Home Party Hostess Tips
Thank you so much for inviting me into your home for a Story Time Felts demonstration with your friends! We will have a great time and you, your friends, and your family will enjoy shopping with Story Time Felts (not to mention all the FREE felt you will receive)!
I need to update you on your duties as a hostess and other things you should know to help make this a fun event for everyone!
Before Your Demonstration:
1. Relax. THIS IS GOING TO BE FUN!
2. Invite everyone you can think of. Fill up your guest list with at least 20-30 people from various groups Don’t limit yourself to any particular category of friends or acquaintances. Invite as many as you can from different groups such as club members, church friends, neighbors, children’s classmates’ parents, teachers, etc. Everyone has at least one child in their life - parents and teachers love our products but so do grandparents, aunts, and babysitters! Don't worry that too many people will come to your house. As a rule, only a third of those invited will be able to attend. The more you invite, the greater your chances are of having a really good turnout!
3. Contact all of your guests before the Demonstration! Some of your friends will have other commitments and will not be able to attend. When you have narrowed down your list to YESes and MAYBEs, with personally invitations, you are ready to send the "reminder" postcards! These should not take the place of a personal invitation but can be a great visual reminder! Be sure they are sent at least 1 week before your Demonstration but not before you've invited everyone personally and gotten a Yes or Maybe!
4. If someone is unable to attend, it doesn't mean that they wouldn't love to place an order from you anyway. SHOW THE CATALOG AND SAMPLE TO THEM! These outside orders can send your totals through the roof! When collecting an outside order, have your friends write checks out to your Consultant or record their credit card information (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or AMEX). Be sure to add 10% for shipping plus your local sales tax. Use the current month’s sales prices. If you have not received them, please ask! Be sure to ask them if they’d prefer to book their own Home Party and if so, have them give us a call to set a date right away! You will receive $15 to spend at their party! Their party must be held within 3 months of yours, and both parties must result in a minimum of $100 in sales - easy!
5. The day before your Demonstration it is critical that a reminder phone call be made! In Story Time Felts we prefer to have the Consultant make the reminder calls instead of, or in addition to the hostess. When I call I simply introduce myself as the Consultant doing the demonstration the next night and let them know I am calling to see if there is anything in particular they were hoping to see. I also ask them the ages of the children in their lives and let them know I am looking forward to meeting them. These calls serve several purposes: One is that I can easily assess the type of Demonstration to do and which products to display. If there are primarily parents of toddlers, I will do a slightly different demo than if it is primarily elementary school teachers. The other benefit is that it allows me to introduce myself before the demonstration which sets people more at ease - we’ve already “met” before we start! This helps encourage people to come and makes them feel important. They know we are both looking forward to meeting them! The other purpose is that it reminds them of the Demonstration in a way that is non-threatening and helps them feel that the Demonstration will be worthwhile to them since they know I will be bringing things they will personally be interested in seeing. Also, if I make the reminder calls, it will take me 2 minutes each, whereas if you call each of your friends you aren’t likely to spend as little time, since these are your friends and they will want to talk! I can do them all in a half hour but you would be on the phone all night! Consider allowing me to perform this customer service... it can make a big impact! To do so, I will need your YES and MAYBE list with phone numbers at least 2 days before your Demonstration. You may either call them in to me, mail or fax me a list, or email me. If you prefer to do the reminders yourself, you may do so, but still try and find out their interests for me and let me know the night before your Demonstration.
5. Don't overdo it on housework or refreshments. Unless this is your one chance to give the house a once over, don't go nuts cleaning. I only put this here because this event should not stress you out. We want to relax and enjoy ourselves, not do a white glove test. Refreshments should be minimal (unless you really like to spend 2 hours rolling those pinwheels). Tea or coffee is great. Snacks are up to you, but I have found that many guests only nibble a little so don’t overdo it and be disappointed if they don’t eat it. Most of the time everyone is so busy with the demonstration and placing orders that they don’t want to drag themselves away to eat!
6. Often a hostess will ask me if I mind having children at the Demonstration. The answer is NO! I actually enjoy it when parents can see their children’s eyes light up playing with the felt! It is a personal choice however. Some hostesses prefer to have their Demonstration be a “mom’s night out” without children. Others know that many of their friends would be unable to attend if they cannot bring their children. I leave it up to the hostess to set the tone for their Demonstrations. After all, it is your house, and you know your friends best! If you do choose to encourage children to come, it would be helpful to be prepared with some child-friendly snacks and a room where they can occupy themselves once the stories or songs are over. If you can help me out by keeping an eye on them in the other room, or have an older child help, it will ensure that the guests can get the most out of the Demonstration. If you would prefer to have the children be the focus of the Demonstration, ask me about doing a Story Time Party! These parties involve everyone’s children as part of the demonstration vs. focusing on the guests with a few children present. Let me know in advance if children will be there and how many and I can bring along some special prizes for them.
7. I will arrive 15-30 minutes before the scheduled start of your Demonstration to set up. It doesn’t take me very long, so expect me no later than 15 minutes prior. I do not need a table or any other special equipment. I will simply stand the boards up around the room, lay the activity books and dolls on the chairs, and place my demo materials on the floor. My Demonstrations are very casual and I will likely spend more time on the floor than standing up! I will bring my own CD player and easel. When your Demonstration is over I will need some place to take orders, such as your dining room table or some other place a little outside where the main gathering takes place.
During Your Demonstration and After:
7. We will have a lot of fun! I will demonstrate a few of our products with either children or your guests participating, we will hear some of our audio CDs, and I will answer any questions. I have some games that are fun to play and help the guests get involved with the product as well. Again, you know your friends best! Let me know if you would prefer to skip the games or product demonstration. Our Demonstrations can be as simple or as complex as you’d like! I can simple display products, explain the features, and pass them around, or we can sing a song, tell a story and play a game. If most of your guests are interested in the educational aspects, I can focus on that and give them some teaching ideas. If you have a preference, please don’t be shy about letting me know! This is your party and I am very flexible!
8. We will spend about 30 minutes doing the actual demonstration, exploring the products and drawing for prizes. After that I will start answering questions and taking orders which can take 30 minutes or more depending on how ready people are to get going. It will then take about 10-15 minutes to pack up my things. If your guests are asking about how much time to expect to be at your home, I usually tell them about an hour or hour and a half (depending on when we get started and how much visiting they stay around for!).
6. Close your Party out as soon as possible. If you have taken outside orders early, we can close the day of your party and your felt will be here in about 2 weeks or less! This is negotiable, but the sooner the better. Most people close their party 2-4 days later, getting outside orders from guests who had intended to come but for some reason couldn’t. Please make sure your guests know that payment will be expected when they place the order so you will not need to collect it before closing. Before I leave, if we have not closed your party that night, we will set a day for me to come back and collect any further orders. If you prefer to do it over the phone, you can encourage your guests to use credit cards to avoid the need to collect checks.
7. Choose your FREE and HALF OFF items! Before I leave, I will let you know what your totals are so far, not including any further orders, so you can get an idea of how much free product you will receive. You can look at the inside cover of the full catalog to see the Free Felt schedule. As Party reaches $200+ with at least 2 future bookings scheduled (I will need names, numbers and dates before closing) then you may choose to purchase the monthly Hostess-Only Special. Ask what that is for the current month! It is usually a great item at 60-75% off, or FREE if your party results in $300 in sales and 3 future parties booked! You will be responsible only for tax and shipping on your share of the half off item, your Hostess-Only Special, and your Free Felt.
8. If any of your friends booked their own Story Time Felts Party, I will contact you before their party about how you’d like to spend your $15 Booking Certificate! You may choose any item for under $15, or something higher and then pay the overage. What’s great is this $15 also counts toward your friend’s totals! There is no limit to the number of $15 Booking Certificates you can earn! The record for me so far has been 6 bookings! That hostess earned $90 in FREE product just from the bookings her friends scheduled!
9. Your orders will come via UPS in about 2-3 weeks from when we close your party. Delivery time depends a lot on whether there are many precut items ordered, as that takes a little longer. You can choose to either have the items shipped to me so that I can bag them up and bring them over to you ready to go, or you can have UPS deliver them right to your door. Let me know if you would prefer they be delivered to you so that I can give you the order forms so you will know who ordered which items. It is like Christmas opening up your box! Either way, let your guests know you have received their orders and make arrangements to deliver or have them pick them up as soon as possible.
10. If anything appears to be missing, please let me know immediately! Enjoy your FELT!
THANKS for having your Story Time Felts Demonstration with me! If I can be of any help, please contact me!