As an official Apple retailer, the University Store at the University of Wyoming wanted to help their customers become experts on the technology they would be purchasing in their store.
The way they chose to do that was to put on a series of free workshops that focused specifically on the Apple products that they feature in store. Workshops in the series range from topics like the basics of using a MacBook laptop to the more detailed discussion of diving into iTunes U, the educational repository of iTunes.
“A lot of people are purchasing Apple products for the first time, and they don’t know all the tools and tips that they should, meaning they can’t take full advantage of their products” said Marketing Coordinator Jenny McCullough. “We wanted to help people learn more about their Apple products to help in the classroom and at home.”
This wasn't the first event of its kind that the store had done, but it was the first time the University Store had done it on campus and for students, and they were initially unsure what the interest in the events would be. But after opening their sign-ups, expectations changed very quickly; it turned out that it only took half an hour for every seat in the first workshop to be filled. Needless to say, expectations for future workshops changed almost immediately.
“We heard from tons of professors and got a bunch of emails after the first workshop,” McCullough said. “And not just from people in town. We heard from people in our outreach program that want to either stream the events live or know ahead of time when the next workshop would be so they could come in town for it.”
Now that the University Store recognizes just how much interest there is, they have expanded their events to get more people involved. And even though the workshops are restricted to just faculty and students, there still has been little trouble filling every spot for each of their events.
So far, the University Store has done two rounds of workshops (MacBook basics and iTunes U), with a third focused on learning about iPads still to come, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive thus far.
“We are booked solid for our evening workshops,” McCullough said when asked about the store’s future events. “We continue to get feedback asking when we will schedule more of these.”
Overall, the University Store's Apple workshops are a great example of how a store can go above and beyond for their customers. The store could have chosen to simply let customers learn (or fail to learn) about their new products on their own, but instead chose to do something interactive and fun to help educate them. Has your store ever put on a similar event? Let us know in the comments!