Ladies' Night event sees success for two collision repair shops

Jan. 17, 2017
Glaser’s Collision Center and Lefler Collision & Glass have each been hosting Ladies’ Night events for over 5 years to give women in their communities an opportunity to learn about automotive maintenance and collision-related information in an unintimidating environment.

Collision repair shops across the country are empowering the majority of decision makers for automotive repair: women. Two businesses in particular — Glaser’s Collision Center, headquartered in Jefferson, Kentucky, and Lefler Collision & Glass, with four shops in the Evansville, Indiana area — have each been hosting Ladies’ Night events for over five years to give women in their communities an opportunity to learn about automotive maintenance and collision-related information in an unintimidating environment.

Glaser’s Collision Center hosted its 6th annual Ladies’ Night last October, and Lefler Collision & Glass has been hosting its event for the past eight years, twice a year. Both shops have seen a significant increase in attendance as word in their respective communities spreads about the entertaining and informative event. Megan Williams, Marketing Director of Lefler Collision & Glass, explains, “Until about a year ago, we had around 100-120 women in attendance at our Evansville Ladies’ Night Out. With the implementation of social media, radio ads and a designated effort to grow our reach for this event, our most recent Ladies’ Night Out event hosted 190 women at our Evansville location and 45 women at our Henderson location.”

Lefler Collision & Glass teaches its attendees automotive maintenance at its biannual Ladies’ Night Out events.
Attendees at the October 2016 Ladies’ Night event at Glaser’s Collision Center learn about what to look for when purchasing used vehicles.

Glaser’s Collision Center’s Ladies’ Night event has also risen in popularity. Aaron Glaser, the Chief Operating Officer of Glaser’s, notes, “We started out with maybe 40 or so women 6 years ago, and since then the number of attendance rises every year — our most recent event was attended by 104 women. We focus on bringing value to them, not on selling them anything. I feel it is important for the ladies to be able to come through the doors and see the actual facility, not just the front office. The whole event, from the content, shopping, food and drinks, and valet parking is all to make them feel comfortable and to give them a fun and educational evening.”

The two businesses structure their Ladies’ Nights similarly: The event kicks off with food and drinks and an opportunity for attendees to peruse a variety of vendors and local businesses selling jewelry, clothing, kitchen items and more. The first educational session then commences and is followed by an intermission for attendees to revisit the refreshments and vendors. The women then rejoin for the final educational session. While some attendees will leave with a raffle prize in hand — anything from a gift basket to a free oil change to a flat-screen TV — no one goes home empty-handed. All attendees receive goody bags filled with various items and information.

A vendor at Glaser's offers free chair massages at the Ladies' Night event. Attendees of Lefler's Ladies' Night Out peruse the offerings of multiple vendors.

Glaser’s and Lefler’s educate attendees about both general care for their vehicles and collision-related information to offer them a comprehensive experience. Glaser explains, “At our most recent event we discussed general maintenance, such as how to change a tire and how to check and change your oil. During a break, we have stations so that they can practice what we just discussed. We have plenty of our technicians on-hand to answer any questions they may have during this time. After the break, we finish up with our next 45-minute seminar where we discuss something collision-related. This year we showed the ladies what to look for when purchasing a used vehicle — tell-tale signs of if it has been in a collision or not. We also cover what to do and what to expect if you get into a collision. We feel it is important to talk them through what to do — and not do — to remain safe.”

Lefler’s approach is similar. Williams notes, “We discuss topics such as what different vehicle fluids look like, insurance coverage and information, what to do if you get into a wreck and tire pressure safety. We also deploy a live airbag demonstration to show the speed and sound at which they deploy. We believe that empowering women of all ages is such an important role that we can help provide to make Evansville a strong city. Women are the majority of the decision makers when it comes to vehicle repair and maintenance, so we feel that empowering them when they walk into a repair facility or just to get a routine oil change is a very important step.”

Both businesses stress that their events are not about selling services but are rather about providing value and education to women in their communities. Inevitably, these memorable and engaging events help build trust and familiarity for the shops. Williams explains, “We have had many women mention to us afterwards or on our surveys that being able to come into our shop and meet our location managers and staff has influenced them to bring their vehicle to us to be repaired. We take gaining that trust very seriously, and all ladies leave with a business card of someone to directly call in case they find themselves in a wreck or just with a general question.”

Both businesses (Lefler-top, Glaser's-bottom) have seen significant growth in their events over the years.

For Glaser’s, Ladies’ Night bolsters brand recognition as well. Glaser details, “The event drums up some great publicity. Every year, we get some kind of media coverage of the event. Our Facebook page gets a great boost leading up to and following Ladies’ Night. Looking at our Facebook trends, the weeks of the event have the highest engagement of the entire year for our company.”

With the overwhelming success of these Ladies’ Night events, both businesses are working to expand education opportunities to other populations of their communities. Glaser’s is looking into an event for teen drivers, and Lefler’s plans to continue offering Little Ladies Day as they are approached by local Daisy and Girl Scout Troops. Williams notes, “We hope to help a troop gain their car care badge next spring. There is a definite need for this information, and we are happy to help.”

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