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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous



Tea Time with Liv



Online Party How To's

I have compiled a list of tips and suggestions for online parties to help make your party a success.

Online parties are similar to home parties, but the guests are shopping from their home while attending the party in a chat room. You hold your party pretty much the same way you would a home party just you don't have a display case to set up. You still need to present the products just virtually instead of physically. This is far more than just offering a link and telling everyone to shop.

Before your party, write a script. This ensures you are touching on key areas and you know where you left off when you must stop for a question or to greet a newcomer. With a script you can copy and paste with ease. This helps keep the party flowing and you don't waste time typing everything out.

No matter what you get with your room reservation invite on your own as well. Invite everyone you know. An invite to a online party is like a ad. You will want it to entice people to come to your party. Be sure to include all the info that is needed for your party like date, time (include time zone since guests can come from multiple areas), place (include url), sneak peek of specials, and games with prizes. Send the invite out to all your friends and family and to any groups you belong to.

Be sure not to send them to people you don't know or groups your not in, this is spam if you do and you don't want to get in trouble for spam. You can send a invite via email or you could use something like evite.com and they will send your invite out for you. Offer incentives for those who bring a certain amount of people with them. This gets your party out there even further.
Send out invites 10 days before party, at the week mark, 3 days, day before, day of. It sounds like a lot but people have busy lives and forget. This keeps the party fresh in their minds. Don't send the same invite each time. Change it up and keep it fun.

The actual party is easy. First, introduce yourself and your business. It does not matter whether everyone knows you and why you are there. This is part of your professional image. You will want to greet people when they come into your party. Be sure to thank everyone for being at your party. As a general rule of thumb do not start your party exactly at the start time. Give a few moments to allow for others to arrive. No everyones clock is on the same time so a 5 minute buffer is suggested. This is not required just suggested.

During your intro talk a little about the company and the products. Do not just copy and paste the about me section of the site. Its impersonal. This should be in your own words and show your enthusiasm without being overboard. Guests don't need a history. Most find it boring so avoid it. That does not mean you can't state when they started and why. Just keep the facts to a minimum and avoid the history lesson blues.

I personally like to discuss my favorite product and why I love it. I always use something I have personally used and never something I haven't. This way I can give personal experience. This speaks volumes to your guests.

This is a good time to offer your website. I do no suggest offering it before you introduce yourself or your products because you lose control of your party. You want their undivided attention at this point.

When you offer the site explain any sales or specials that the company and/or you are offering. Send your guests in a direction such as ask them to click on the contact me area (if this goes direct to you) and have them fill out their info for a drawing. You also get their contact information which is very important. if you do not have this section available have each email you their info and offer a drawing prize. If you would like to direct them to your favorite section, to create a customer account so they can shop, or to a section where you will begin a game. However you choose make it interactive and interact with the guest.

You will receive questions during the entire party. Make sure to address them right away. Avoid talking in private messages. You lose track and end up neglecting the room. This is fine at the end of the party but not during your presentation. If you are unable to answer immediately, gather their contact info and inform them you will get that answer for them right after the party.
Play a game. There is nothing worse than a lot of silence to kill your party and your sales. The more fun your guests are having, the more they spend and the better chance of booking future parties. Yours guests will have plenty of time to shop so don't feel a game will hinder this.

Here are a few game suggestions:

Scramble - Pick 5 - 10 words from your site or your business and scramble them up before the party. Let everyone know that the words are coming from your site or your business whichever you choose.

Trivia - Pick 5-10 questions about your site. Let everyone know that the answers can be found on your site. The first person to get the correct answer gets a point at the end of the game the person with the most points gets the prize you have picked out.

Bingo - Have a list of words on your site and have guest pick out 5 words and email you those words, then later on when time for the game start picking words from your list, the first person who you call all 5 words calls bingo and wins the game. If you choose this method make sure to include the list in your party invite.

Auctions - These are a blast and many do great with these. You make up a list of ways for guest to earn play money to bid with. With the highest way to earn being either purchasing or booking a party Then you pick out a few prizes to auction off. This is a great game to get competitiveness going and guests really work for those bonus bucks.

Depending on the length of your party you do not want to do more than 1 or 2. A 2 hour party can take 3 well played games. Keep the games short. Lenthy games get boring and that leads to people wandering away from the computer. If you keep things going guests want to stay because they don't want to miss anything.

For each game you have you will want to have a prize. There are many different prizes that you could give. When picking out a prize be sure to pick out one that is suitable for the game. For example if its a harder game you might wanna pick out a better prize than if its a easy game. All prizes should be products that others can buy on the site. Have the link ready that directs guests to the prize so they can see what great gift they can win.

Gift Certificates - in what ever amount you deemed suitable. Usually $5 - $10 are good amounts.
Coupons or Coupon Books made up of coupons for certain amount off a certain product.

Actual product. Keep these small so you don't kill your budget but don't be cheap. You want your guests to be excited.

Let your guest know what your hostess is getting tonight for hosting the party including an surprises gifts you are offering. If no hostess talk about what someone could get for hosting. Ask them to let you know if they want to host and then try to set a date then for the party if you can't let them know you will be emailing them to pick out a good date Tell the guest what you get from starting your own business. Be sure to tell them the recruiting special that your company has going.

Make room for general chit chat throughout your party. You don't want it all business but make sure you keep control of your room that way when you need the conversation geared back to business it can easily be done. Chit chat is just that. Not long conversations.

Towards the end of your party give your contact information. This way guests know how to contact you. Include your full name, email, and website. Offer to answer questions and assist anyone in placing their order. Gather information from those interested in a party so you can follow up in the next day or so.

Most times online parties do not end right at the time they are scheduled to so plan on being there longer than planned. You do not want to be on a tight schedule and have to rush out afterwards. Show your customer service skills and be available after the party. As guests leave be sure to thank them for coming and let them know you will be in contact with their total or to assist them in their shopping and questions. Also let them know you hope they had fun and you hope to see them around again sometime.

Ask if they would like to be added to a invite list you are making for upcoming online parties. Be sure to thank your host for hosting and let her know you will be in contact to let her know what she has earned from her party

This is just a basic way to have a online party. You will want to do what feels comfortable to you. Play with the idea do what works best for you. If you have never done a party visit different parties in different rooms to see how others conduct theirs. This will give you a great idea on how to go forward with yours.

Prepare ahead of time and do not wing it. The better prepared you are, the better the party, the better the sales. Do not let the party die down. Keep it moving. Keep from guests having to entertain themselves as this leads away from your product and results in a loss of a sale. Offer your link several times during your party for newcomers or those that just missed it previous times.

Olivia Vidal
© 2008
http://sochicbagboutique.com

3 comments:

Purple Trail said...

www.purpletrail.com is a great site to send out online invites from. Great looking invites and no ads. Keeps track of rsvp's and you could also uploads photos and videos .

Check it out.

Sarah Murrey said...

Hello! I love this blog, it's so wonderful all of the info you post!That's why I have awarded you the "Lemonade Award" Visit http://firingbosses.blogspot.com/ to learn more! Congrats!!!

Olivia - http://sochicbagboutique.com said...

Thank you so much! Just knowing it is helpful means the world to me.

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