pet event. But oftentimes we have no idea what to do, where to do it, or just feel like it takes way too much energy. When I used to have my company, Bella’s House & Pet Sitting for 14 years, I would participate and host many events.
These events became known in the community and offered me a lot of exposure and reason to walk up to people and talk about my company in a nonsleezy way. The events were successful and through lots of trial and error, I got them running smoothly. We had all sorts of prizes, giveaways, even a celebrity photographer at one event taking pictures of people and their pets. We had alcohol sponsors, rescue groups getting piles of money, and signs prominently hung outside of businesses with my logo on them.
The holidays are the ideal opportunity to host events and I am going to show you just some of the magic that you can create in your hometown area.
Here are 5 Holiday Pet Events you can host in your town:
- Yappy Hour
- Mutt and Mingle
- Dog Walking Club
- Dog Hiking Club
- Santa Paws
Yappy Hour/ Mutt and Mingle
Host the happiest of happy hour events with Yappy Hour or Mutt and Mingle. It’s a lot of fun to go to the local bar with your dog and especially for a holiday pet event. It can be an indoor or outdoor event. This is a great way to get your community together with their pups and strike up conversations about your business.
All you have to do is:
- Find a local bar or venue to host the event
- Get a liquor sponsor through the venue (they always have some)
- Designate a photographer
- You could either hire one for a couple of hours or have someone assigned to take pictures on their phone.
- Chat it up with all the attendees!
To take it a step further, you can add cute decorations like dog treats in shot glasses and host a raffle or giveaway.
Dog Walking Club
This great event doesn’t have to be just a holiday pet event, but can be a year-round, once a month event.
Here is how it works: Humans and their dogs walk all together in a pack, creating a community where you can get your brand out there to relevant people. Often times it is a one or two-mile loop.
The dog walking would typically work best in a subdivision or where there are a lot of apartment complexes, anywhere where you could walk a big circle. You may even be able to do a mile loop where you “pick up” and “drop off” people along the way.
The biggest advantage is all the advertising that comes with it at each apartment complex once they agree to it.
Dog Hiking Club
Are you a little more of an “off the beaten path” type of person? If so, a dog hiking club may be a better fit for you and your community than a typical walk around the neighborhood.
To do this, it would be very similar to starting a walking club but you would want to find hiking trails best suited for large packs and pups of all breed and ages.
If you have already created a blog with the best dog walking trails in your area, you might want to start with that. Consider reaching out to hiking clubs and see if they wanted to partner with you on an event with a twist… with the dogs!
Dog Park Date
Create a holiday pet event within the community you’ve already established and invite your clients to the dog park for a date!
With this event, it’s up to you to be creative on what the event will entail.
Will you host a raffle?
Will there be a flyball or find the treat contest?
This event is perfect to meet new people.
In doing so, you’ll be reaching out to the happy hour crowd who already goes to the dog park but now you’ll be able to get your name out there. While there, you may even meet people outside of your clientele.
The classic Christmas celebration, taking a picture with Santa. No matter what you celebrate typically this type of holiday pet event attracts all types of people.
Host the event yourself by:
- Partnering up with a local Pet Store
- Get a trainer to dress up as Santa
- Hire a Photographer or do it yourself
- Order a Christmas backdrop off Amazon
- Make the pictures available on your Facebook page
- Invite everyone you know!
The Main Idea of Pet Events
The main idea of these pet events is to bring more exposure to your brand. You have to remember that not everyone is going to be ready to buy your services immediately, but getting to know you and what you stand for will make you memorable when they do need your services or even their friends.
Also, remember that these events are not about how many people show up to the event but all that you get to do to attract them to the event. All the promotions, fliers hung in the elevators or put in the pet store bags. All of this helps to ensure that your community gets to know your brand in a fun way that you are giving back and celebrating their bond with their pets!
I’m a cat specific service provider, any ideas for me?
Gosh great question. It would be hard to have cats at an event, but maybe if you have a cattery around the area or just a meet up of your clients? – Bella