Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Question.

Hello online world. Can you help. I hope you can.
We like the shop to have lots of people in it. Not necessarily people buying books (although this clearly helps us to remain open), but people using the shop as a venue for activities and clubs.
At the moment we have 4 reading groups, a writers group, a monthly boardgames club, a monthly knitting club. We turn the shop into a market once a month on a Sunday, where people sell their locally produced goods (it's happening this Sunday from 10am to midday). We do storytelling on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 11am.
Most of these things happen during the day, while the shop is still open.
And we'd like to do more of them.
Can any of you lot think of regular events/clubs/meet-ups that we can hold in the bookshop during the day. For example, chess club, flower arranging, art class etc. Things that we can do that won't get in the way of customers coming in (should that happen).
Please have a think and let us know.


Maggie Bob said...

If you want to have crafting sessions, I make cards etc and have a buttload of spare craft stash I can donate too...

MorningAJ said...

I hate it when I see ads for a group I'd like to join or a course I'd like to take and it says 12.30 - 3 on Tuesdays. (or whatever) I work for a living. I can't take up anything during the day. Why only day time?

Simon Key said...

Hello MorningAJ. Thanks for the question.
There is an event or a group in the shop on at least 3 evenings a week.
The knitting is on Sunday, as are boardgames. The market also occurs on a Sunday. We have a reading group and a writing group that meet in the evenings and also we usually have an author event at least once a week. People who work Monday to Friday 9-5 are able to attend these.
We had a comittee meeting (we have a committee made up of our customers) which discussed evening events recently, so it's not something that we're ignoring. But
this blogpost is specifically about filling the shop during the week, when many people are working. These are our quieter times and we don't like quieter times.
The other thing to mention is that Tim, Mark and myself also work for a living. We already spend a huge amount of time working in or for the bookshop. This includes nearly every weekend and a great number of evenings. Whilst we love doing this, we also love seeing our families and the thought of doing more evenings than we already do is not something that I really want to contemplate.
Having said all that, if you have any ideas for courses or groups you'd like us to do, i'd be really happy to hear them.

Li said...

Well, I used to work in a book shop; we had a kid's storytime and/or craft at least once a week (which brought in a LOT of traffic). I don't know what your space constraints are, but we featured community type events like hosting the local service dog trainers to give talks and a herpetologist from the local college to talk about reptiles (yes, he brought his snakes along).

PeterP said...

Archery. Have you ever considered archery? You hold an archery shoot in your bookshop I guarantee you will go viral. Hope that helps.

Under The Hood said...

What about a walk-through swap table? Prime it with, say, 50 books. Anyone can drop off a book they no longer want, but they must pick up a book and take it with them? Or else anyone buying a book can pick one from the table for free? Maybe get in people who love/hoard books and get them to start thinking of rotating their stock?

Meghan said...

Pop-up cafe?
Pop-up shop in a shop?

Anonymous said...

Why not do something for your more mature customers - an over 60's club?

dianne @ icefloe said...

Do you ever like to have people selling jewellery at your markets? because I make jewellery and would love an excuse to spend a day in the shop!

drop me an email if you ever have a spare spot.

dianneohdeer (at)

Goodynuff Mum said...

If you had a nice group for parents and babies (perhaps and under 1s and a 1-3) I would totally come, with baby of course. Would be nice to have one that isn't a reading group or an activity session but just a turn up, have a chat and a cuppa, browse your kids books etc type thing. So hard to meet interesting parents who can talk about things other than weaning and poo and I imagine those you would attract might be able to talk about other stuff too (like sick and wee for example).