In my town, businesses of all types and industries are getting into the event business.They’re offering howto demos, social gatherings, night outs, and a lot more. Best of all,they’re collaborating with some unlikely partners.

Using a similartype ofcollaboration can help you reach new audiences, enhance yourofferings, and drive sales.Here are 15 innovative partnership ideas that can benefitsmall businesses across various industries.

Even if you don’t see your industry in the list below,you can use these ideastogetthinking about what businesses could be good referral(and jointevent)partnersfor you.Remember, the more creative, the better.You don’t need to be in complementaryindustries, you just want to find another business who may share a similar (but not thesame) audience.You can alsoask yourself, “what would my audience want that is not indirect competition with what I do?”

Here’s what’s going on in my area:

  • Bars pairing with floral designerscreate your own floral arrangement (with thehelp of a pro) while you enjoy a beverage or two.
  • Bookstore hosting an event ata winebarbecause readers and writers like todrink.
  • Metaphysicalspeakers at a local organic product store
  • Yoga studio pairing with the local nature preserve.
  • A toy store,ice cream vendor, and a local park creating a popup event forpreschoolers

That’s just the beginning.

Here are a few other ideas of what you might do with a newfound pairing.

  1.  Fitness Studio and Health Food Store
    1. Joint Events and Programs. Host wellness workshops, nutrition seminars, or fitnesschallenges together. The fitness studio can offer workout classes, while the health foodstore provides healthy snacks and nutrition advice.
    2. Referral Program.Offer discounts to each other’s customers.
    3. Newsletter Guest Appearances. Feature each other in newsletters, blogs, or invideos, sharing health tips, recipes, and fitness advice to engage both audiences.
  2.  Art Gallery and Local Café
    1. Art Exhibitions and Coffee Tastings.Organize art shows at the café, where patronscan enjoy local artwork while sipping on specialty coffee. The art gallery can also hostcoffee tastings during their exhibitions.
    2. Social Media Collaborations.Share each other’s events and promotions on socialmedia, attracting art lovers and coffee enthusiasts alike.
    3. Customer Loyalty Programs.Offer adiscountwhere customers at both businessesreceive a discount on the other or special gift for visiting.
  3.  Pet Grooming Salon and Pet Supply Store
    1. Pet Care Workshops.Host workshops on pet grooming, nutrition, and training. Thegrooming salon can demonstrate grooming techniques, while the pet supply store offersproducts and advice.
    2. CrossPromotions.Feature each other’s services and products instore andonline.For example, the grooming salon can promote special offers on pet supplies, and thepet supply store can highlight grooming packages.
    3. Community Events.Organize pet adoption events or charity drives for animal shelters,enhancing both businesses’community involvement and visibility
  4. Yoga Studio and Organic Skincare Shop
    1. Wellness Retreats.Collaborate on wellness retreats or daylong events that combineyoga sessions with skincare workshops and organic product samples.
    2. InStore PopUps.Theskincare shop can set up a popup at the yoga studio to sellproducts and provide skin consultations after classes.
    3. Joint Social Media Campaigns.Share wellness tips, yoga poses, and skincareroutines on social media, reaching a broader audience interested in holistic health.
  5. Toy Store and Childrens Bookstore
    1. Storytime and Play Sessions. Host joint events where kids can enjoy story timereadings followed by play sessions with toys related to the stories. My local bookstoredoes “Stuffy Stories,” where guests are welcome to bring their favorite stuffed animalsto enjoy the story too. You could easily incorporate this idea with a local toy storediscount coupon for attending
    2. Holiday Gift Guides.Create and share holiday gift guides featuring toys and books,helping parents find the perfect presents while promoting both stores.
  6. Wine Store and Caterer/Restaurant
    1. Wine Pairing Dinners.Collaborate on wine pairing dinners where the restaurantprovides a gourmet meal paired with wines selected by the wine store
    2. Tasting Events.Host joint tasting events, offering samples of wines and appetizersfrom the restaurant, attracting food and wine enthusiasts.
    3. CrossPromotions.Feature each other’s offerings instore and online. The wine storecan promote the restaurant’s events and vice versa, enhancing visibility for bothbusinesses
  7. Bike Shop and Outdoor Adventure Company
    1. Guided Bike Tours.Organize guided bike tours that explore local trails andscenicroutes. The bike shop can provide equipment, while the adventure company leads thetours and offers outdoor expertise
    2. Workshops and Clinics.Host workshops on bike maintenance and outdoor survivalskills, attracting cycling enthusiasts and adventure seekers
    3. Referral Incentives.Offer referral incentives where customers who purchase a bike geta discount on adventure trips, and vice versa
  8. Bakery and Flower Shop
    1. Bridal Showers and Events.Partner to host bridal showers, weddings, and otherevents where the bakery provides cakes and pastries, and the flower shop offers floralarrangements.
    2. Seasonal Promotions.Create seasonal promotions with themed baked goods andfloral arrangements, suchas Valentine’s Day packages or holiday gift baskets
    3. Customer Appreciation Days.Host customer appreciation events with complimentarysamples of baked goods and small floral bouquets, thanking loyal customers of bothbusinesses
  9. Photography Studio and Event Planner
    1. Wedding Packages.Offer comprehensive wedding packages that include photographyservices and event planning, providing a onestop solution for couples
    2. Joint Marketing Efforts.Feature each other’s services in brochures, websites, andsocial media, showcasing how the collaboration enhances the overall event experience
    3. Referral Program.Establish a referral program where each business refers clients tothe other, with discountsor bonuses as incentives
  10. Music School and Instrument Store
    1. Music Workshops.Host music workshops and masterclasses where the music schoolprovidesinstruction,and the instrument store showcases and sells instruments
    2. Concert Series.Organize a concert series featuring students from the music schoolperforming with instruments from the store, drawing in audiences from both customerbases
    3. Collaborative Content.Create and share content such as tutorials, instrument caretips, and performance videos on social media and YouTube, engaging and educatingfollowers

More Creative Collabs

  •  Custom furniture maker and interior design studio
  • Vintage clothing store and record shop
  • Local theater and fine dining restaurant
  • Herbal tea shop and yoga retreat center
  • Artisan chocolate shop and wine bar

By forming creative partnershipswith otherbusinesses, youcan leverage each other’sstrengths to attract new customers, enhance their offerings, and drive sales.If you don’tknowwho to partner with, ask your local chamber. They can help youfindacomplementary business with shared values and goals, andmake the introduction for you.

 Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with smallbusinesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression andgrow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, andis currentlyreading three books at once