U Street Main Street Holiday Lights takes place November 19 through January 6, and is organized by U Street Main Street. All Main Street businesses are invited to decorate their storefronts with holiday lights for the month of December—attracting residents and visitors from across the District to explore, shop, and play this holiday season.
- Judges and public participants will vote for their favorite holiday light displays in 8 categories.
- The Overall Best In Show winner will receive either a free brand refresh or a free Facebook paid ad campaign with a $250 ad spend provided by USMS (winner’s choice) from Megan Flynn Marketing.
- Participating businesses will receive an abundance of free promotion during Holiday Lights
- USMS will also be part of a citywide Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt, which will drive residents and visitors to the corridor starting November 26.
- The citywide Holiday Lights Award Ceremony will announce winners and feature participating businesses for a night of celebration.
Free Decorations Starter Kit
The first 10 businesses to register will receive a FREE Decorations Starter Kit, containing lights and snowflake window decals to help you decorate your storefront to participate in Holiday Lights.
Of course, you’re more than welcome (& encouraged!) to get creative and add your own decorations – this will definitely increase your chances of winning a Holiday Lights award.
But if you do not have the time or resources to purchase decorations, this year’s kit will make sure you have everything you need to participate.
The public will determine the People’s Choice Award by voting for their favorite by December 10. A panel of independent judges will select winners for the remaining award categories.
- Most U Street (capture the spirit of what makes U Street unique)
- Most Creative Use of Lights
- Most Colorful Display
- Best Window Display
- Best Use of Merchandise (feature your amazing products)
- Overall Best of Show (judges’ choice)
- People’s Choice Awards (based on public voting)
- Best Corporate Display
Categories 1-7 are open only to locally-owned businesses. Corporate chains are eligible for category #8, Best Corporate Display.
What Do The Winners Receive?
All awards will be announced at the Holiday Lights Award Ceremony. Each winner will be extensively promoted in the media, on local listservs, and through paid advertisements on Facebook with messaging to encourage residents and visitors to visit the winning businesses to see their displays. All winners will receive a certificate.
The winner of the Overall Best In Show award will receive a free brand refresh or a free Facebook paid advertising campaign from Megan Flynn Marketing. Winner’s choice!
Prize Option 1: Brand Refresh
This makeover for your business includes:
- Creating a logo for your business or updating an existing logo
- Developing a color scheme for your business
- Selecting fonts (typography) for your business
- Creating a brand identity guide
- Design of up to 4 brand assets (e.g., business card, flyer, etc)
Prize Option 2: Facebook Paid Ad Campaign
This includes the development, management, and report back on a Facebook paid ad campaign to promote your business and its products/services. $250 in advertising dollars is included, provided by U Street Main Street.
This includes paid ad plan, copywriting, design of ad creative, ad set-up, ad optimization and management, and reporting.
- Free Advertising: Your business will receive free advertising for participating in Holiday Lights! You will be included in press materials sent to print, online and broadcast media outlets across the District. The event website will list your business with your address and any holiday promotional activities offered during the month of November and December. Participating businesses will be featured in LGAMS’ online community newsletter, blog, and social media.
- Attract New Customers: One-third of consumers have chosen not to enter a business because it “didn’t look like a place I would normally shop.” You need to use creative methods of increasing foot traffic and attracting potential customers so that they see your business is a place for them! Participating in LGAMS Holiday Lights puts you on the Holiday Lights contest ballot for residents across the District who will come to the neighborhood and check out your display. Consumers are also more likely to frequent your business if they know who you are and trust you. Being seen as active in the community builds that trust.
- Increase Customer Loyalty & Sales: Research shows that shoppers prefer to patronize businesses that are involved in their communities. BONUS: When businesses are involved with the community, customers are willing to pay slightly higher prices to buy from them. As a retailer with strong community ties, you can increase your prices and profits without driving customers away.
Register Your Business for Holiday Lights
Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email with all of the details you need to participate. Thanks for being a part of this fun new community event and giving the U Street Main Street the opportunity to promote your awesome business!