If it’s Saturday in Brockport, NY, you can count on Lift Bridge Book Shop to have an event for kids.
Every Saturday at 11:00 a.m., organizers at the store host “Saturdays at Lift Bridge Book Shop”–themed events, like Star Wars Day, Elephant and Piggie Adventures, Eric Carle Play Day, Dr. Seuss on the Loose, and a Minecraft event.
“We’ve always done events,” says co-owner Cody Steffen. “I wanted to do more and the nature of being a small, independent book store in the age of Amazon is that we have to provide an ‘experience’ that can’t be replicated over the internet.”
To keep the series going, events and tasks are divided among several people. Steffen says that he’s one of a few people who decide what events are happening and when, but then he relies on others to contribute ideas, do the necessary prep work, and run the actual events.
“I have run one event, we have one member of our permanent staff who runs about half of the events, then we have a couple of friends and family members who run them as well,” he says. “In March, we’ll have students from the nearby SUNY College at Brockport handling both our Star Wars and Harry Potter events. It’s exciting and encouraging to have so much enthusiastic outside help.”
They plan the events about 2 months in advance, and sometimes plan 2 to 3 months worth of events at a time. Then they promote each one through the store website, Facebook, Twitter, and individual event electronic mail blasts during the week leading up to each event. “We’ll occasionally pay for advertising in one of the small, local newspapers as well,” Steffen says.
They know their efforts are paying off when the event registrations reach capacity and they have to turn people away.