Thursday, May 15, 2008

Party Plan - the new way

I found an interesting comment today on Small Business Ideas. Ingrid says that party plans"were the precursor to all of the Web 2.0 high tech strategies of forming networks and communities, taking recommendations from friends and just having fun." That is an interesting way to look at it.

Party Plan is still a very popular sales method in my area. We are just far enough away from the city to make certain items difficult to get. We are also within commuting distance so most husbands and many wives will leave the town during the day. For those left behind party plan seems to be the obvious way of meeting two needs - one for company and one for your shopping needs.

Most people here have access to the internet in their homes and are very used to shopping online so I am gradually seeing an increase in the online party experience. What a great blend of old and new strategies. Party Plan is no longer the old fashioned experience involving sitting demurely on your chair and listening to a presentation. They are active and involving which makes the experience a lot of fun, especially when shared with your friends.

Beauty Banquet presents Afternoon Silver parties and they are great fun. Hostesses have a very clear idea of what they need to do to get the most out of the event, including inviting lots of people and collecting outside orders. They know how to work the system to their advantage. Isn't that a great win-win situation? It just shows what good networking can do for you!

4 comments: said...

What do you mean by online party experience??

Anne said...

Hi, Online parties are happening in front of the computer. There seem to be a couple of versions. One, the hostess leads her guests through an online site and collects orders. She benefits in the same way she would if it was a face-to-face party.

Another version has people joining in from their homes via a chat room. They can play games and ask questions of the consultant just like in a regular party only you don't have to leave home to do it.

I guess if you are doing it online you can create your own way to run a party as long as it benefits you and your hostesses.

I know that in these cooler months the idea of doing it all from home sounds great.

kat therapy said...

Hi Anne,
I'm concerned that all this stay at home and spend, spend, spend is not such a good idea. I can see that it's good if you're selling, but a lot of what is for sale is hardly necessary and I wonder how many of your customers can afford to buy, or do you sell to an elite market?

Anne said...

Hi Kat, I see what you mean. In the past there have been some horror stories with unscrupulous consultants and ignorant buyers.

My market is far from elite. They are the ordinary person for whom the dollar has to stretch. My items are priced accordingly, because I believe that everyone is entitled to a treat now and then.

What I have found is that people know their budgets and what they can afford to spend. They usually book a party because they have an event coming up that they would like some jewellery for. They also know how to work the system to benefit by it. They are used to party plan and comfortable with it. They are sensible people.

My area is a country region with limited shopping. The reason that party plan is so suited here is that it brings the shop to you. The things that sell well are home and domestic items as well as giftware. It will never be diamonds or expensive items.

Pushing for extra sales is something we don't do. Breaking someones budget might bring sales in the short term but will certainly lead to your business drying up.

I think that there are ethics that we work with for everyones peace of mind, including our own.