Leading up to 2022, the Rahway Special Improvement District (SID) has been working to ensure that community events and initiatives that support the city’s businesses are executed seamlessly. From the initial logistics stage to coordination between participating businesses, to marketing and promotion, and finally, execution of events, the SID meticulously plans every aspect.
Rahway’s Soup Stroll, the first major City Event of 2022 takes place every Saturday in January. Preparation for this event took months, beginning with planning and coordinating with local restaurants to gauge who would be willing to participate in the free soup sample giveaway. Contact was made with each business as well as follow ups toward the event launch date to see if there was anything the SID could help with. Once the list was finalized, planning for marketing and promotion began. A map of Rahway, which highlighted the participating restaurants, was created to ensure the community could stroll from restaurant to restaurant with ease. Digital materials were created to spread the word of the free event. Sampling cups and signage were also given to the participating restaurants to ensure that the event branding was consistent throughout the 20 businesses involved. Participating restaurants include downtown restaurants as well as few restaurants in the Greater Rahway area.
In the week leading up to the event, SID Economic Development Officer Elton Armady and Economic Development Specialist Anthony Armando compiled packages for each participating restaurant, which contained the free soup sample cups that were labeled with the Soup Stroll branding. In addition, sandwich board signage was placed around the City so that residents and visitors would be made aware of the souper event that is taking place throughout the City all month long.
The meticulous work that goes behind the scenes for events, such as the Rahway Soup Stroll, is an excellent way for businesses to be able to showcase their items. It also gives them the opportunity to make additional accompanying sales and a chance for them to build new customer relationships, both important economic development goals for the City of Rahway.