Coffee is growing in popularity. In fact, coffee is the most popular drink in the world with over 400 billion cups being drank every year.
And this mind-boggling rate of consumption isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Quite the opposite – the rate of coffee consumption actually grows by about 1.3% each year.
Perhaps because of this amazing popularity, coffee shops are popping up everywhere, too. The majority of the time, these local coffee shops can offer a more intimate feel than large national chains.
This makes them perfect for hosting events and becoming a community hub. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ll illustrate a few of the best coffee shop event ideas for you in this guide.
Why Should you Host an Event in Your Coffee Shop?
At a glance, hosting an event can seem costly. Time is money, after all, and it takes time planning, organizing, and advertising each event.
But the payoff can be worth it. An Eventbrite poll found that more adults than ever are attending live events.
The right event can bring in a crowd of people, and word of mouth advertising is free. It’s a great opportunity to show off your establishment, from your drinks to your décor to your friendly baristas.
And if that wasn’t convincing enough, 70% of guests at an event hosted by a business report becoming regular customers afterward. So on top of drawing a crowd that will probably buy drinks during the experience, it’s likely you’ll get loyal customers coming back time after time.
Furthermore, a whopping 84% of people at events say they leave afterward with an overall good opinion and feeling for the business. And if they’re feeling positive about you, they’ll probably tell their friends and family all about your establishment.
In a nutshell, each event is an opportunity to wow people and turn a one-time patron into a dependable regular customer.
Best Coffee Shop Event Ideas
Local Club and Organization Meetings
People crave forming connections with like-minded individuals. Part of this leads to a lot of clubs and groups that form with regular member gatherings.
This is a great opportunity for you to open your doors to them and solidify your own position in the community. By giving local groups a welcoming place to meet, you could very well secure their regular patronage for future gatherings.
If you have a billboard where local advertisements are kept, consider putting up a welcoming sign letting people know that they should ask you about hosting gatherings. Otherwise, consider mentioning it on any of your social media pages.
Perhaps one of the greatest forms of publicity is that which comes from a business contributing to a charitable cause. Just think about how many times you’ve heard about a company in your city helping out a cause in need, and how positively it affected your opinion of them.
Holding events meant to raise awareness for charities, like local animal shelters, is a fantastic way to communicate to your potential clientele that you share their values. And when customers feel like you share their values, they’ll want to spend more time in your shop.
Open Mic Nights
There are probably tons of creative people in your community just waiting for the chance to demonstrate their talents. You can give them the platform they need.
If you have the space, set up a stage with a microphone. Post ads in your shop and online about how to sign up for your upcoming open mic night.
You’ll get a range of people to put on a low-cost show for your customers. And more likely than not, any performances will bring in supportive friends and family for you to serve.
Musical Shows and Concerts
If your area has a lively music scene, you’re in a great position to support it. By setting aside a time to offer your space to local musicians, you can both bolster your community and make coffee or food for any of the attendees.
Fans of any acts will come, giving you the perfect chance to wow them with your space and drinks. You can even potentially pad out any down times you experience by planning shows during traditionally slow hours.
Coffee and art just go hand in hand naturally. High-end coffee shops will literally combine these two things with latte art consisting of delicate and beautiful patterns made with milk foam.
You can take this a step further by using your walls to display art. It can be locally made, or from other artists who have contacted you.
Plan for those early afternoon slumps by hosting an art show displaying local talent at those times. If you work with the artist, you can even arrange to split the proceeds of some of the sales if anyone buys art at the show.
Like many of the other options on this list, it’s a wonderful way to build a bond with your community. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to beautify your walls with some meaningful art, even if only temporarily.
Businesses are always looking for relaxing places to meet with clients or to take employees for outings. A coffee shop can be just the way to accomplish these goals, as well as take a little break from the office.
Some studies have shown that the average office employee goes through four cups of coffee a day. As you can see, bringing the coffee shop to them is a golden opportunity for you.
If you have any back rooms or private dining areas, you could potentially set up a conference space. Provide a nice, quiet place for professionals to meet over a fresh, steaming cup of coffee and you could earn yourself a sterling reputation with the business community in your city.
Become a Rentable Venue
With the popularity of coffee, it shouldn’t be a surprise that many people want to include it in their own personal events.
In fact, in 2016, a couple in Milwaukee hosted a wedding reception in a coffee shop. The reception had 150 guests.
It’s possible your shop might not be set up to host an event of this magnitude. However, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t rent your space briefly for smaller events, such as birthday parties, reunions, bridal showers, or other similar gatherings.
You spent time deciding on how to decorate your coffee shop. There’s a real possibility that a regular thinks your space is so beautiful and your coffee so delicious, that they’d love to have an event of their own in your shop.
Auctions can be used for a variety of purposes. They can be used to make a private profit split between the venue and the seller, or they could even be used to raise money for a charity.
The issue is, a traditional auction can be a little noisier than what you might generally want in your coffee shop. That's where silent auctions come in.
Silent auctions are auctions that are run without an auctioneer. Instead of calling out bids, buyers usually write their bids down on bid sheets.
That's what makes them optimal for bringing in customers looking for a bargain without disrupting your atmosphere.
You could work with customers to help them sell collectibles and items they want to get rid of. Or you could combine the silent auction with charity, and work with local charitable organizations to set it up.
Unless you live in a big city with lots of game stores, there might be a lack of places to go and geek out with friends. With a collection of board games, you can turn your coffee shop into a haven for geeky pursuits.
If you have one, consider visiting your local game shop and stocking up on some popular board games. Set these out on game night, and let the fun begin.
You could even have some of your baristas help teach customers how to play a particular game, if any are uncertain about the rules. It could be a welcome break for your employees, as well as a customer service opportunity for your visitors.
Trivia nights are a staple at many bars for some good reasons. They encourage patrons to participate, bring out the competitive side in people, and draw groups of friends and family.
Try bringing this same idea to your coffee shop. On slower nights, you could host a laid-back trivia event for your customers to participate in while they sip on a cup.
To make it extra-fun, increase the stakes. The winning player or team, for example, could get a gift card to your establishment to bring them back at a later time.
Events are the perfect way to get more customers. They also serve as an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself to new visitors and make a first impression.
The events on this list will help you make sure that first impression is a good one. That way, guests will remember you and perhaps want to come back for another visit to confirm their happy memories.