Ingram Blog

Literary Love: The Secret to Bookstore Speed Dating

An independent bookstore can provide a place for friends to gather, a cozy environment to read, or a communal spot where people can bond over the love of books. But have you considered your bookshop to be a potential place where more than the love of books can be found? Could your store deliver more romantic stories than the novels that lie on your bookshelf? We think so!

Independent bookstore owners looking for creative marketing endeavors and fun bookstore promotion ideas should consider hosting frequent events that offer attendees memorable experiences. A unique event that will get customers and the community talking about your store is literary speed dating. This popular and fun bookstore promotion helps like-minded people connect with each other while connecting with your bookstore and seeing how fun it is to be there!

Bookstore Speed Dating and How It Can Increase Store Traffic
What is better than sharing the love of books with someone who has the potential to be the love of your life? Speed dating is a matchmaking process that gives singles a chance to meet a variety of potential partners in a casual setting. The meeting usually occurs in a 5 to 10 minute time frame, called a mini date, and when the host signals that it’s time to move to the next “date,” everyone changes partners to meet another single. At the end of the event, participants tell the host who they are interested in, and they are given their contact information.

Your bookstore is the perfect location for a speed dating event, and a great way for your community to meet one another during a fun evening. Here are some tips to help you host the perfect speed dating event for your next bookstore promotion.

Tips for Hosting

  • Market Your EventHosting a successful literary speed dating night as an independent bookstore can serve as great promotion. You should begin to market and advertise your event a month or more in advance to ensure attendees have time to register and make plans to attend. Post on your social channels and share detailed information about the experience online. In addition to making signs and posters for your store, you might consider creating a Facebook event page and adding your function to local printed and online event calendars.
  • Choose a Theme – Adding a theme to your community bookstore event can attract more people and help attendees get in the mood to mingle. Fun ideas include a literary theme featuring a certain book or subject, holiday-oriented themes, decades, or literary speed dating for certain age groups. You could even host with a theme of making friends versus finding a dating partner.
  • Determine Your Fee – While not required,most speed dating hosts charge a fee in the form of a cover charge or registration fee which typically ranges anywhere from $20 to $50 per person. This is a great way to boost revenue in addition to retail sales.
  • Make Guests Feel Welcome – Take the time to prepare for the event and make it as inviting and comfortable as possible, remembering that singles may be a little nervous starting out. Offer a few snacks, some drinks, and some possible ice breakers to help guests feel comfortable. A “happily ever after story” is an amazing marketing tool for future independent bookstore events.
  • Stock Your Bookshelves- Make sure you are prepared for your attendees to shop. With over 17 million titles, we have an assortment of books that can help with hosting a speed dating bookstore event. Consider updating your endcaps, shelf- talkers or marketing displays to entice visitors to purchase new books for themselves or their new-found flames.

If You Plan It, They Will Come
So, what are you waiting for? Plan your bookstore speed dating event today to promote your shop, grow store traffic, and increase sales. If you are in need of more inspiration about promotional bookstore activities check out these other blog posts on how to spread the book love!