First, you must determine WHY you are doing an event (your FOCUS):
- Are you looking for individuals to join you in your business?
- Is your home party calendar for the next two months emptier than you would like it to be?
- Are you in need of additional sales this month?
If the FOCUS for doing an event is #3, do NOT do it! Instead, get on the phone. You will make more sales by providing good customer service! Your focus for any event should always be #1, then # 2! That said, any sales made are "gravy."
You also need to answer the following questions:
How much does the booth space cost?
Is it in your budget? A general rule of thumb is the event should not cost more than $5-10/hour. Of course, you also have to account for the value of your time. Would it be more beneficial for you to make 20 customer service calls? Or hold a party? (NEVER do an event in lieu of an in-home party!)
How long is the event?
Is it a few hours, or is it every day for 10-12 hours for 7-14 days? Saturday or Sunday events should only be 10a-2p…no one shops before 10 or after 2. If you're working a county fair or women's expo that has long hours over multiple days, find at least one other team member to work the event with you. Attendees are more likely to book parties with consultants who are "fresh" and "fun."
Is this the first year for the event?
First-year events are hit-and-miss.
What is the target market for attendees?
Does this match your target market? If the target market is seniors (55+) and your target market is 30-55, skip the event!
How will it be advertised?
Will they be depending on you to invite your customers? My customers do NOT attend events – they go to home parties and open houses at my home.
Is this an area you are willing to return to in order to hold parties or train new team members?
If not, don't do it.
So, if you have the right focus, and the event meets your criteria, here are a few tips:
Keep the display simple.
If you sell jewelry or purses, don't bring your entire inventory. A few samples will give attendees an idea of what you offer — enough to entice them to host a party. If you sell food, use empty boxes for your display.
Do a drawing. Make it enticing, but cost-effective.
- Do not give away products. Give away a "free party" or gift certificate that offers free X amount when they spend X amount.
- Keep the drawing slips with you. Hand the drawing slips out to everyone who stops by and while they are filling out their info, ask questions…then take the slip and make notes before placing it in the draw box. Ask "If you win the free party, which month works better for you, July or August?"
- Design your drawing slips to help you focus on your target market. Add age brackets (21-29, 30-55, 55+) and a check box for fundraising info.
If you sell food products, don't sample.
Waste of time, waste of money. That's what the tasting party is for! (Plus, it’s just plain messy & usually not very sanitary!)
No need to hand out current catalogs to everyone who stops.
If you can use old catalogs at a lower price, use those. Postcards with your info work, too.
Smile and greet every person who walks by.
Don't bury your head in a book or your phone!
Be prepared to schedule parties and recruit right there.
- Have host and recruit information handy.
- Know your open dates.
- If you have online enrollment, bring your iPad or laptop and get it done then and there.
Offer an incentive for booking close.
If they book the first week after the event, offer an additional $50 in free product. Second week-$40, third week-$30, fourth week-$20. Fill your calendar then and there to save follow up time.
Be sure to schedule follow up time.
If you can't spend an hour on the phone for every 4 hours of an event within 48-72 hours of the end, don't bother doing it. The “money is in the follow up.”
Don’t spend Money unless you’ve made Money!
If you follow these simple steps, AND follow up with the leads you collect, an expo/event can be very worthwhile. As you progress in your business, the need to work events like this becomes less important; however, they can also be used as a great tool for teaching new team members and helping them find new leads.
Meet Guest Blogger Kay Thibodeaux!
Kay has been in direct sales for over 30 years. She has worked with network marketing and home-party plan companies, but enjoys the home party scenario the most. She has been #1 in sales, #1 in recruiting, #1 in number of home parties held, and #1 in team sales. She received the first “Spirit of Celebration” award for her willingness to mentor others while maintaining her personal sales. Kay has earned numerous incentive trips. She has been with Dove Chocolate Discoveries for three years and is currently a Senior Team Leader in the top 10 for sales, recruiting, and number of home parties. She was also the first person in the company to qualify both herself and her spouse for Dove Chocolate Discoveries' first incentive trip in 2012. Dove Chocolate Discoveries truly is the “sweet life!”