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Retailers Discuss How Names Impact Class, Event Attendance

When it comes to creating cooking class and event schedules, there is one thing that some gourmet housewares retailers may not be aware of when planning — the name of the class or event they are marketing.

While these names can serve as a way to attract customers to register for a class, they can also cause them to shy away from the experience.

Honeycomb Kitchen, based in Rogers, AR, does a heavy rotation of classes, said owner Melissa Turpin. One of the most popular of those classes, she said, is the store’s cookie decorating class, which almost always sells out. However, in an attempt to shake things up a bit, the owners decided to try to mix things up with some more advanced techniques.

“We didn’t want to make it sound scary so we called it an intermediate cookie decorating class,” said Turpin. “The terminology when marketing that class, it terrified people.” She explained that she had people asking questions about the difficulty level and techniques used in the class and quickly decided the class was going to be out of their realm.

“People immediately backed away from that class when we were always able to sell out and we couldn’t sell out that class. We learned from that to just call it cookie decorating,” she said. “Really pay attention to the terminology you use and try not to scare people off it seems like someone people will shy away from.

Susan Dolinar, owner of Winchester, VA-based Nibblins, had a similar issue as well. She explained that she put a “burgers three ways” class on the store’s schedule during the summer months and she quickly realized it was stalling.

“I have this following of people who are into my healthy eating classes, so we decided to make it a Keto class. All we needed to do was make a gluten-free bun — the burgers are already Keto. And once we did that, we sold the class,” she said.

Dolinar has kept this up, adding interesting classes with a healthy twist and has reaped the benefits of the name change.

“We’ve taken some of the classes we thought were interesting and now when we put ‘healthy eating’ in front of them, people get excited. They don’t think that they can eat that way and we can show them how easy it is,” she said.

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