I hosted IBN's first Site Party on Cyber Monday and had a great time doing it! The best news is that our featured Indie, Charlene Sevier, sold 11 pieces of her beautiful handmade jewelry in under 60 minutes! As you may recall from this post announcing the party, Charlene makes combines a passion for beads and jewels with en eye for color and style to create jewelry that makes real fashion statements. I purchased this beautiful African trade bead bracelet. See the beautiful rust colored chain link? Charlene fashioned them by hand from brass wire, darkened them, and connected them one by one.
Just look at the detail! Now that I've seen first hand how much fun these parties are, and the huge potential they have to help my members increase sales, I am planning to host even more of them! Here are some of the things that make a Site Party great.
Preparation. Charlene and I met via phone and email a few times to sort out the details. We decided in advance how long the party would last, how Charlene would present her products, how we would promote the event and other details. Charlene decided to offer a 25% discount on all purchases made during the party.
Charlene sold 11 pieces of jewelry during the Site Party, which lasted under an hour. She says she continued to get sales in the hours and days following the party, but cannot be sure of how many of them are directly attributed to the party. She tells me that she's very pleased with the results!
Charlene told me that she did not have a mailing list, and we both agreed that attendance might have been much higher if she had been able to send announcements in advance, in addition to blogging it. Also, next time, I will plan to leverage FaceBook and Twitter to create buzz in advance of the event. To make the most of a Site Party, we have to use newsletters, blogs, FaceBook, Twitter and other social networks to spread the word and generate even more excitement and anticipation. Finally, while we announced everything a week in advance, more notice and repetition in the future will increase participation
Technology. We made sure we had a clear audio conference call connection for everyone to call into to enjoy the party. We also set up a way for people to access a live screencast of Charlene's presentation of her jewelry. It was great to use technology to allow people to connect with each other and hear Charlene describe how her products are made and why they are so special, all while watching the jewelry be presented live from their desktop! People were able to ask questions and get answers immediately, just as they would at an in-person home party!
Charlene opted not to make a video recording of her party, but this option is available for all of the Site Parties I host. Having a video that you can post to YouTube, your blog, social networking sites and elsewhere is a great way to make the Site Party generate sales for you long after the party ends.Our first party included live streaming video and audio via a conference call. Next time, I'm considering including a live chat as well, to allow people who mute themselves because of background noise to participate.
Product Options. Charlene's jewelry easily carried the entire hour because each piece is unique and has its own special story. Still, I think an hour is a bit long for one type of product. Next time, I plan to split the hour into 3 segments and offer party goers three different types of products made by three different Indies. A good mix might be candles, soap and jewelry. Or maybe perfume, candy and herbal salves. Just about any combination would do so long as there was variety.
Offering vastly different options make the party more fun and informative. It is also likely to attract more and different types of people, so the connections and conversations might be even more lively.
I think Site Parties are a great new benefit to offer my members and I'm very excited to offer more!!
Question: What do you think? If you are an IBN member and would like me to host one with you and your fabulous products, leave a comment below so I can contact you with details!