Photo by SDSU Library
Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays every year for people of all ages. And every year, parents look for safe spaces to bring their children that provide the excitement of trick or treating as well as the relief of being around people they trust. Local libraries and local book stores have increasingly become the nexus for safe space within their communities, and this does not stop during the Halloween season. This year, consider hosting a safe Halloween event for your community. Check out our tips on making your Safe Halloween successful!
Like any marketing venture, people can't attend your event if they don't know about it. Invest in flyers to put around town and in local shops and market. Utilize all social media outlets. Partner with a local newspaper. Have small postcard sized handouts to give patrons already visiting the library/bookstore. Make sure you are giving yourself at least two months of advertising leading up to the event in order to reach as many people in your community as possible.
Every year, comic publishers participate in Halloween ComicFest - an event much like Free Comic Book Day where local comic shops give away free Halloween-themed comic books to encourage current and new readers. Partnering with a local comic shop will allow you to provide free content for your patrons as well as drive business to both locations. To find local comic shops in your area, check out our Comic Shop Locator feature. Order cut offs for Halloween Comicfest end on August 3rd, so make sure to reach out as soon as possible. Check out the 2017 list of comics here!
Along with partnering with a local comic shop, content and activities provided by your event are important. With the popularity of superheroes, Spider-man and Batman costumes can be seen for miles. Be sure to include special comic/superhero based activities for the young crime fighters such as a Costume Contest or a Superhero Training activity where attendees enjoy superhero stories, create their own superhero identity and learn the importance of safety. Try partnering with your local police department to talk to attendees about real life superheroes as well.
Halloween is the last week in October, giving you several opportunities to bring patrons into your library/bookstore prior to the big event! Host reading days for special spooky titles. Have a scary movie night and pot luck. Partner with a local crafts shop to create a pumpkin carving night. The possibilities are endless, and it will keep your community walking through the doors until the much anticipated Halloween Special Event.
Along with finding spaces for their family to enjoy activities safely, parents are often just as excited to participate in executing these events. Talk to local PTA members about bringing on volunteers for decorating duties, chaperoning activities, and any other minor needs to help you focus on other details of the event.
Everyone loves Halloween for the candy and the opportunity to dress up as their favorite characters, so make sure every patron is leaving with a new book in hand so next year they can come back dressed up as a whole new favorite character. Halloween is a night of imagination, and it makes for the perfect opportunity to introduce your community to new formats or genres.
Along with hosting activities throughout the month, making sure you are providing diverse festivities during your event is important. Many activities can be done with little to no budget, including Costume Contests, Board Game Competitions with games you already have, Book Trivia, Movie Trivia, etc. While much of the Safe Halloween Event will naturally cater towards younger readers, make sure you are providing activities for patrons of all-ages to ensure an exciting experience for everyone.