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Planning a multiple vendor open house in my home- tips?

Discussion in 'Booths, Fairs and Festivals' started by ChefCat, Feb 16, 2010.

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  1. Hello,

    I am working on a multiple vendor open house in my home. I have heard of others in my cluster having success at theirs so I am trying as well.

    So far it will be PC, Arbonne and Longaberger. I am hoping for Scentsy and maybe a jewelry company.

    I started selling in November and I am still trying to break out of my circle of family and friends. I am hoping to add some new names to my lead/client list.

    I have some details figured out, but I am open to suggestions. We will advertise mainly with fliers handed out and posted around town. Each guest will receive a gift bag with information from each vendor. I am giving out pan scrapers or maybe SB as well. Each vendor will have a free raffle for product(s).

    Do you have any tips or suggestions? I am extremely open to ideas!
     
  2. wadesgirl

    wadesgirl Gold Member

    My biggest tip would be to not spend too much money/time preparing for this event. Keep it very simple. I have never had much success with these kind of events but usually enough sales to cover to I put into it.
     
  3. I would like to learn more about this as well. Thanks for posting this!
     
  4. NooraK

    NooraK Gold Member

    I would think the key is in inviting people. Each vendor should be required to send out x number of invitations to their own guests. You make up the flyer so that you can make sure you're properly represented (and the address is right :D). Then encourage the vendors to make calls to invite their VIP guests and past hosts.

    I'd almost think about it as a big party. You want to do everything you would ask a host to do, and coach the other vendors to do the same.
     
  5. Hi there! I always have multiple vendors in my home, as well at other vendors home! You should either include candles, or purses... make sure that everyone invites thier people, it is a great way to get sales. Good luck!
     
  6. pjpamchef

    pjpamchef Silver Member

    my advice would be to not count on the other vendors to bring you new customers. Sorry to sound so neg. but I have not done one that I thought was successful. The most successful event of this nature I have done is my own customer appreciation event. giving them something for bringing guests, etc. You have to keep in mind a customer attends an event of this nature with "X" amount in mind to spend. therefore, the more vendors you have the more their moneys are diluted.
     
  7. JennLizFran

    JennLizFran Gold Member

    Chefcat- I saw you were hoping for a Scentsy rep, I'm a Scensty rep (nowhere near you) but I could post on their message board and see if I can find someone interested if you like....what's the date?
     
  8. Thanks, but I know a scentsy rep already. I'm just not sure if she is interested. If she is not I have a partylite person to ask. So I think I should be covered in the candle department. thanks!
     
  9. JennLizFran

    JennLizFran Gold Member

    No problem! I just thought I'd offer! :)

    Good luck! I'm participating in a multi-vendor open house this weekend at someone else's home! This is my first! So excited!
     
  10. Will you report back about your experience?
     
  11. Thank you for your suggestions.
    When I started in the fall I had a solo open house and put fliers out on 300+ mailboxes in the neighborhood. I had 6 or so people come. I am hoping that by having more vendors more neighbors will come. Once they come I can build a rapport and hopefully reel some in.

    I was thinking I will have two open houses a year, for each new product launch. The spring event will be a multi-vendor event and the fall will be a customer appreciation event. Last fall I didn't have any customers to appreciate yet. =( lol

    I am hoping for leads more than orders. Orders will be great, but names is what I am more after. I want to have people sign up for my recipe of the month email, pamper a business and free cooking show.
     
  12. How would somebody go about setting one of these up. I have done 3 open houses for other people and none of them were a success, I'm nervous about doing a vendor open house, although I have interest from other consultants. If you've done one of these, could you share how you did it?
     
  13. NooraK

    NooraK Gold Member

    My suggestion would be to knock on doors. Flyers on mail boxes or doors often get ignored (I know I find them annoying). If you actually speak to someone, you can start building rapport right then and there. I would suggest trying to go during the time when you're having the open house. If they're home, they'll be more likely to be available to come to the open house.
     
  14. NooraK

    NooraK Gold Member

    I haven't done one, but if you wanted to do a fairly simple one, first you'd need to decide where to hold it. If your house is big enough, do it there. Then contact local consultants for other DS companies, and invite them to participate. I would suggest charging a small fee (if you do, you could even consider renting a meeting room in a hotel or something), because then they have an investment in the event, and are less likely to flake. If you're doing it at home, you could either use it to cover refreshments, or make it a refundable deposit.

    As I mentioned before, the key is for all participants to treat it as a show, advertise it as such, and invite people personally as if it were one.
     
  15. See I just can't wait for summer to get here! Our neighborhood is still basically shut down for the winter. Once spring arrives I will see more people out and about and at the park. Once the lake warms I will see a bunch of people down at the beach. I am willing to go knock on doors, but it is not my first choice. We'll see, maybe I will come to regret waiting, but for now I am too chicken. :blushing:
     
  16. chefann

    chefann Gold Member

    Flyers on mailboxes are also illegal, unless they're in the newspaper cubby or attached completely externally to the box.

    ---
    I had a big post typed up and got kicked out. I'll retype and post it in a bit.
     
  17. chefann

    chefann Gold Member

    I hate retyping posts, because I can never remember if I have the same info as the first time I typed it. :rolleyes:

    Request that all the vendors invite their ENTIRE customer lists. Most consultants send out email newsletters - they can include a blurb about the event. I recommend charging a small fee ($10) to help cover your expenses (more below). That small fee will encourage the vendors to a) actually show up; and b) actually invite people so they make enough sales to cover the fee.

    Expenses: have beverages for the guests. It makes them feel more at home, and also more likely to linger, which increases the chance that they'll buy something. And as much as we as PC consultants would love to serve only PC recipes, that can come off as "hard sell" to the guests who don't know you yet. Bottled water, lemonade and coffee should cover all attendees. Go ahead and serve them from PC serveware (carafe, pitcher), but don't make a big deal about the serving pieces unless someone asks. Have napkins disposable cups available, as well as an obvious trash can for the used cups. And sugar, artificial sweetener and creamer for the coffee.

    Clearly mark your house with balloons or a sign. That will make it easier for the customers who haven't been there (probably all of them) to find the place, especially if it's busy and they have to park a couple of houses away.

    Just like any other vendor fair, have a drawing at your table as a way for you to collect customer info.

    In lieu of a small fee, you can ask the other vendors to provide prizes. Give them a suggested value, so they're all about the same. The give tickets to each guest as they walk in the door, and another ticket when they make a purchase from any vendor (give the vendors tix to pass out to the buying customers). Then draw each hour for a prize. You can even stipulate "must be present to win" if you want to.

    If you can, get a "gold lady" to purchase guests' old and unwanted jewelry items. People have limited budgets, but if they know that they can get additional spending money at the event, they will buy more. Make sure that all of the invitations include info about the gold buyer so that guests know to bring things to sell.
     
  18. chefann

    chefann Gold Member

    Hey, ChefCat, I just noticed you're in the D. Where are you? I'm in Southfield.
     
  19. JennLizFran

    JennLizFran Gold Member

    Of course! I know the host already has $300 in outside orders and 2 friends interested in booking open houses with me as well!!! :)
     
  20. Thank you for taking the time to share. I will mark my house and have street signs. Last event I did I did fliers on mailboxes, not inside, but outside. It is a somewhat common occurrence around here. I am tempted to mail postcards this time, but I am not sure. If I do postcards I almost want them to be just for my PC business. Each vendor is welcome/encouraged to hold a free raffle. My gift and the Arbonne ladys gift will be valued at around $35-50 retail. My neighbor is the creator/owner of Mystique jewelry and she also does cash for gold. I am hoping she will be a vendor.
     
  21. I'm in West Bloomfield. Not really in Detroit, but near-ish. Who is your upline?
     
  22. chefann

    chefann Gold Member

    Randy Weiss, in Missouri. All my local upline have quit. Yours? You're not too far from me. :)
     
  23. Maureen Kimmel in South Lyon and above her Karan (Radcliffe) Josephus from up north.
     
  24. I do these twice a year and have had really good turn out on them. I started out doing in my house and then I was getting so many other vendors that are in or around the little communite that we live in wanting to do it. So we have moved to a community center and I make flyers and postcard invites for everyone and they all hand them out and I make them help pay for everything. I have not had any complaints from anyone and everyone enjoys doing it. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
     
  25. scottcooks

    scottcooks Gold Member

    Here is a multi-vendor invite that worked well for me. We had a steady stream of about 38 guests and good bookings from it.

    Each vendor should bring simple treats, split the costs. Signs, Signs, Signs, Signs, Signs, Signs. Post it on Craigslist. Signs.
     

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