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Destination unknown


We don't get too many of those, do we?

Wizz Air designed the ultimate mega surprise: be whisked away for a three-day getaway to an unknown destination.

Each ticket included round-trip airfare, lodging and food. To help prepare, the location's climate was the only information disclosed.

Word of the promotion spread fast, and it sold out quickly.

There are a lot of people who love adventure - and the joy of a complete surprise - and this plane-load of adventurers were not disappointed.

More on their adventure in a minute.

Inspired by this creative promotion, I've put together some plans for a PYOP surprise trip event.

Create an event unlike any other: no one knows where they're "going" (or what they're creating!) until they arrive at your studio.


Theme (location): Paris, New York, the beach, Ireland, a tropical island, the Far East, a country in Europe ... so many destinations to consider! But also consider these next points when choosing.

Tickets: create a plane or airline ticket in Canva. As people sign up, email them their ticket and include any pertinent info for planning. Really play up the fun, the painting and the mysterious destination as a whole.

Pottery and designs: create unique designs specific to the location, culture, style or landmarks. Give the choice of three to four comparable pieces to paint (whether they do the design/technique or not is up to them). If they chose a piece other than what you have selected, they pay the difference. OR they choose any piece up to $X and if they go over, they pay the difference.

Food and drinks: cater from a restaurant or serve appetizers and desserts that are from the area you're visiting.

Decorations: how can you bring the secret location vibe into your studio? A big "welcome to _____" sign/banner can greet the travelers. Like a cruise ship, take their pictures as they arrive. And if it works with your theme, a lei, a hat, a card with their table number - anything to help transport them.

Also consider fun games and/or interactions that tie the event to the location. Have quiz questions ready about the destination and small prizes are given away when someone answers correctly.

Hints: get clever and create clues as you get closer (perhaps via email so people don't guess/give it away in a social post).

Give a hint (or color, style) for what they can wear and encourage travelers to dress accordingly.

Staff: work together to plan the event. Discuss what everyone will wear, the pottery to paint, the designs/techniques, food and details to enhance your travelers' experience.


Print an oversized plane (or train) ticket with an unknown destination.

Include some general info about the project (they will be painting pottery, etc.), and learning a new technique (relevant to the area you're visiting), food will be provided, etc.

Create a display at your POS and talk up the "trip" with everyone checking out.

Create FB/IG posts, emails and info on your website. Create urgency! LIMITED tickets available: the plane can only hold ___ people!


Have a staff do a FB live. Plenty of your customers and followers will have seen the promos, and showing the event in action (revealing the secret location!) will get them totally interested in future "travel".


Attach a photo of their group (who they traveled with) on each person's finished piece. Include a thank you and "travel with us again" message.

Share photos in your email, social media posts and website. If it was a success, include a "where to next?" teaser to get them ready for their next trip.

So where did Wizz Air send its plane full of people?

When they landed, the pilot welcomed them to Antalya, Turkey.

Everyone has a ball.

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