OPEN HOUSE

 

An Open House is an excellent opportunity to show case new products, entertain your customers and build relationships.  The types of Open Houses are as varied as the people who hold them.  This page is a compilation of Open House experiences, invitations, and ideas.  Always make sure your event is in compliance with standards of your company.  And then ... GO FOR IT!!

 

Have You Started Planning? Open House Compliance OK's Invitation Samples
Another Angle on Open Houses Our Experiences Who To Invite
  Favors Great Things You Can Make

 Index

 

 

HAVE YOU STARTED PLANNING YOUR OPEN HOUSE?

Anytime we have a new catalog, people love to be the first to see the new products.  Inviting them to your home is the best way for them to see everything "in action".  We can only bring so much to a show, but at our homes, well ... need we say more??!!!


Many recruits have come from Open Houses.  It is best to always have  career opportunity information area, where they can look through the literature and take home some information.  This is a perfect time for you to get together your Opportunity Basket and set it out for display.  Talk to your guests about becoming a consultant.  You never know who might be interested and just waiting to be asked!
 
A few tips on hosting an Open House  (many of these were learned the hard way):

 

 

Open House SC "Ok's" Cindy G.

>>>These items were approved by a basket company - you may want to double check with the company you sell products for.<<<

I called Sales Compliance about my first upcoming Open House...I wanted to be sure of the DOS AND DON'TS!

Here's some things some of you might have wondered about before.....

YES, we CAN have a minimal amount of CURRENT items for cash and carry!  Actually, this was covered in the handbook!  

YES, we can give away a CURRENT item for a door prize!!!!  All must be allowed to sign up for it however....no purchase or attendance necessary!  

YES, we can give a CURRENT basket away to our top hostesses as a Hostess Appreciation gift (I'm giving my top two hostesses a {specific} Basket with a special tag on it...filled with goodies and wrapped in the clear wrap!)  

Also (and this is covered in the handbook too), we ARE allowed to hold a SPECIAL DOOR PRIZE DRAWING for people who book a show at the Open House!  

WHO TO INVITE

Invite the world... only several humans will arrive *lol*! Prepare at least 50 packets to hand out... this way, you'll have enough left for your next home shows... for a lifetime! Can you tell... my biz has been slow this year.

All kidding aside, I've held successful open houses, so don't despair, but be prepared that all of them may not turn out "the turn out" for a myriad of reasons.

I started my biz with a zero mailing list and acquired over a hundred contacts by doing two open houses in my first year!

Some Suggestions:
Those customers you do have know people... call your customers and tell them about the Open House and ask them for names and addresses of their friends and family.

Be sure to let everyone know (put it on your invitations) -- Bring some friends and be entered into a special Bring A Friend Drawing. You must also have a Door Prize drawing for everyone if you do this. You can also have a Booking Drawing for those that book a show at your Open House. People expect a door prize drawing at an Open House, but the others are your choice. You cannot offer drawings that are incentives to buy products... only to book shows, per Guidelines.

Send invitations via mail or hand them out to:
Grocery Checkers
At your doctor/dentist offices
Neighbors
Local Stores your frequent
If you're married, spouse's co-workers
Your co-workers
Church Members
Civic Organizations (Lion's Club, etc.)
Gardening Clubs

Ask you friends that work to post a flyer in their employee lounge... encourage them to do a Catalog Show from these particular sales to get them motivated to help you get these people to your Open House... you'll be able to show them products and hopefully glean future sales/shows from them.

Hand out invitations at PTA meetings and children's events... on ball fields, indoor sporting events, etc. If you don't have children, ask a friend that does have them to hand out some invitations for you.

Did you purchase something from another that supported their business or fundraiser? Invite them and their customers (non competitive, naturally).

Give your Open House a theme... Christmas in September, or a theme relative to the season at the time of your open house. Organization is talked about everywhere nowadays... put it in your Theme Title or mention it on your invitation.

To save you time, prepare your invitations with Avery postcard stock, or print labels and affix them to the back of a blank Longaberger postcard. Give an RSVP Date and announce "yes or no, you will be entered in an RSVP drawing."

Just like we tell our hostesses, always over invite. For an Open House, I send out about 100 invitations; the most attendance that I've had is 15.

My most successful open house is Midnight Madness held 2 weeks before Christmas... great way to move your obsolete products and meet new people... some stop by while they're shopping and usually have someone with them that you haven't met yet... it's the best potty break they can ever take while holiday shopping!

I do NOT recommend advertising in the newspaper when the Open House is in your home... that's risky... safety first!

Hope this helps!
Judi in Va.

 

OPEN HOUSE INVITATION SAMPLES

BEFORE YOU SEND THE INVITATION ... (again this was approved by a basket company -- check with your particular company for approval)

I just got off the phone with sales compliance and thought I would share this with everyone. I asked if there was a pre-approved form for Open House Invitations, no there is not one. What are the restrictions for using the {Company} name? This answer surprised me. You must use the (R) after LB. Can I call it a "{Company} (R) Open House" YES! You can also use all the basket names etc with (TM) in the right places. I asked if this needs to be approved first. NO. Again I was surprised. She said that since I am ONLY sending them to my customers it is not considered an advertisement. Think of it more like a newsletter. Then I asked about distributing them through out the neighborhood. If I want to go door to door and hand them out personally, that is okay, but you can not leave them in a mailbox (federal offense) or on the door or on mailbox. She did even mention that you can not leave them in the newspaper box either. She also said LB recommends you put "Do Not Distribute" on the flyer to protect yourself, but they do not mandate that.   (I failed to get the name of the submitter attached.  Thanks for this info.)

 

Sample #1

 

I used this a couple of years ago at my Christmas Open House.    Enjoy!

{COMPANY} CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE

Dashing through the Mall,
{Product}less again,
Christmas time is nearing,
Come and see your friend.

Need just one more {Product},
{Other product, other product} too,
Maybe just a {Product} and
Stoneware, that will do.

{Company, Company}
{Products} all the way.
Oh what fun it is to shop,
On Your Name Boutique day.

Special {Product} Drawing

Cash and Carry {Products} and other {Company}Items

[Date]
[Time]

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[Your City State and Zip]
PLEASE   RSVP     [Your Phone Number or email address]

 

Sample #2
This is what my friend and I used for our open house invites (postcard size)


Open House!!!
[Day, Date, Time].....
* Come see all the exciting new holiday products (bring a friend)!
* Bring your calendar and book your fall show now!
* Special surprise for past hostesses
* Snacks, beverages, and DOOR PRIZES!

Hosted by: [Your Name]

Location: [Address]

(Get directions when your RSVP - please RSVP by [date]

[Your name and phone number]

This was one side of the invitation.  We formatted them so the other side had the Nippert (www.bnartworks.com) open house clip art on the far left.

 

Sample #3

 

Please find below the invitation that I used for my Holiday Open House last year.  Just so it's known, I did check with my company's Compliance Dept. regarding the Hostess benefits drawing.  It was within guidelines as long as I offered it to everyone (even those who gave outside orders must be included).  Also, don't forget to include the little trademark sign for {Company} when doing your invitations. 

Please join me for a {Company} Open House

featuring the
1999 Holiday {Product}
and the
{Other holiday products}& Accessories

Sunday, November 7 at 1:00 p.m.
at the home of

[Consultant Name]

[Address}

[Phone]

Special drawings to be held
for all 
Hostess Benefits with more surprises to come!

Do you have any last minute {Company}
wishes for the holidays?? Last minute gifts
to buy??  Not to fear...your order will be
guaranteed for holiday delivery if placed by
[whatever date has been set]

 

Sample #4

 

Here's one Open House Invite that we used as a group a few years ago. Of course, it was prettied up with color, pictures, different fonts and sizes, etc.

Wish List Live!
Open House

Date: Sunday, September 23, 2001

Time: 1 - 4 p.m.

Place: Fire Hall

Cost: Free

- Come see the 2001 Christmas Baskets and new products. Plus, EVERY item in the Wish List will be on display for you to see, touch, and fall in love with!

- Find terrific bargains at our "cash and carry" table, including past features and retired items.

- Enjoy refreshments.

- Order your baskets then and there or book a home show to earn fantastic hostess benefits.

- Be eligible to win great door prizes.

- Take home favors including the new Wish List and holiday brochure.

- Please bring a friend!

Please RSVP to (name) at (phone number and/or e-mail address) by Wednesday, September 19 so there is time to prepare your goody bag.

 

Sample #5 (Haunted House)

 

Here is the information you have asked for my invitation is a postcard 1/2 page in bright green with funny looking bats flying about and it reads:
 
You are invited
to a Spooktacular Open House event
on Date
from
at the
Haunted House of
my name & address
 
Don't let the bat wings scare you
while sampling our new dips and mixes
We will also have our new products on display
 
Now that I have cleaned all the skeletons out of my
Longaberger closet I am sure you will find plenty of bargains!
 
I will keep you updated with attendance and $$.  But I do expect about 100 or so and hopefully $4,000 to $5,000.  Also you can see that I will have the L food products for sampling along with cider.  I do favors, this year will be a votive tin holder filled with candy corn, got those at Wal-Mart.  I don't do drawings, because everyone gets a favor it's easier.  By doing it two days some customers will come back and bring friends the second day!
 
Thanks for the interest!
 

 

 


ANOTHER OPEN HOUSE ANGLE

I have been selling for 5 years and do one Open House a year -- it is the Sunday before Thanksgiving (same time every year).  From the beginning I made it clear that it was just an open house -- come see my Christmas decorations (yep, can you imagine -- all done--I admit I get a little crazy the week or two before), come see the products in my home and the displays of new things, etc.  My purpose in my open house is not to take orders
(although yes, that does happen) or book shows (again, does happen).  I also have a nice selection of retired and cash and carry items in my garage -- depending on time I even do a few of them as gifts (wrapped with bows,
etc).  There are good dips and appetizers and my "famous" Margaritas as well as wine and non-alcoholic punch. 

Of course, there is a drawing for a door prize. My giveaway this year was the magnetized note pads with my
business card on it (from supply order).  The first year I had about 30; last year and this year I had about 80 customers and friends of customers come through. Some stay for an hour, some stay all day.  I think part of
the reason I get a great turnout is because they are comfortable that no one is going to ask them to buy something or book a show.

So where is the "payback" if the goal is not orders and sales?  It is in the relationship -- just saying thank you for your business and a chance to share my excitement about our products.  I do a lot of decorating for the holidays and love to show off my home and they love to see it.  I also get rid of a lot of retired and extra products and they have a chance to pick up something retired for their collection or perhaps a gift.  And as a side benefit -- my decorating is all done and I can entertain all through December!

BJ (OH)

 

FAVORS
 
I usually try to do my favors according to what's on special....like next month since we have the mugs special...I would probably do something with hot choc., tea, or flavored coffee...maybe making some of those spoons with chocolate on them??
 
In the past I have done, recipe cards...bought a package and divided them up tying them with raffia with a tag saying "Baskets of thanks"
I have also done the snowman soup which would be good with the mug theme.....
Once I made the "smore" people that I posted on the Vine...had a picture too...the smore person held a sign saying "I need smore baskets" and had a small basket hanging from his other twig arm
some do very expensive things ...items from the wish list or off the attic...unless I could get them very reasonable I could not afford them.. however, my customers seem to be very happy with the items they get....I try to give a few Longaberger items away...but they are small.
 
I hope this helps some!!
 
JILL Y in WV

 

I've read on the Vine about some absolutely fabulous favors, but mine tend to be very simple and inexpensive.

I have given our votive candles, wrapped individually in circles of tulle and tied with ribbon at the top. I've given plastic eggs in the spring filled with candy. I've made 3-D baskets from stamps sold at the Homestead and filled with an Andes mint candy. I've given cork-backed coasters from the Homestead as well as sample food mixes done up in cellophane bags with colored shred. One year I got gold and silver foil mini gift bags, put shred in them, and gave them the holiday Post-It notes that came with the Holiday Helper basket one year. We could buy them for .99 at the Attic one time. I always have a second little gift for my Collectors Club members. One year these were the woven soaps from the Homestead. I've also given them weave splints in hunter green that say "My favorite Collectors Club basket!" or "Basket Collector."

I've found they are just as grateful for the small items and are always surprised to receive anything. Depending on how much your sales are during the year you could make your prizes even more fun. Oh, during the last Obsolete Sale for Consultants, I bought a bunch of the Holiday Coasters (crock lids to the holiday crock) for .99 each. They'll be my favors this year...and the CC members are getting theirs with glycerin red and green woven soap tied on top of it.

Remember, whatever you give, it is all in the presentation. Even just a weave splint can be presented beautifully, by attaching it to a decorated piece of cardstock with double sided tape. The cardstock could be a metallic-colored star or a maple leaf or a holly leaf...

Hugs,
Laura M.

 

Take the recipes that are online from Longaberger and run them on card stock. Cut with scrap booking scissors, punch hole, one end and run ribbon through the holes and viola some cute favors for practically nothing!  If you order the product you get the cards free!