Three Months Before Your Event
Determine the specific activities that will take place, and start planning the number of sessions you will host and whether you will take reservations.
If desired, invite teachers or artists from the community to lead activities.
Start formulating your marketing and publicity plans for the event.
If direct mail is part of your marketing plan, consider renting our mailing list. A mailing list rental request should be submitted six weeks before the date of your mailing.
If you plan to request co-op reimbursement for your event expenses and will base your claim in part or in whole on indirect purchases, request purchase records from wholesalers. This will give you a sense of the co-op allowance available to you.
Six Weeks Before Your Event
Place an order for books, American Girl® magazine, an Event Kit, and any other special extras for your event.
Confirm with Customer Service the amount of co-op funds available to you.
If you are hosting a doll drawing, review the Doll Drawing Information, place your order, and submit an Ad Slick Request.
Four Weeks Before Your Event
Design a poster, flyer, and/or bag stuffer promoting your event.
Design print ads and/or write radio ad scripts.
Place insertion order(s) for newspaper and radio ad(s).
Mail invitations to your targeted list.
Send a press release to media contacts.
Start taking reservations from customers.
Create window and in-store book displays promoting your upcoming event.
Determine what refreshments and craft supplies will be needed. Approach other merchants to discuss craft and refreshment donations as well as cross-merchandising opportunities.
Check with your local library to see if appropriate period music for your event is available. Inquire into costume rental with local theater groups.
Confirm participation of teachers or other guests who will lead activities.
Two to Three Weeks Before Your Event
Run ads in local media.
Include bag stuffers promoting the event with the purchase of any children’s book.
Distribute flyers to local schools, libraries, and businesses.
Determine if extra staff needs to be scheduled the day of the event.
Follow up on press releases with media contacts.
Make sure books and giveaways have arrived.
The Week of the Event
Review the number of reservations, and decide if additional sessions will be needed.
Reconfirm the participation of teachers and other leaders.
Pick up donated supplies, costumes, and music.
Prepare bags of giveaways and/or coupons for guests.
The Day of the Event
Devise a “game plan” in which each staff member clearly understands his or her responsibilities during all phases of the event. Have a back-up plan in place in case the response to your event is overwhelming.
Be sure to capture the names and addresses of your guests, ideally through a drawing.
Ask guests for feedback on the event. You might have a form for them to fill out indicating what they liked best and least about the event, how they heard about it, and what they would like to see happen at your store’s next American Girl event.
The Week After Your Event
Evaluate your event, taking note of what worked and what didn’t, and what you will do differently at your next event.
Let our Customer Service department know the event results: the number of guests, number of books sold, activities that worked well, suggestions for other booksellers, etc.
Use reservation information and doll or book drawing ballots to update your mailing list of American Girl fans.
Gather supply receipts, printing and media invoices, doll drawing ballots, and any other items that need to be included with your co-op claim. Claims must be filed within 90 days of your event.