Updated: Jun 25
When I decided to open up my brick and mortar shop in 2022, I began making a list of everything I wanted to do in a store to help make it successful. One of those events listed was a monthly Pokemon Trade Night. When we opened the store one thing I noticed was the look on the kids eyes when they walked in the store and saw an inventory of Pokemon they hadn’t ever seen locally. Their eyes would light up with excitement. It was one of my favorite aspects of opening the store. I knew my first event , after Grand Opening , would be a Pokemon trade night.
When I scheduled the event I began telling everyone that bought Pokemon about the event. I explained to them what a trade night was and the word started spreading through the local community. I used social media and began promoting the event with Facebook ads. It seemed like in a blink of an eye the week of the event arrived. I began going through table set ups and getting the store prepped for people to easily be able to trade across tables and share cards. When I got everything set, the one thing that crossed my mind was “ what if nobody shows up?” All they way up to the event my worry of that became worse as I realized we scheduled on a major kids movie release day and easter weekend, where a lot of families take the opportunity to travel. Then it was time for people to start showing up and they did!
About 30 minutes before trade night was to start kids and their parents started showing up to grab their spots at the tables. The excitement in their eyes as most of them were coming to their first ever trade night. A father and his son even came dressed as pikachu. As trade night got closer and closer to starting I realized the tables set up were almost full. The worry was gone and my excitement started. It was time for for the event to start, I thanked everyone for coming and reminded them of the most important rule “please be fair with your trades”. Then like they’ve known each other forever the trades started getting done. Kids excitedly looking through each others binders, the adults helping kids complete trades, and the adults helping kids get cards they really wanted. I was busy at the counter helping customers coming into the store. When I was able to observe the trading parties were making sure the other side was good with the trade and almost every time they shook hands to seal the deal. It looked like some friendships were made and promises of other binders for next month. The kids were coming up to the counter showing me the cards they acquired and their excitement was what this event was about to me. A few of the kids even made trades with me and they were tough negotiators.
The most important thing about this trade night is I asked if there was anything else they’d like to see done for the next one. I took a few suggestions and will improve. One idea was creating a trade thread for those intending to attend to have deals in mind or for others to know what to bring. The general consensus was the event was fun and most couldn’t wait until the next one was scheduled. So after all my worries we had an event that customers were happy with and a crowd on the first trade night of around 20 people. I also have some ideas I will be implementing in the future of tying in other events into Pokemon trade night. I had no reservations of scheduling the next trade night for May 5th and can’t wait to see these kids enjoying themselves in the future, it was worth every second of putting this event together.