I do not do shows (yet) I was convinced by friends to do a home show before the holidays and managed to pull off a show in about 6 weeks. Even with this minimal time to plan I was very happy with the results and sold over 150 items in about 3 hours time (there is a story behind this and I will discuss more later).
I hope to offer my experience and ideas to help in planning your own show or shows this holiday season, along with a few tricks I think helped make my show a success.
Start planning now:
- Discuss with friends, family, neighbors, co workers to get an idea of how interested they would be in attending a show.
- Days of the week, time
- Menu planning, foods, drinks, desserts
- Prizes, giveaways
- Setting a budget
- Getting help for day of the show
- Show specials or exclusives
- Display and using your home as a boutique
- Sending and managing invites and RSVP's
First things first, make a list of guests and likely attendees and long shots when I considered my list it was friends and acquaintances in which I had a personal dealing with in the last 12 months. I also added a few friends I see from time to time and for which me actually selling online was new to them.
I used a combination of an online invitation service evite, mailed invitations, phone calls, and face to face invites. My list was right at 35 invites, this list blossomed into almost 60 attendees the night of the show.
Want or need more guests, consider doing a show with a friend or relative who may be a crafter or seller, combining guests lists and expenses is also an option, especially if they are selling and different product.
Once you have your list together consider them as a whole for date planning, for me many do not have kids and Thursday is sort of the start of the weekend so this was my choice. I had considered the possibility of doing an open house Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but went with Thursday as I knew many of my friends would not be as interested in giving up their weekend.
Timing? When do your friends work, kids, do they need a break? Again for me most work 9-5 so an open house and getting it over with was appealing, so I started my show at 5:30 so those who wanted to shop and still get home for dinner or going out would not interrupt these plans.
Tailor the above to your situation consider the bulk of your guests and try to be flexible to that group, if weekends or Mondays are better, multiple days find that out now in your discussions to find interest. Just remember if you do multiple days you will have multiple food and drink and cleaning and help (should you need it).
I had my show the week after Thanksgiving, it was almost unanimous that everyone would prefer it prior to Thanksgiving. This is another piece of information that you can find in discussions with friends. Much later then early December may be to late for holiday shopping, consider this when planning.
Even if you friends are not "regular" customers with the holidays approaching most people buy gifts for a variety of others presenting an easy gift buying occasion that is social and fun is a good opportunity as a seller to sell and learn to improve your offerings for future sales, online or in person.
I will add ideas and my experience along the way in the next few weeks follow me and watch for updates, recipes, planning, and prize ideas.