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Getting guests to help with cooking show

ponvn591

Novice Member
Aug 8, 2009
35
0
When i do the cooking part of my shows it seems that no one wants to help. The same reply is "Ohhh, we just want to watch." So i am always stuck doing the whole receipe. The point of the cooking is to let the guest try the products out so if they are not helping then what's the point? So while i am measuring or doing whatever the receipe says, their is always a dead silence like ppl are getting bored or some are just talkin about random stuff not listening to me. While i am using a product i tell them what the product is and wt it can be used for but they all just look and stare. Any suggestions on how I can get the guests attention and make it to where they want to play with the products
 

Humble Beginnings

Advanced Member
May 19, 2008
675
0
I understand what you are saying. However, I've read on here someone suggesting writing the products you will be using in your demo on cards and having the guest pick a card prior to the show. So when you get to that part you just call out "ok who has the chopper?" and that person comes up to demo it. Or you can just put the products on a tray and pass those out and do the same thing. Good luck
 

esavvymom

Legend Member
Staff member
Sep 8, 2008
7,919
146
I also incorporated it into a Ticket Game. They get tickets for helping with a portion of the demo or when I ask for a volunteer. I've only had a chance to try it at one of my last shows....but it worked.
 

loreo

Banned
Nov 24, 2008
476
3
When asking who has been to a show, I explain that I do things a little different than what they may be used to seeing. I tell them that I already know how the tools work and now it is their turn to try them out. Too many people get their products, don't know how to use them, them shove them in a cupboard. Everyone gets a ticket for participating as well as asking quesions. If somebody doesn't readily volunteer I volunteer them. I've had very few say "no."
 

Sheila

Legend Member
Gold Member
Mar 26, 2008
5,425
84
I just announce at the beginning of my shows that it's an interactive show (of course the host has been warned in advance), explaining to all the guests that THEY will be making the recipe today. I ask them to all come & wash their hands so we can get started. After everyone has washed their hands, we gather around the dining room table or kitchen countertop. I show them the recipe, the ingredients & all the tools & let them go at it. I'm there just to answer questions. I do very little if any of the prep. If someone's being super gentle on the food chopper I'll give it a couple of pounds to show them how rough they can be & then hand it back. I don't DO the recipe. I don't give them chairs at the table either. We move them against a wall or into the living room for afterward. It works really well!! Everyone stays on their feet, next to the table & usually get involved. There's been a couple of shows where someone said that they had a cold and were just observing, but for the most part everyone gets their hands involved in the recipe.

When you put them on the spot where they have to get up & "perform" in front of the crowd, they are less likely to participate.
 

JenniK

Member
Jun 30, 2009
60
0
I love to try an interactive show, but my parties have been quite large lately (around 15+ people) and I never have enough space around me for that many. How do you handle large crowds?

Oh... and I'm definitely not complaining about having large parties! Love it, but would like to make it more interactive.
 

ChefBeckyD

Legend Member
Gold Member
Sep 20, 2005
20,466
33
I love to try an interactive show, but my parties have been quite large lately (around 15+ people) and I never have enough space around me for that many. How do you handle large crowds?

Oh... and I'm definitely not complaining about having large parties! Love it, but would like to make it more interactive.

I pass things around for people to try. I'll often pass around a cutting board, knife, and a pepper, or carrot, or cucumber...I sell a lot of knives that way. I also do the same thing with a bowl of salsa, or chicken, and the salad choppers.
I rarely do a totally interactive show. I don't often have room for that either.
For instance, last night's show - I had 10 people on a sunporch. The kitchen was not visible from the porch. The host ran things back and forth to the micro for me. I was doing the show on a little table - so I just passed around the salad choppers and the chicken we'd cooked for BBQ sandwiches. I also passed around spices, and sprinkles, and various other products. Lots of interaction, but not an interactive show in the strictest sense of the word.
 

robbiesmom123

Member
Oct 30, 2008
51
0
I had a show in a large place and was making the pineapple salsa. I had typed up slips of paper with each step written and which tool is used and had them passed around. I think I had 8 steps (even mixing it all together was a step) and made them come up and do their step. I would then ask them how wonderful their product was, and of course they agree and then we got others to come up and try them out. Everyone loved helping out and I didn't have to do the entire demo myself.
 

baychef

Senior Member
Silver Member
Mar 27, 2005
2,906
43
I just announce at the beginning of my shows that it's an interactive show (of course the host has been warned in advance), explaining to all the guests that THEY will be making the recipe today. I ask them to all come & wash their hands so we can get started. After everyone has washed their hands, we gather around the dining room table or kitchen countertop. I show them the recipe, the ingredients & all the tools & let them go at it. I'm there just to answer questions. I do very little if any of the prep. If someone's being super gentle on the food chopper I'll give it a couple of pounds to show them how rough they can be & then hand it back. I don't DO the recipe. I don't give them chairs at the table either. We move them against a wall or into the living room for afterward. It works really well!! Everyone stays on their feet, next to the table & usually get involved. There's been a couple of shows where someone said that they had a cold and were just observing, but for the most part everyone gets their hands involved in the recipe.

When you put them on the spot where they have to get up & "perform" in front of the crowd, they are less likely to participate.

I had so many complaints when I did this and people were not re-booking. So I am back to passing things around. No more having people angry at me.

That said, I have a consultant who tells her guests if they want to eat they'd better wash up and help others do the recipe. Then those that do not want to participate are left to wander and end up going in another room. She is booking and selling, however.

Another consultant starts by having the host come up, then the host picks the next person to come up, etc. This works for her.

My point is, do what feels comfortable. I do pass the products around and try to include passing a bowl around to chop chicken for the Mexican Chicken.
For me, this is what works and each of us has our own comfort zone.
 

taterbug

Member
Mar 31, 2009
252
0
For the last couple of interactive shows that I did, I basically told them (in a humorous manner) that if they wanted to eat they needed to cook because I wasn't going to do it for them; that I knew how to use all of the tools and if I wanted to use them myself, I would have stayed home and cooked for my family. My last several shows have not been interactive, which I usually prefer.
 

Beckycooks

Novice Member
Oct 7, 2007
40
0
I've tried this several different ways with success. I have laminated product card with the name and a photo on back - they pick one to use. I've had the actual products in a basket and they pick one. Lately, I've been using an apron. I have the host put on the apron first. She does the first product/step then she passes the apron on to the next person then that person passes it on. These have all worked well with great participation.
 

Sheila

Legend Member
Gold Member
Mar 26, 2008
5,425
84
I love to try an interactive show, but my parties have been quite large lately (around 15+ people) and I never have enough space around me for that many. How do you handle large crowds?

Oh... and I'm definitely not complaining about having large parties! Love it, but would like to make it more interactive.

If it's more than 8, we do a 2nd recipe. I did one show with 22 people and we did 3 recipes. One on each end of the dining room table & a 3rd on a card table.

And I don't gather the guests "around me", I step back and let them have at it. I'm behind them to answer any questions that they might have about a certain tool.

I had so many complaints when I did this and people were not re-booking. So I am back to passing things around. No more having people angry at me. ...

Oh wow! I've had nothing but good feedback. Everyone says that they LOVE being up & touching everything & I get comments on how much more fun it was to be involved vs. sitting & observing. That's wild that you are getting the complete opposite reaction!!!
 

outwhit420

Novice Member
Jul 29, 2009
33
0
Any suggestions on how I can get the guests attention and make it to where they want to play with the products

It certainly seems that you are doing something right if you've only had 5 shows and your top show was $1,400!!! It took me over two years to have a $1,000 show! Now I have them a little more frequently.

I don't usually do "interactive" shows per se, but I do let all the guests know that the products are set out to be touched and used. I will say something like "Who wants to come up and try the Food Chopper?" Most times, I find the guests encouraging someone to give it a shot, and it usually works. If it doesn't, then I say "Are you sure? I bet there's someone out there who needs to get rid of some stress". After that, if no one has volunteered, then I just do it, but 9 times out of 10, someone comes up.
 

stefani2

Veteran Member
Feb 18, 2007
1,687
1
you could ask your Hostess for help encouraging her friends

you could also start the interactive part as soon as they come in - so after they wash their hands - they go to the kitchen - you can introduce yourself and say "ok, sally, can I get you to ____________ "
 

ChefBeckyD

Legend Member
Gold Member
Sep 20, 2005
20,466
33
If it's more than 8, we do a 2nd recipe. I did one show with 22 people and we did 3 recipes. One on each end of the dining room table & a 3rd on a card table.

And I don't gather the guests "around me", I step back and let them have at it. I'm behind them to answer any questions that they might have about a certain tool.



Oh wow! I've had nothing but good feedback. Everyone says that they LOVE being up & touching everything & I get comments on how much more fun it was to be involved vs. sitting & observing. That's wild that you are getting the complete opposite reaction!!!


I've had many people who have reacted negatively to it too. "I didn't come to a party to work", "I've been on my feet all day - I just want to sit and relax" "Oh - I was looking forward to someone else cooking for a change" are all common responses I've had.

Some groups LOVE the interactive show, but I've had a lot of hosts who've booked and specifically asked me NOT to do it. I'm all about making my hosts and guests happy, so I do what they want. Plus, again - I am not always in a place where an interactive show is possible. I've done many shows on my knees on a coffee table. :rolleyes:

If my bookings were down, or I didn't have loyal repeat hosts and customers, I may think more about doing a fully interactive show, but I have a very strong show schedule, sales, and bookings....so I figure why mess with a good thing?!
 

Sheila

Legend Member
Gold Member
Mar 26, 2008
5,425
84
I have an occasional person who still just wants to watch, but most of them love doing hands-on. I've only had one make a comment about having to work and I made light of the situation by asking her how she was supposed to learn to save time in the kitchen if she didn't participate? ;) She participated and ended up having fun.

I had one host demand the demo. One that left the chairs around the table so it ended up being a demo because no one would get up to participate. The 3rd demo that I did only had 3 guests present and they wanted their kids to participate. The adults ended up sitting on their butts talking while I was the babysitter for the evening. I had not really studied the online stuff about host coaching until after that show. I host coach now!!!

I just took the time to calculate:

Demo show average: $392.92 :yuck:
Interactive show average before I learned to host coach: $645.04 :)
Interactive show average after I learned to host coach: $795.89!! :D

The extra $150 average per show really adds up!! :thumbup:
 

ChefBeckyD

Legend Member
Gold Member
Sep 20, 2005
20,466
33
I have an occasional person who still just wants to watch, but most of them love doing hands-on. I've only had one make a comment about having to work and I made light of the situation by asking her how she was supposed to learn to save time in the kitchen if she didn't participate? ;) She participated and ended up having fun.

I had one host demand the demo. One that left the chairs around the table so it ended up being a demo because no one would get up to participate. The 3rd demo that I did only had 3 guests present and they wanted their kids to participate. The adults ended up sitting on their butts talking while I was the babysitter for the evening. I had not really studied the online stuff about host coaching until after that show. I host coach now!!!

I just took the time to calculate:

Demo show average: $392.92 :yuck:
Interactive show average before I learned to host coach: $645.04 :)
Interactive show average after I learned to host coach: $795.89!! :D

The extra $150 average per show really adds up!! :thumbup:

I don't know - maybe it has something to do with your location....or mine. Those are great stats! Good for you - keep it up!

I could say that my stats look just like yours - but mine would be:

1. Host sending invites
2. Me sending the invites
3. Using the Mini with the invite.!

Now, in August, I'm out of Mini's - and while I am doing everything else the same, my avg. has gone back down a bit. I'll be glad when Sept. hits and I can use them again!
 

vonfirmath

Member
Oct 27, 2007
72
0
I have been very uncomfortable at shows that tried to force me to "help out" with the recipe, so I can't run that type.

As a guest, I'm perfectly happy to go up, afterwards, and play with the tools when I don't have everyone's eyes on me. But I don't want to be the center of attention. I didn't come to a party to be the consultant. I came to see and learn.
 

baychef

Senior Member
Silver Member
Mar 27, 2005
2,906
43
I firmly believe it is your comfort level. Each time I did an interactive party I did ask and involve the host. Still a no go. I literally almost lost my business because my bookings dropped, etc. I was being very nice, generous and it was starting to fall apart. I then compaired my stats and found that business was suffering. So I decided to stop doing them until something changed to make me feel as if they were worth doing again. I still hit one or more $1,000 parties almost every month. (July was not good this year). I then compaired my downline person's last year and this year's stats. Compaired how many months my sales were higher than the previous year and did a comparison doing the same for her. The only difference is that she decided she wanted TPC in sales because she missed it by $2000 the year before. So she bumped up her schedule. There was difference other than this.

I work full time and also handle renting and cleaning 2 summer cottages. Her husband works outside of the home but she doesn't. So, again, she is comfortable with interactive and I am not. She is going for TPC in sales and my life is too full to achieve it right now. If you look at recruiting, I have 48 career recruits in 9 years. She has 14 in 5 years. We have our strengths and weaknesses but for me, the interactive show is all about comfort.

My guests do get the products in their hands and/or see up close how they work. I highly encourage them to give them a try too. When they want to, they do. If they like it and don't buy it, they usually book their party.
 

AJPratt

Legend Member
Silver Member
Oct 11, 2005
6,702
4
I've had many people who have reacted negatively to it too. "I didn't come to a party to work", "I've been on my feet all day - I just want to sit and relax" "Oh - I was looking forward to someone else cooking for a change" are all common responses I've had.
Me too. I offer for people to try it if they want. I have done a couple of interactive shows and they were fun. I guess whatever works best for the group.


I've done many shows on my knees on a coffee table. :rolleyes:

Ugh! I could never be on my knees that long!
 

ChefBeckyD

Legend Member
Gold Member
Sep 20, 2005
20,466
33
Me too. I offer for people to try it if they want. I have done a couple of interactive shows and they were fun. I guess whatever works best for the group.




Ugh! I could never be on my knees that long!



Short Shows, Anne - it's all about doing short shows! :D (and waiting until no one is watching before I attempt to stand up!)



And yes, I've done some interactive shows that were really fun - but the majority like one that's not a fully interactive show.
I had my Fall Preview Show last night, and one thing that I do is a Survey or new products, recipes, party format, etc...

I ask this question on the form:
Which of The following Party Formats would you prefer for your party?

__Interactive Show, with all of the guests helping to make the recipe
__Walk Through The Catalog - recipe premade before the party (no demo)
__Combo Demo/Interactive Show - some audience interaction, but not required

Out of 16 Surveys completed, overwhelmingly they chose the 3rd option. (13 chose that option, 2 chose Interactive, and 1 chose a Walk thru the catalog)

I want to do what my hosts want. I had 5 bookings - one of them was with one of the ones who wants an interactive party...we are doing a Cookie Exchange on Dec. 1st, and everyone will help make cookie press cookies, and candies.
 

JenniK

Member
Jun 30, 2009
60
0
For my last two shows I've made them much more interactive.... I kinda had to because I fractured my radial head (elbow) and broke my big toe, so I needed help in the kitchen. What I've started doing is doing a quick intro w/ everyone while there in the living area of the house and then I ask them to follow me to the kitchen and wash their hands. While they are - I talk a little bit more about what we are making, warranties, etc.

Once everyone has washed their hands, I HAND OUT tools that will be used in the demo - so for fajitas - I pass out the salad choppers, citrus press, garlic press, knife, apple wedger... etc. It's funny because they are all trying to figure out what they have an how to use it before they are called. I tell everyone about the product a bit, how to use, it and then the guests does that demo for me.

I've had some great sales since I've started and if anything it makes it a lot more fun for everyone.
 

tmseiling

Novice Member
Apr 30, 2009
29
0
My last show I had I did an interactive show for the first time. I had some really good comments about it. How much fun it was compared to the PC show one of the guest had a few days before. I found it hard to talk about the products while the guests were using them, mostly because they were all talking. At first I thought I would do this again but after some people told me how much fun they I had, I just have to get better at it and then I can offer the host more then one way to have a show.
 
Jan 20, 2010
239
0
I have an occasional person who still just wants to watch, but most of them love doing hands-on. I've only had one make a comment about having to work and I made light of the situation by asking her how she was supposed to learn to save time in the kitchen if she didn't participate? ;) She participated and ended up having fun.

I had one host demand the demo. One that left the chairs around the table so it ended up being a demo because no one would get up to participate. The 3rd demo that I did only had 3 guests present and they wanted their kids to participate. The adults ended up sitting on their butts talking while I was the babysitter for the evening. I had not really studied the online stuff about host coaching until after that show. I host coach now!!!

I just took the time to calculate:

Demo show average: $392.92 :yuck:
Interactive show average before I learned to host coach: $645.04 :)
Interactive show average after I learned to host coach: $795.89!! :D

The extra $150 average per show really adds up!! :thumbup:

How exactly do you coach your host here?
 

pampered1224

Legacy Member
Silver Member
Apr 13, 2004
3,791
41
I do just the opposite and I get more bookings than ever. I do not mind cooking if it sells products and books more parties. My normal routine is to talk about bookings, why they came, and recruiting. then I say I am going to the kitchen to make our recipes and I ask for help. those that want to can, those that don't want to don't. What they end up doing is selling each other products! My show average went from $400 to $650! And I get more bookings with this informal "party". So personally, I do not care so much about if they help or not. And it works for me.
 

sandilou

Advanced Member
Silver Member
Oct 9, 2009
514
8
I've done a lot of the ideas above, but I'd like to add one more. I have typed the steps out on index cards, and sometimes you can break it down into more steps than those that are given. Then I number the guests off by how ever many steps there are. When their number comes up, its that 'team's' turn. Sometimes I think people are too shy to do a step on their own, but when they are with a couple other people, it helps.

Sandi
 

Chefstover2

Advanced Member
Jan 7, 2007
597
0
When I first started doing interactive, it was really hard to get folks up and participating. I've tweaked and tweaked and here is what works for me.

As we're starting, I ask "how many have been to a friend's house for dinner" (everyone raises their hands). "And usually the first place you'll go is....(they answer the kitchen)...and usually one of the first things you say is....(they answer "what can I do to help"--most of the time anyway). So what we're going to do is just like that...a bunch of friends gathering and helping to make a meal"

If I have someone who really resists participating, I'll have them read the recipe and keep us on track.

Then, to make sure everyone gets a "chance" to participate, I'll have laid out the main tools I want to make sure we use and talk about and ask everyone to pick a tool they think looks interesting or they've always wanted to try. Then when the step that involves that tool comes up, it's their turn.

So far, I haven't had any complaints about interactive shows and people are buying (or putting on their wish lists or hosting to get) the items they're trying. I'm ALWAYS using the Mandoline and DCB...they're some of my best booking tools.
 

pampered1224

Legacy Member
Silver Member
Apr 13, 2004
3,791
41
OK. I am not the conversation police. Why would I stop them from having a good time? Having a good time is far more important then talking PC the entire time. If they feel good and are enjoying themselves, why would I stop them? I was invited to my friends PartyLite party when he first decided to sign. His recruiter talked AT US for over an hour about products. I THOUGHT I WAS GONNA DIE as Rosanne Rosannadanna would have said! I promised myself then and there I would NEVER do that at my parties ever again. HOWEVER, I DO have this little trick. It was spontaneous at first and didn't really realize what it accomplished but I have made it seem that way since I figured it but... When I or we are doing the recipes and I decide to, I will pop out of the kitchen with a tool and simply say something, Oh you gotta see this, Carolyn was just using whatever and mentioned... Yes, it does put them back on track and you see how many people start looking for "it" in the catalog! If you make it ICKY they will remember that! If you make it FUN and NOT A CHORE TO BE THERE, they will remember that even more! I have 4 bookings from one party! I have more from several others. Oh and I figured htis out last November and have only had 4 actual parties since. I have over 9 parties on my bookings running into June. They ALL have penciled in dates, they ALL asked me to do the same type pf party for them. Be as laid back as you would want to be if you were attending a party. A cocktail party or backyard BBQ, not a PUSHY SALES SHOW! All the guests will follow suite and love ya for it! I have said this many times before in posts out here when someone says, the guests are not having fun or my host didn't ask me to do another party for her. Or nobody booked! I have always had more than two bookings per party! So all I can say is stop focusing so much on the SHOW AND TELL and let them have some fun! We are a great product. Our products really can sell themselves if you let them. The guests will do the rest of the selling themselves! I am not kidding! I mean really, do you want to come to a PartyLite party so I can show you the difference? YAWN!
 
Last edited:
Mar 15, 2009
15
0
I just tried this in my show yesterday. I simply asked my host during our last call if she would like an interactive or a demo. So when I got to that part in the show I simply told the guests that per host request we will be having an interactive show and what that means for them is everyone go and wash their hands as everyone will have a hand in helping to make our recipe. I reassured them that I would be right there beside them to help them. I asked who liked to be in charge and through the laughs we found one and she was our recipe reader/ telling the others around the table what to do. We drew names that they had wrote when they arrived and as the host pulled them they came up and did their part. They LOVED it! I have to say... ME TOO! I've just celebrated my 1yr. anniversary with PC and this was my most favorite show thus far. I haven't closed yet but have 3 bookings with pos. 3 more before we close. Only 2 checked NO on TYFJU slip and one of those used to be a PC CS! The other 1 just had a party with me 2 wks. ago. I did alot of things different this show and had great success. I know it's not for everyone so I will offer it to the host from now on and let them make the decision being that they know their friends better than I do. But I appreciate all the comments regarding this, it has definetly helped my business!
 
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