I've had some email questions about home shows lately so I thought I'd take this post to share my thoughts on them.
I think home shows can be a good way to advertise your business. I have done a few and have always found them to be a good, relaxing, no pressure type of situation to share what you do with a small audience. They are usually easily done with little to no cost to you, so that's always good! Getting some good advertising without breaking the bank never hurts!
Here are some tips and ideas for this type of show that you might find useful...
1. In sending out invitations for home shows I always make sure that I send out all the info on the event myself. I never leave that up to the hostess. I want to make sure that all the materials that go out have my logo on them and match my other business items such as business cards, labels, etc. I ask the hostess for the names/addresses of those she wants to invite and I take it from there. A week or so after the event, I usually follow-up with a brief thank you note and a business card enclosed and thank them for coming and let them know that I will extend the discount offered at the show until a certain date via my on-line store as well.
2. In my invitations I stress that this is a relaxed time away for them with friends and food and a chance to see some jewelry at the same time. I don't want them to feel pressured to buy anything. While we'd all love for them to come with their checkbooks and cash to throw at us for our merchandise, we don't want them to feel they have to do that. Making the guests feel at ease and give them a chance to have some time out is always a good way to address your show.
3. I always talk to the hostess and see if she wants to offer food. Most of the time the hostess has already thought of this or is willing to handle this aspect of the event. If for some reason she isn't, then ask her if it would be ok if you brought food. Having some type of light snack/finger food is always good at these shows. It's always a good way to get people socializing and talking at the event and food usually does that with people!
4. To start the event, I usually say a few words and thank them for coming to the show and encourage them to get some food and a drink and relax and enjoy the time. I thank the hostess for inviting me in to her home and allowing me to share my jewelry with her and her friends. I tell them a little about my jewelry (keep it brief!) and also throw in that if they are interested in making a purchase that night I will give them a discount on their purchase. I tell them to browse and if they have any questions, feel free to ask. I leave it at that. I don't pressure them, follow them around, etc. I let them enjoy their evening at their leisure.
5. Try to have a nice variety of merchandise and also offer different price levels if you can for your items. Since you may or may not know everyone in attendance, this gives you a chance to "reach" everyone there. Making attractive displays or groupings of your merchandise is always good as well. Be selective as to where you set up and make sure you have plenty of lighting and space for everyone to browse. Clustering up in a small room or having poor lighting could hurt your event so seek out the best place possible for your show. Arriving early if you aren't familiar with the hostesses home will help!
These are just a few tips and suggestions for doing a home show. If you do home shows or have done them in the past, feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with the other readers in your comments.
Home shows can be a good marketing tool for your business in your local market. Even if they don't purchase that night, you have at least gotten your name out there and connected with those in attendance. This could lead to purchases in the future!
Good luck if you decide to do a home show or if you do them regularly! Let me know how it works out for you!
Until next time...Blessings! ~ Dawn