Event Prep

Timeline For Hosting a Rug Event — Begin Here

The timeline is the keystone of rug event preparation. Begin with the timeline and follow the guidelines for Logistics, Education, Promotions and Financial to guide you to further detail. Using this approach, we have cut down on repetition and shown managers exactly what to do and where to go to find how to do it. In depth information for Logistics, Education and Financial can be found by following the links under Event Prep. All Promotions are found under the main link Promotions.

Use The Timeline To Guide Your Way

Pre Event DO NOW

  • Fill out and return the rug event agreement sent to you by the rug event coordinator.
  • Confirming:
    • Dates for your event
    • Event location
    • Event hours
    • Seminar dates and times (staff and customer seminars)
    • Unloading and loading times (if possible)
  • Build up your snail mail list, email list and Facebook fan list so promotion sent can be effective.
  • Display four sample rugs kept from van inventory year round.
  • Ordering postcards: BEST PRACTICE is to place one large order of postcards that you will need for handing out, bagstuffing and bulk mailing. Order now to have in hand to pass out during the Holidays, your busiest time of the year, and reserve some for bulkmailing and handouts to be done nearer to your event.

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10 Month Pre Event

  • Subscribe to the Bunyaad Rug Event Blog and have new posts flow into your email. This blog is the main line of communication about hosting a rug event between the rug event coordinator and rug managers. Stores are urged to make this an interactive forum by commenting on posts and raising questions.

    Note: You are not subscribed until you confirm an email that will be sent to your inbox.

  • Begin educating yourself to fulfill the role of a talker (able to work with customers and bring a rug to sale).
  • Choose a person who can be talker 2 who can serve as a seller during busier times including after the Customer Seminar. This person should begin taking the Online Training Sessions at this time.
  • Begin educating your board, staff and volunteers about the rugs and the rug program and share event information with them. Give each one a copy of the Rug DVD to watch more than once! This gives them ownership in the event, and they will spread the news about your event. More focused education happens 3 months out.
  • Plan and budget for the expenses surrounding your rug event including platforms and promotions.
  • Assign a “handy person” among your staff, board or volunteer pool to construct the platforms.
  • Post your ______ Days Until (Year round).
  • Display Rug Event Brochures (year round). Make sure rug event listing insert is current. Ask other Ten Thousand Villages stores (or any store that will promote your event) within 150 mile radius to display rug brochures to drive customers to your event. Many stores place a sticker with their Event Information on the brochure’s front cover.
  • Display the Rug Pictorial Book. (Year round) Use this as a conversation starter and to illustrate how to use our rugs in different rooms.
  • Have the Introduction to Oriental Rugs DVD available at your store. (year round) If you show other DVDs, begin showing the rug DVD at times. Give a DVD to customers who show great interest. Ask board/staff/volunteers to hand several to their friends.
  • Begin talking to customers about your upcoming rug event and give them a brochure. Show them the website address rugs.tenthousandvillages.com on the back of the brochure and encourage them to visit the website to read about the quality and types of rugs coming to your store and how fair trade produces heirloom quality rugs while giving a living wage to the artisans. Show them how to use the search utility to locate rugs of specific sizes and types in our inventory.


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7 Month Pre Event

  • Begin to plan the promotion of your event. Read the Promotion Resources section of the website and talk with the rug event coordinator to decide what will best promote your event and stay within your budget. Place your order for all promotion pieces needed from the Bunyaad Rug Room at this time using the Order Form following each promo section. This will insure that items ordered will be ready in plenty of time to promote your event. Items can be ordered anytime.
  • Request a press release from the rug event coordinator for future use.
  • Explore space for Print Ads in magazines, newspapers, community publications and concert event programs, and order Ad design from the Bunyaad Rug Room.
  • Explore space for Online Ads on community websites, business bureau websites, public radio station websites, e-newsletters & websites of other Fair Trade stores in your area, etc., and order Ad design from the Bunyaad Rug Room.
  • Plan the placement of your yard signs by asking individuals (staff, board and volunteers, store friends and former rug customers) to place yard signs in their yards.
  • Identify area churches (Contact your staff, board and volunteers’ home churches and those with a link to your store.) that would be willing to host a yard sign or post a blurb about your rug event in their church newsletters during the last months before your event, and in their bulletin during the last month before the rug event. Make contact, ask permission early, and explain that the sale of these rugs is “beyond retail” and serves the purpose of job creation, empowerment of women and men, education of children and peace building between Muslims and Christians.
Promotions continues
  • Begin mentioning your rug event on your Facebook page. Get verbiage and pictures of artisans from the Images/Stories page in the Promotion section. Start early (about once per month) to keep the rug event date fresh in customers’ minds and increase frequency of posts as you near your rug event.
  • Begin tweeting about your rug event and increase frequency as you near your event.
  • Explore Radio Underwriting Time, TV Time.
  • If you wish to use a TV spot to promote your event, it must be planned now.
  • Appoint a board, staff member or volunteer to become an ambassador for the rug event. Schedule talks 1–3 months out from your event about the rug program in community gatherings, church forums or Sunday School classes or even in Sunday Services. Taking the Online Training Sessions will supply all an ambassador needs to know. Check out the Ambassadors for Fairly Traded Rugs within the DVDs/Sample Rugs/Etc. page in the Promotion Section for an outline of a 30 minute presentation.
  • Begin to take rug brochures/postcards etc. to offsite events now until your rug event.
  • Determine jobs that can be delegated to volunteers and recruit for these.

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6 Month Pre Event

  • Stores that did not choose to keep rugs on display year round should request sample rugs now from the rug event coordinator and display within your store from now until your event.
  • Post your rug event in as many Calendars of Events as possible. (Assign to a volunteer.)
  • Plan for creative ways to use the Introduction to Oriental Rug DVD; hand to interested customers, community groups, high schools, church forums, peace and justice college departments, etc. Stores get 20 complimentary DVD’s and then can buy them from the Bunyaad Rug Room at $2.00 each.
  • Plan for a Pre-Event Party 1–3 months out from your event.
  • Post once about your rug event on Facebook.

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5 Month Pre Event

  • Post once about your rug event on Facebook.
  • Begin including your rug event in your store’s newsletters or emails, adding just a “Save the Date” at first and then more/different information as the months go by. Remember to create links to:
    • your personal rug event page that tells all about your event (on the rug website under events)
    • the rug website: http://rugs.tenthousandvillages.com.

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4 Month Pre Event

  • Postcards—Time to order these if you have not done so before. If you are mailing your postcards, set mailing date so that postcards are in customers’ hands one month before your event.
  • Send out blurbs to churches to be printed in their newsletters and bulletins leading up to your event.
  • Distribute rug event posters to community locations.
  • Begin playing the rug DVD within your store. This can be near the rug display or __Days Until Sign and should have rug brochures in proximity.
  • Post a cheat sheet for staff and volunteers to use in answering rug event related calls.
  • Post twice about your rug event on Facebook.

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3 Month Pre Event

  • Ambassadors for Fairly Traded Rugs talk to community groups.
  • Posters, Sidewalk Signs, Yard Signs and Banners (or patches)—Time to order if you haven’t done so before.
  • Order DVDs for heavier traffic leading up to your event.
  • Play Rug DVD continuously in store.
  • Post twice about your rug event on Facebook.
  • Increase your focus on educating your staff and volunteers. Send them the link to the Online Training Sessions. Plan a social gathering to get everyone on board and excited about your upcoming event.

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2 Month Pre Event

  • Ten Thousand Villages Stores: We will send you a package including web ad, images, text and HTML code to promote your rug event on your website. You will also receive three email inserts to fit inside your Listrak template. Use as is, or personalize at your discretion.
  • Alliance Stores: We will contact you individually about your e-marketing needs (ex. a link to your personal rug event page, current images, web ad) We encourage you to send out rug event information through your current e-marketing venue.
  • Send press releases to TV and Radio stations (include PBS and NPR) and follow up with calls to the appropriate individuals.
  • Posters—Time to distribute around town and hang in your store.
  • Hold Pre-Event Promotion Party.
  • Ambassadors for Fairly Traded Rugs talk to community groups.
  • Plan for volunteers to hand-write invitations to former rug buyers and customers who took rugs home on approval or to targeted potential rug customers. (send out next month)
  • Post twice about your rug event on Facebook.

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1 Month Pre Event

  • Send out press releases to newspapers, and follow up with calls to the appropriate individuals.
  • Radio Spots (NPR advised) should be run a week before your event and the full week of your event.
  • Run Cable TV ads now, increasing in quantity as your rug event nears and during your event.
  • Print ads in magazines should run in the copy preceding the rug event.
  • Print ads in newspapers should run the week before your event and your event week. (2 week lead time needed to design ads.)
  • Online ads should run 3–4 weeks before your event and your event week. (2 week lead time)
  • Hold Pre Event Promotion Party.
  • Ambassadors for Fairly Traded Rugs talk to community groups.
  • Hang your Rug Event Panel Sign.
  • Hang your rug banner.
  • Set out your Sidewalk Sign.
  • Distribute your yard signs.
  • Post weekly about your event on Facebook to build excitement. Include pictures!
  • Rug DVD should be playing continuously in your store.


  • Postcards to customers should be in customers’ hands by this time.
  • Move rug displays to front of store.
  • Send out invitations to customers who previously bought rugs or took rugs home on approval and to potential rug customers. These customers already know and love our rugs. Bunyaad records show that after their initial rug purchase, the average customer returns about five times for other rug purchases.
  • Post each week about your rug event until the week of your event, then post every day including pictures of your event on Facebook.
  • Set up your volunteer schedule. During the event on selling days you will want 2 volunteers that can help the 2 reps flip rugs and one person (usually the rug event manager) who can serve as a “talker” to assist if both reps are busy. More talkers and flippers will be needed for busiest times. Remember to schedule extra flippers to be available after the Customer Seminar!
  • Arrange for 8–10 or more strong volunteers to help with unloading and loading of the rugs. Many stores are using athletic teams.
  • Ask any board and staff who are working at the rug event to plan to be present at the customer seminar held either before the store opens on the first day of the event or after unloading. Volunteers who work the event are encouraged to attend as well.
  • Encourage all board, staff and volunteers to plan to attend the customer seminar.

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Event Week

Day Before Your Event

  • Rearrange in-store merchandise.
  • Provide a large TV—27″ or larger to run the Intro to Oriental Rugs DVD continually on the sales floor during the event. (Rug reps will bring along projector, DVD player and screen.)
  • Set up platforms. (Platforms must be set up before rugs arrive.)
  • Provide a table about 2′ x2′ to hold the scanning equipment and place by your store’s entrance during unloading.
  • Prepare volunteers to take direction from reps during unloading and set up.
  • Scanning person must be present at the hour of unloading.
  • Make sure that sample rugs are at the event location and get scanned as inventory present at the event.
  • If your event is off site be sure to have lots of signage within and outside your store and at the off-site location telling customers that your rug event is happening now with directions to the event!

Week Of Your Event

  • Assign a volunteer to post daily reports on Facebook about your rug event including pictures from your event and close ups of customers and rugs. Be creative!
  • Last minute calls to TV stations to visit your event, take footage and interview reps or manager may be needed if it is a slow news day!
  • Running on low on DVD’s? The rug reps have a supply.

Week Of Your Event continues

  • Rug event manager should be at event full time taking the role of the local person who is excited about and can vouch for the quality of Bunyaad rugs and the mission of fairly traded rugs. The Rug Manager is Talker #1 who can bring a customer to a sale if the reps are busy.
  • Encourage all board, staff and volunteers to attend the Customer Seminar.
  • Set up chairs and refreshments for the Customer Seminar.
  • At least 2 store staff need to know how to ring through rugs; The reps should not ring up sales.
  • Watch for times when more volunteers may be needed to help and have a plan for on-call volunteers.
  • Last Day at closing:
    • Make calls to customers with rugs still out on approval (several hours before event ends) asking if they wish to return or purchase the rug.
    • Make sure your volunteers are present at the stated time. Rug reps will explain the process of rolling up and carrying out rugs properly so the rugs remain tightly rolled until they are in the van.
    • Set up the scanning table and have volunteer ready to scan.
    • Make sure manager has chosen the rugs that will remain at the store and that last year’s sample rugs get scanned into the van. (Manager may opt to only ask for sample rugs 6 months out from their event.)
    • Keep your Rug Event Panel Sign and Rug Pictorial Book at your store.

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Post Event

  • Pay rug event invoice sent by the rug event coordinator.
  • Manage any rugs that remain out on approval.
  • Manage any returns after the event.
  • Keep a list of names and addresses of customers who buy rugs and customers who have taken rugs home on approval each year. This list can be the customers that receive personal invitations to your next rug event. They also should become part of your mailing and/or emailing list for future rug events.
  • Send Thank You Cards to customers who bought rugs.
  • Remove your yard signs promptly after your event.
  • Store your Rug Event Panel Sign for use next year with new date panels that we will send to you.
  • Send copies of you rug event advertisements and any press coverage you received (print, radio, TV, screenshot of web ads) to the rug event coordinator.
  • Talk with rug event coordinator about dates you would like for your next rug event.
  • Rug event coordinator will call store to hear manager’s impressions of the rug event.

Begin promoting your rug event as soon as you know your dates for the following year. This should include:

  • Encourage customers who are interested in rugs during the year to go to the rug website to become familiar with Bunyaad’s rugs and mission. If a customer would like to purchase a rug before your next event, please ask them to communicate with the staff at the Bunyaad Rug Room via the website or by calling 717-721-8800.
  • Restock your Oriental Rug brochures (ordered from Ten Thousand Villages Akron in packs of 50 at no cost—SKU 2200080). Remember to keep these brochures current as the insert is dated with events. Place a sticker with your store’s event information on the front panel of the brochure.
  • Display your __Days Until poster, rug brochures with new inserts, Rug Pictorial Book and sample rugs year round. This will initiate conversation about the rugs throughout the year. Keep several Intro to Oriental Rug DVDs at your store for year round rug promotion. (ordered from the Coordinator for $2 each)