Successful Open House Educates Customers, Creates Leads

Girardin Blue Bird hosted an open house at its Quebec location to educate hundreds of potential customers about school buses fueled by propane autogas. The Girardin team invited outside experts to offer a well-rounded day, and more importantly, create sales leads. The event drew almost 300 people, with approximately 80 being owner / operators.

Girardin Blue Bird shares the following tips for hosting your own open house, targeting potential alternative fuel school bus customers:

Send personal invitations. Girardin sent out personal invitations to the company’s entire customer contact database – both current and potential customers. This led to hundreds of well-qualified people attending the event.

Create a compelling agenda. Both dealer employees and representatives from outside organizations presented, creating a captivating agenda and giving customers a reason to attend. The agenda included:

  • Micro Bird Type A and Blue Bird Vision bus displays.
  • An alternative fuels session.
  • New product presentations.
  • The technical service discussion about the Ford 6.8L V10 engine. Representatives from Ford of Canada.
  • A speaker from the Quebec Propane Alliance.

Think about the facility. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to create a first impression. Dave and his team made sure that their facility was clean, bright and interactive. Here are some ways Girardin prepared its facility for the open house:

  • Placed lights shining on the walls and on vehicles.
  • Waxed the floors.
  • Staged a propane autogas bus near fueling infrastructure.
  • Created a section displaying a gasoline bus.
  • Set up a table with all diesel engine components that aren’t on a propane autogas or gasoline model.
  • Displayed parts pyramids to show available school bus parts.
  • Set up 15 vehicles inside its 57,000-square-foot facility.
  • Catered dinner.

Offer specials. The company offered some incentives for being at the open house. Here are examples:

  • Upon arrival, attendees would be guided to the parts department where they were offered a parts booking privilege (a percentage discount on orders before a certain deadline with better terms).
  • Customers who completed a “Priority Booking” form could receive a private training session.
  • With each bus purchase, an attendee would be entered to win a $1,500 hotel gift certificate.

Are you interested in hosting an open house at your facility, and want some ideas or an extra set of hands to help? Call your ROUSH CleanTech regional business development manager today.