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Online Parties and Vendor Fairs Can Help Your Business

Aug 17, 2007
An online party is also known as a vendor fair or online expo. Online parties can be very beneficial to your business whether you have a business of your own, or if you are in direct sales (selling for another company, such as Avon, Watkins, etc.). Online parties are most popular in the WAHM (Work At Home Mom) circles of the internet, however there are other places to find online parties to sell your products as well.

At an online party, you pay for a time slot (usually either a half hour or a full hour) to advertise to the other party visitors. You get the full time slot to say whatever you would like to about your business, your products, and anything else you would like to tell them. Online parties are held in chat rooms, usually either php-based (which means any browser can use it), or Java based (which means you need to have the ability to run Java applets on your computer). During the party, which usually lasts all day, other vendors who have signed up for spots, as well as people they have invited will generally be in the chat room as well.

It is important that if you do sign up for an online party, that you promote your time slot to customers, and other people on Yahoo Groups, message boards, and newsletters. The more people you can get to come to your party, the better!

Once you have signed up, and paid for your time slot, you simply need to show up at that particular time and give a presentation on your company that you signed up to represent. Start by introducing yourself to whoever else is in the chat room, give a little information about your company, and be sure to include a link to the website address of your company. Then go into a little further detail. Let the others know about specials, discounts, coupons, or products you especially like. Tell them why they would enjoy your products and what makes your products special. Remember that this is an interactive chat room, so you may be asked questions about your company or your products. In fact, you should encourage people to ask questions if they have them, as the more people are involved, the more likely they are to buy from you!

At some online parties, you may be expected to play an online game to give away a prize. Each online party is different, so you will need to ask or read about the requirements for any games before you sign up. If you are expected to run an online game, it is very easy to do, and will help people to get more involved. There are many different types of "games" you can play, but I will go over a couple of the most common used to give you an idea of how they are done. One of the most common types of online party games is the word scramble. You will need a piece of paper and pen to keep track of scores. Make a list of 10 words that have to do with your business, then scramble up the letters of each word. Announce to the chat room what the game is, how it is played, the rules, and of course, the prize. Give out each scrambled word (one at a time), and the first person to enter the correct unscrambled answer gets a point. The person with the most points after you give the entire ten words wins the prize! You can also do a trivia game, and ask people trivia questions about your products after giving them the URL to your website, such as: "How much is a single votive candle?" The first person to answer correctly would then get a point, and the person with the most points at the end of the game would win.

Prizes given away at online parties are usually only small prizes, around $5 or $10 value. Again, be sure to confirm what is expected at the party before signing up.

At the end of the party, about 5 minutes before your time slot is up, you will want to ask again if anyone has any questions, then thank everyone for listening and being at your presentation, and let them know how to contact you if they decide to place an order later.

All in all, online parties are easy to do, relatively cheap to sign up for, and a good way to show off your business to others. Some online party groups are better than others though, so do your research before committing to purchasing a time slot. The best way to see what a particular party site is like is to visit the presentations of others on that site. Simply enter the chat room, and watch how others do it! You can generally get a good feel for the results you would get by watching that chat room and seeing how many people show up, what the participation is like, and what the general "feel" is like.
About the Author
Stephanie Davies is a 27 year old Missourian with a loving husband and an 8 year old son. She currently owns her own business, Mystickal Incense & More , and sells handmade candles, incense, bath & body products and more at http://www.mystickalincense.com
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