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Make Your Online Party A Success
Online parties are quickly becoming the better alternative to the traditional "In Home Party". Online parties can be more accommodating for the company rep and the hostess for various reasons. There's no driving to another persons home, getting the snacks ready, loading and unloading all your products, cleaning your house and best of all no dressing up!
So many times I've heard the questions, "How do I have and online party?" "What do you do at an online party?" or the ever popular "What kind of games do I play?" Hopefully this article will answer some of the burning questions out there. The following are just a few ideas of things that can happen. Things may have to be altered depending on where the party is and rules that may be applied there. For example some places may require you to have a hostess and some places don't require this allowing the reps to do the parties themselves. So, please take in all considerations and apply changes as needed.
First decide if you will be finding a hostess or doing the party yourself. If you decide that you do want a hostess then let everyone you know that you are now in business for yourself and what you do. Be sure to let them now that you have parties online and are always looking for hostesses. Friends and family are often your best start. Another idea is to find a rep from another company and set up to exchange parties. You agree to be a hostess for them and in return they hostess a party for you. Some email groups and discussion forums allow you to request hostesses.
Please be sure to follow all rules and regulations for these boards and don't spam. If all else fails and you can't find another hostess, mystery hostess parties are always a great option. Mystery hostess parties can put a unique twist on the entire party itself piquing the interest of your guests. Basically, the idea behind this is that there is no "official hostess" until the end of the party. Once the party is over, take the names of all the guests and randomly pick one guest to be the "Mystery Hostess" and they receive the hostess rewards.
What are hostess rewards? Hostess rewards are used to entice people to be a hostess. First thing you should give them is a free gift. This is just a small token of thanks for having the party to begin with. Always be sure to announce at the party what the free gift and other rewards are. This may help with getting other guests interested in becoming a hostess at a later party. Other ideas for hostess rewards can include a gift certificate, percentage of sales in free products and free products for a certain amount of sales made. Gift certificates make excellent rewards because the hostess can choose what they want.
Games are always important and bring a lot of fun to your online parties. How many games to play generally depends on the amount of time allotted for your party. I personally recommend two games. The games played don't always have to be about your products or business. If you do opt for a game that is just for fun and not for the business I recommend that you play one that is and one that isn't. The ideas for games can be endless and sometimes just needs a little imagination. It is a little more difficult to play some of the traditional games online but with a little thought put into it can be just as fun. I've researched, attended other parties, and have asked for suggested games. I've put together a list of games that can be used at http://www.mommyshelperonline.com/online-party-games.html
Next thing to think about would be invitations and announcing your online party. There a few things that you want to make sure you include on your invites. Make sure you have the business that you are having the party for and a brief description of the products that you carry. You may also consider listing the games, prizes, and specials if any. Make sure you list the date, time and a clickable link to the party room. Keeping in mind that guests may be coming from all over the country you may consider making a list of the different time zones. This helps void off any confusion right from the beginning. "Leaving the party open" for maybe an additional day might be a good idea for those guests that cannot make it to the party but, would like to "cash in" on party specials.
If you go for this option, make note in your invitations for alternative ordering information. For example, you may want them to email you their order. Invitations should be sent out a few days prior to the party and maybe send out reminders an hour or so before the start of the party. You can create invitations for free at Evite.com
Announcing your party should be done basically in the same procedure. You can either announce your party in free or paid advertising. Purchasing solo ads in ezines with your target guests in mind is an excellent idea too. Some discussion forums and email groups allow you to announce your party too. Once again keeping in mind the "rules and regulations" to each of these groups. I've put together a list of yahoo groups and online communities that allow you to post your online parties at http://www.mommyshelperonline.com/announce-online-parties.html.
Some groups even have special days that you can advertise your online parties. Check out your groups to see if these days are available.
The following are some tips and ideas to help keep things flowing nicely at the party. First you want to show up a little early. You want to make sure you are there before the guests. Don't start the party right away. Be sure to allow a little extra time for some guests that might be running a little late and gives a little time for some general chit-chat. Make sure you greet each guest as they arrive. Once you feel confident that most of the guests have arrived, give a short description about yourself, your business and thank everyone for coming.
Next you will want to announce your specials for the party and give them the URL to your website. If you have any "special ordering info" you may want to let guests know this. Give your guests a few moments to browse around your site and ask any questions that they may have. After guests have had sufficient amount of time to browse, let them know that you will be playing a game shortly. You may want to tell them a little about the game especially if it has to do with things found on your website. After a few moments you will want to start the game, making sure that all the guests are "still with you" and not looking over your site. After the first game allow a few more moments for general chit chat and questions about your site or products. Announce the next game and repeat the steps above. Guests will probably be leaving at different times. Be sure to thank each of them as they leave, hope they had a good time and ask them if they'd like to be added to a guest list for future parties.
Hopefully this article will help you become more comfortable about having an online party. No matter how much information you get from this article or any other source online, it's still not as good as being there yourself. The best way to learn about online parties is to attend a few yourself. This will allow you to see the whole picture.
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