Insider Advice: Soraya Cayen’s Tips for Hosting Memorable Events



Soraya Cayen is serious about her events. The retailer and owner of fine jewelry showroom Cayen Collection in Carmel, Calif., hosts some of the most delightful, luxurious-feeling events and trunk shows on the West Coast, spotlighting exceptional fine jewelry collections such as Victor Velyan and Lydia Courteille. We asked Cayen to dish on her approach to planning and promoting in-store events.

Spread the Word

“For all of our events we have the same promotional format: We create campaigns that get sent via email to clients who have been edited for a particular designer. We’ll send out two or three blasts talking about and showing their [design] highlights. We also do posts on Facebook and Instagram. We don’t do Twitter; I just don’t think it’s worked well for our industry. And we do call some clients directly to invite them. I also believe in good old-fashioned print magazine ads. We place ads in semi-regional magazines, including one that goes up to San Francisco and all around Silicon Valley. And sometimes we do postcards if we think it makes sense. I think that a really well-devised marketing campaign has to encompass everything.”

Go Big or Go Home

“I approach every event in a different way and try to create something that has a feel that matches that of the artist. And I’m also not afraid to spend money to make my clients feel appreciated, with zero expectations for sales. I spend $20,000–$40,000 on average for a trunk show.”

Make It Special

“I don’t look at trunk shows as something that’s going to give me an immeditate fix in terms of revenue. I look at them in terms of long-term strategy. A giant chunk of what I spend on an event is the advertising. And I don’t do too many trunk shows, so they can all be special. I think one of the reasons why trunk show numbers are dwindling is that they aren’t special anymore. People have made trunk shows very common. Department stores run trunk shows almost every day of the week, and none of them are special.”

Consider a Two-Part Event

“One of the most successful events I had recently was a book signing with one of my artists—it was a book he was featured in. We invited everyone on our mailing list who had expressed interest in the event to a cocktail reception on a Saturday. Then we invited a smaller, separate, private group of clients to a luncheon with the designer. The most avid collectors of his work were there, and they were really excited to be there. I feel like the event really solidified his collection to the clients, and they went on to become stronger collectors of his work.”

Be Selective

“My best advice is to become more selective in the merchandise you’re inviting clients to view. Even your most loyal client has only X amount of time to dedicate to your event. We need to be more careful in how we match people and merchandise. Make an artist’s appearance a truly special event.” 

(Photo courtesy Cayen Collection)

 

 

 

 

 

 

JCK Magazine Editor