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Sending out invitations for host

spoiledchef

Member
Jan 8, 2006
386
0
I'm not sure if this is the proper place to put this, but how many of you are sending out the invitations for your host? If you're doing so, do you see that it's increasing show attendance and sales? I know that my Tastefully Simple consultant did this for me, and it made life easier b/c I just had to supply the names/addresses.

Also, if you do this, do you provide the postage or does the host? And -- do you make the RSVP calls, and if so, when?

Sorry for so many questions, but I'm contemplating starting this if it's worth it.
Thanks.
 

amya

Member
Mar 10, 2005
411
0
I have been doing this for some time now and I find that the biggest difference that I am seeing is in the number of people the host will invite. I give the host a form that has room for 40 names and address on it and have her give it back to me when it is fill out. Most hosts don't fill in all 40, usually they give me around 30 names, but I have definitely seen a jump in the number of guests at the shows. I do give her a few invites that are blank so she can hand them personally to a few people if she wants.

As for the postage, I pay the postage for the hosts. I figure at .24 a stamp times 40 invites that is still less than $10 to mail them and I am pretty much guaranteed to make more than $10 on the show. I look at it as just one more way to make hosting a show easier for the host.

As for the RSVP calls, if she doesn't think she will have time, then I offer to do them for her, but usually the host doesn't want me to. She takes care of that herself. Does she call absolutely everyone who received an invite? Probably not, but the fact that she has the invite list lets me remind her to ask these people for an outside order if they can't make it.
 

tiffanypc05

Advanced Member
Nov 3, 2005
601
0
i think it depends on your location

I think it depends are when you are located. Where I live at, it does not work. Hosts do not want you to send there invitations for them. As far as the consultant calling the friends of the host because she's to busy just doesn't seem right. I mean if a friend of mine was hosting a show and didnt have 2 minutes to call and remind me because she was too busy:It would probably make me mad and I probably wouldnt go to her show. That's just me though. It's just something you will have to try out and see if it works for you.
 

soonerchef

Veteran Member
Feb 17, 2006
1,523
0
I send out invites for my hosts and they love it! I love it too, I can make sure that all of the invites are going out since I found that quite a few would lie about how many invites they actually sent and yes, my attendence average has gone up by at least 3 per show (on average). I have been giving the host 2 sheets of the new address list on the supply order and I include a SASE to mail it back to me. I also pay for postage as an added bennie. I always give about 10 non-addressed invites to the host in case she forgot someone.
 

Wendyss

Member
Gold Member
Feb 20, 2006
66
0
What number would the address list be on the paperwork/supply order form? I see EF40 which is guest address labels - is that it?
 

reesefamily5

Member
Mar 27, 2005
195
0
I also send out invites for my hosts. I let them know if they get me over 40 names they get a free gift. I give them the mini-serving spatula because if they already have one it's something you can use more than one of. Since I started offering this incentive my hosts have been giving me about 44 names. Before it was around 30 or less. I also pay for the postage, it is well worth it because of the better attendance. I also make the reminder calls.

I also send the extra 10 invites in the host packet. I tell the host to keep them in their purse to hand out to people she runs into.

It has made a huge difference in my guest attendence to do it this way. I had three shows this year so far that I didn't send the invites because the host didn't want me to. Those shows where much much smaller because of this. Two of them where just over $200 and the other was $400. My average show otherwise is $700. I personally am disappointed in myself for any show under $600 because I don't get many of them. Just one of my own personal goals I try to meet.
 

chefjeanine

Senior Member
Gold Member
Jan 19, 2006
2,984
118
Send invitations AND make reminder calls

I've been doing both since September and I've had increased attendance (so more $) and maybe two shows have canceled during that time. No reason to cancel, the invitations have actually been sent!

I pay for postage, it's deductible.

Tell your Host's that you handle all the secretarial duties (mailing and phone calls). If someone is concerned about the phone calls, I explain that what would take them an hour or more will take me 15-20 minutes.

My reason for doing these things? It's MY business. I want to be in control (as much as I can) of what happens. No one cares more about what happens with it than me.
 

pcjulie

Member
Aug 16, 2005
276
0
I don't send out my hosts' invitations, but I do print out a sheet of address labels with the info. that goes on the left side of the invitation so that the host doesn't have to fill that out. They really seem to appreciate it!

Julie Myers
Denver, PA
 

soonerchef

Veteran Member
Feb 17, 2006
1,523
0
Wendyss said:
What number would the address list be on the paperwork/supply order form? I see EF40 which is guest address labels - is that it?

Yes that's it! I love these guys...
 

fruit76loop

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Sep 13, 2005
1,159
0
Just Do It!!

As Nike says. :D

Try it and see what it does for your show average! My show average went up hundreds of $$$'s. ;) So it is well worth the $. My attendance is also up because of the reminder calls.

When I make the reminder calls, I do not mention that the host is too busy I just say:

"Hello this is Marlene Bauman with the Pampered Chef. I am calling for Suzie Hostess's party tomorrow evening. We are so excited to share new products and a new recipe for _________ with you!! Are you going to be able to attend? How many guests are you bringing? If no, I am sorry that you are going to miss this fun night, but I understand. Would you be interrested in seeing a catalog? Great I will have Suzie get one to you! Suzie will be closing _____. Have a great night!"

Keep it exciting!! So JUST DO IT!!
 

agw

Member
Gold Member
Nov 17, 2005
239
0
I started doing it this year. It's definitely been worthwhile. I've also gotten positive feedback from my hosts. :)

As a Host, personally, I didn't like the idea. I didn't like the idea of giving the consultant such access to my friends and family. After all, I didn't ask my guests if I could send them an invitation, so giving the information to a consultant felt tantamount to signing them up on a call list. It just didn't sit right with me.

As a consultant, I try to recall how I felt and let my Host's know that I will respect the privacy of those whose addresses I receive for the purpose of mailing invitations. They've all been visibly reassured by that. :)

So, yes, I'd definitely recommend sending invitations for your hosts. It puts control of the timing in your hands and you're less likely to lose a show to cancellation. ;)
 

pcjulie

Member
Aug 16, 2005
276
0
E-vites

For those of you who send out the invitations, how do you handle the e-invitations you can do through the website?

Julie Myers
Denver, PA
 
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chefjeanine

Senior Member
Gold Member
Jan 19, 2006
2,984
118
I don't do anything with the e-invites; I've only had one Host ever utilize them. If my Host would like to use those, more power to him/her. I suppose I should have a follow-up strategy for those folks. I did reply to the ones who said "sorry" and invited them to order online and indicated when the show was closing.
 

KellyTheChef

Legend Member
Gold Member
Jan 30, 2006
7,601
2
I have been mailing out the invites since December, and have noticed a dramatic increase in my attendance, and therefore sales and bookings! I do not ask them to reimburse me, I just write it off as an expense.

I have NOT done reminder calls...I tell the host to do that most of the time... maybe I should start that, too???

Like some of the other previous posters, I am also trying to shorten my demo time, and started that with my show today. I am offering two of the family skillet cakes as their choice this month, and did the turtle fudge cake today. I baked the cake as soon as I arrived, and next time I may just bake it at home! Then, I am just demoing the topping and EAD. For future months, I may just look at items that are easy to prep ahead, or I may just make the recipe as soon as I get to the house so it is baking or finished baking as guests are coming in!

I have a son who is just about a year old, and I really want to hurry home for him!

HTH
 

spoiledchef

Member
Jan 8, 2006
386
0
For those of you who DO send out the invitations for your hosts, do you do this for ALL the hosts, or do you ask them if they want you to? Also, do you send out the e-vites through your website as well? I have had a few hosts use it, but I think I may include "website" letters so that MORE use it. But -- since I have the email addresses, I wonder if I should do the e-vites too? Your thoughts?
 

soonerchef

Veteran Member
Feb 17, 2006
1,523
0
I send the invites out for all of my hosts. As far as the e-vites go, I have the host give me all of the e-mail addresses she may have for the guests and I send out e-vites as well. That way if they can't attend they can just order through the site.
 

spoiledchef

Member
Jan 8, 2006
386
0
Is two weeks prior to the show still the protocol for snail mail invites? What's the protocol for e-vites...two weeks as well? Just checking.
 

soonerchef

Veteran Member
Feb 17, 2006
1,523
0
I do both two weeks prior to the show and then I also send a reminder 1 week and 1 day before the show for the e-vites. I have the host call all snail mail guests that have not RSVP'd 2 days before and the one's that have RSVP'd 1 day before the show.
 

BethCooks4U

Legend Member
Gold Member
Jan 21, 2005
13,006
42
I have been offering to send the invitations lately and just over half take me up on it. I evite those who's emails I get and mail invitations 10 days before the show. I send a reminder evite the day before the show.

I coach my host to call her friends before the invitations go out and again to remind them about the party. I think people feel more comfortable getting calls from their friends and not someone they percieve as a sales person. After I have started a friendship with them at the party I feel like I can call them and do CC.

I am finding that it is a chore to send out those invitations (and it's my JOB!) so I realize that many weren't getting out before (in fact I know! I've seen many of my invitation packets on counters when I've arrived at parties.

Best way to invite most people is the good old phone or face-to-face.
 

pchefmomof2

Member
Oct 26, 2005
68
0
My Hosts' have it really easy!

Not only do I send out the invitations for my Hosts, I purchase the ingredients for all my Host's as well! This has worked out so well for me and I have not had one Host complain yet!!!:)

I started sending out the invitations last fall and I have noticed a HUGE increase in my attendance. I also give my Hosts a FREE i-slice with 40+ names on the invitation list they return to me. A lot of them take me up on it saying they are all about the FREE gift! I don't pay for postage and my Hosts are more than willing to cover that.

As for the ingredients, I pick my recipe(s) for the month and I do the shopping! I will go to the store 2 times a month to shop for my shows. I make sure I have all the ingredients for my Hosts for the first 2 weeks of the month then I go again for the last 2 weeks of the month. If I do need something I will go but very rarely do I need to do this. I started this because of the convenience for both the Host and for me! I know I have the right ingredients and I can have a lot of the prep work done up before I even leave my house. This gives me more time to chat with my Host when I get to her house (more Host Coaching!!!)

How do I get reimbursed? Let's say that I have 5 Hosts in the first two weeks, I total the ingredients and divide by 5! EASY! My Hosts usually make out on the deal since I am a coupon clipper and I by in BULK and hit the SALES!!!! The average that my Hosts usually pay is around $12-$14 depending on the recipe sometimes even lower!!! My Hosts will either give me a check at the show for postage/ingredients or when we close the show by adding it on to their total and writing one check with their order. Either way is fine with me as long as I get reimbursed. My Hosts usually brag about how easy it was to Host a show and I encourage it too. All they have to do is clean the room we are going to be in and the bathroom and that's it!:)
 

baychef

Senior Member
Silver Member
Mar 27, 2005
2,882
43
Sending out host invitations

Sherrie,
When I had a host toss me her packet of 40 invitations after her show and tell me that she was not an "invitation person" :mad: I made the decision to try sending the host's invitation. That was Dec 2004 so I have been doing this for about 16 months. It has made a tremendous difference in my business. I will be earning TPC for the first time for sales! Also, I was able to earn my dream trip..Level 3- (7 day cruise). I have had more thousand dollar shows, also. By the end of March in 2005 I had submitted 1 thousand dollar show. So far this year, I have submitted 4 thousand dollar shows (including my highest cooking show of $1669). I am finding that some hosts are seeing that they can hit the $1000 mark and it gets them more confident to follow up with guests that could not attend. I also have a Nancy's Artwork sticker "Bring a friend or an outside order and get a gift." This has helped. This all has led to a boost in my confidence as a consultant because I too feel much more in control of my business and my paycheck. By the way...my host who held the $1669 show? She signed as a consultant. Her first show was over $1381 and her second show over $850. Her show gave her the knowledge and confidence that if she could host that big of a show, that others could too!
I pay for the postage and encourage 30 to 50 names. I award them $20 in free products for 50 names and returning them back to me on time. The investment has paid off and both are tax write offs too! I used to do the Nancy's Artwork postcard reminders for the host but now do not use that. I feel that the cost is awash and the increased sales far outweigh the cost. Cancellations are way down.:D
 

spoiledchef

Member
Jan 8, 2006
386
0
baychef -- do you do the reminder calls? I'm actually working on host letters as we speak (well trying to...lol).
 
Nov 13, 2005
11
0
I have found it to be more lucrative to print the show information directly on the invitations. It saves on the number of labels I use per month. I use Microsoft Word for formating and printing.:)
 

pcjulie

Member
Aug 16, 2005
276
0
Okay! Okay! I'm convinced!

:D After reading all of this, I am now going to offer to send out my hosts' invitations. Do any of you have a paper you send along in your packet to have them fill out addresses and e-mail addresses?
 

spoiledchef

Member
Jan 8, 2006
386
0
just sent out first packet

I just sent out my first two packets for this "trial" today. Here's what I included. I got these from HERE, but I edited them with my info. Feel free to do the same. I also included a SASE for them to return the guest list to me. HTH
 

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  • guest list (name, add, phone #, email).doc
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  • host letter -- first of 3 series.doc
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Mar 11, 2005
8
0
I have been mailing the invites for my hosts for the past few months. My attendance and sales have increased because of it. I downloaded a template for the labels, saved it as a blank template, I email the document to the hosts. All the hosts has to do is type in the names in the blocks and email it back to me. Takes 5 minutes or less to print and adhere to the postcard.

Carol Stair
Consultant #327489
Orlando, Fl
 

PampMomof3

Legend Member
Gold Member
Mar 29, 2005
5,630
1
ladylefty said:
I have been mailing the invites for my hosts for the past few months. My attendance and sales have increased because of it. I downloaded a template for the labels, saved it as a blank template, I email the document to the hosts. All the hosts has to do is type in the names in the blocks and email it back to me. Takes 5 minutes or less to print and adhere to the postcard.

Carol Stair
Consultant #327489
Orlando, Fl


Thanks for joining us Carol! I do the same thing for my hosts!:)
 

reesefamily5

Member
Mar 27, 2005
195
0
So what program do you need or how do you go about printing the information right on the invite? I would love to do that because I go through so many labels every month. Thanks.
 

Paige Dixon

Veteran Member
Aug 11, 2004
1,017
0
I tried the host coaching in person method and sending out the invites for them last fall, and it REALLY NEGATIVELY affected my business! I had more cancellations and the shows that did hold were exhaustingly small. They keep telling us not to re-invent the wheel, I was disappointed that it turned out this way. I can see the place for it: hosts who are too busy to possibly send out invites, I could do it as a service. In this case, I should probaly also sort and deliver the orders for her, too. Where do you draw the line on doing everything for the host? Pampered Chef is a superior direct marketing business because we don't have to deal with deliveries and such. One other place I can see beneficial: Bridal fair leads. While I get a ton of business from bridal fairs, it seems half cancel. I think the in-person coaching would start a relationship, making it harder for them to cancel. I would talk them into it by explaining that I want to make sure their shower is exactly as they pictured it, so let me buy you a quick cup of coffee and you can let me know how you picture your shower. (This is just to get them to the meeting, my real purpose is to build a relationship to ensure the show won't cancel.)
 

chefjeanine

Senior Member
Gold Member
Jan 19, 2006
2,984
118
Paige,

Perhaps you should do a test of which will work for you. . .in-person host coaching OR sending the invitations. Don't wear yourself out! I got tired just reading your email.

I have found great success (high attendance/sales and almost zero cancellations) since I've been sending the invitations.

I liked your idea about an in-person meeting for the Bridal showers. I do a fair amount of those and it would be nice to get a feeling for what they want.
 

ChefBeckyD

Legend Member
Gold Member
Sep 20, 2005
20,376
31
mcqueenx6 said:
I have found it to be more lucrative to print the show information directly on the invitations. It saves on the number of labels I use per month. I use Microsoft Word for formating and printing.:)

I think we would all like to know how you format this :D


Becky Deemter
[email protected]
 

DebbieJ

Legend Member
Oct 6, 2005
10,895
2
I've been sending invites for the month of March and I have found it to be successful. Not necessarily in increased sales (my average has stayed pretty much the same), but it has given me hard data on the number of invites my hostesses actually send!

For example, one hostess mailed back her list with only 14 names! So I coached her to make reminder calls, ask people to bring friends, and gather outside orders. She had 10 people at her show and collected $250 in outside orders to . Not too bad for such a short list!
 

reesefamily5

Member
Mar 27, 2005
195
0
"this case, I should probaly also sort and deliver the orders for her, too. Where do you draw the line on doing everything for the host?"

I don't sort the orders for anyone unless it's a special situation and here's why...By sorting through the products the host gets her hands on so many more products than what she herself ordered. I remember when I used to host shows and I sorted through everything I kept telling myself "Oh that's nice I want one of them too!" If there is a lot of things that she/he wants and didn't get they will be more likely to rebook. Or use their 10% off discount to buy more products!!
 

baychef

Senior Member
Silver Member
Mar 27, 2005
2,882
43
baychef -- do you do the reminder calls? I'm actually working on host letters as we speak (well trying to...lol).
Sorry I haven't replied...at this point I do not make the reminder calls, however, I may at some point.
 

baychef

Senior Member
Silver Member
Mar 27, 2005
2,882
43
Although I would love to print directly onto the postcard, my printer did not take well to this method. :mad:
I have attached my guest list and cover letter. I first send out a show reminder from Nancy's Artwork. Once the show is confirmed, I send out these two letters. I write in the date that I want the addresses back...usually 3 weeks before the show. Only after I have the list do I send out a host packet. At this point, if I do not have addresses, I call the host and I find out her reason for the delay and offer to help. If for some reason she can not do the show, this gives me time to rebook for that date.
I know the guest list looks very simple, but I am finding the quicker and simpler I can make it the better response I have from hosts. I have given away a few of the bonus levels. If a host hits my $20 level bonus, the show is somewhere over $800 but usually it is $1,000 or more so it is well worth it.
We all have to find what works best for our own business and lifestyle. That is the beauty of this business and the sharing of information is what helps us all try the next idea that just may work for us!:)
 

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  • Guest List 2006.doc
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  • Host Bonus from Ann.doc
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chefjeanine

Senior Member
Gold Member
Jan 19, 2006
2,984
118
Are your bonuses in addition to those already offered by P-Chef?

Thanks for some great ideas. I like the thought of not sending the host packet until I have the guest list in hand (though I do like to hand out packets at the show when I can).

I've been using the guest list that we can get on our Paperwork order form. . .but finding that hosts are really messy when filling it out. I may go back to filling in the names and addresses on my own.
 

spoiledchef

Member
Jan 8, 2006
386
0
Do any of you use labels with show information to cover up the date, time, host, etc that's already printed on the invitation? I tried printing directly on the invite itself, but my printer didn't like that idea. So, I think I'm just going to type up the show info (date, time, host, location, phone) and put it on the invitations. At least that'll be ONE less thing to write. I also made up bring a friend/unable to attend labels to put on them. I thought about putting the "our consultant is: my name, address, etc" on the return section, but I don't know if I want my address/phone# and email to be going around in the mail so much. LOL! Any ideas on that?
 
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