Last week Melbourne Central held the highly anticipated Unicorn Festival - 2 nights of rainbow delights to brighten Melbournians' streak of Winter weather.
During Melbourne Central's last Centre Update (a quarterly meeting to keep retailers in the loop with what's happening), the Marketing team gushed about the 19,000 people who expressed their interest in attending the festival on the Facebook event page.
Sure, there's a difference between being 'interested' in an event and actually attending - we've all got those friends who bail on the party last minute, or give an enthusiastic "maybe!" but know their night will be spent rugged up watching Netflix.
But having said that, Melbourne Central knew this was going to be a big deal, everyone loves Unicorns!
Since the event was just upstairs from Ottoman3, I decided to check it out with my 8 year old sister, who was super excited, and informed me on the drive there that Unicorns are her "favourites of the mythical creatures".
As we got closer to the event, anxiety started to kick in as the magnitude of the crowd became clear - the Link Bridge was a mosh pit of families struggling to push passed each other. I felt sorry for the little ones dressed in their unicorn onesies, who couldn't see past the person in front of them.
It was kind of scary! As my sister and I lined up for what I assumed was fairy floss (we were too far away to actually see what the line was for) security guards informed us that the current wait time was an hour and 20 minutes! Did we want fairy floss that badly..? Nope.
They also offered glitter face painting and a photo booth - both with minimal staff and huuuuge lines.
This comes just a week after MAC Cosmetics copped serious flack for their 'National Lipstick Day' giveaway. The international promotion went viral, and even news and radio stations were hyping up the day - only to disappoint customers who lined up for their free lipstick when only about 40 units were made available.
Some U.S MAC fans posted photos of the crazy-busy stores on the day.
Surely with so much press coverage comes the realisation that demand will far outweigh supply, and leave lots and lots of angry customers.
Both MAC and Melbourne Central have been in PR overdrive responding to frustrated customers on their social media platforms - but it's worth noting the reason these customers were so mad is because they're passionate about the offer/event.
The balance is a hard one to get just right. Here at Ottoman3, one of our biggest challenges came after dropping the appointment system, and using a barber style structure.
We wanted to ensure that our Brow Artists weren't spending too much time on the phone taking appointments, and instead be on the 'tools' and focusing on what's most important - your Brows!
As a result, wait times are something we keep a close eye on eyeryday, and analyse each week to ensure we are staffed up enough to meet the demand of our Brow Babes.
These days we have managing wait times down to an art, after all, we have done over half a million brows! And while we do experience 30 minute waits on the odd peak time, our company standard is 6 minutes.
Because at the end of the day, those customers who are lining up for you love the brand! Make sure they feel the love back and have an experience like they're the only one in the salon/store/festival!
We all face the same challenges in business, and hopefully you can find your own equilibrium between demand and supply!