By Christina VanGinkel
With so many different companies vying for your scrapping business, some people might figure that it is up to the consultant that they choose to host their scrapbook party to make sure that everything runs smooth and that all in attendance have a good time, but that is not totally true. As the host it is your overall responsibility to make sure that the consultant has everything at their disposal to make it as gratifying an experience for all as can be.
Plan the Date Smartly
Plan your get together as far enough in advance as you can. This way, invitations can be mailed out in a timely manner, not to early, but definitely not so last minute that everyone already has plans. If you belong to a group of friends who have busy schedules, while it will not be possible to work around everyone's schedules, it might be prudent to check with those who you will be inviting to inquire about any bad dates they might hope you can avoid in your planning. An acquaintance of mine planned a scrapbook party for the same afternoon as a local craft show. Many of her friends were actually selling at the show and yet she was very upset and told everyone who would listen that she could not believe they did not show up. While I would never expect anyone to try to plan any get together around any one particular person's schedule besides their own and the consultant giving the show, it just makes sense to avoid other large events such as a craft show.
Talk to your Consultant
Ask them what you can do to make sure that you both have as successful a get together as you can. If they have been a consultant for some time, they should be able to provide you with answers to any questions you might have before the planned event. Many companies will even provide you with a list of essentials before the big day, including postcards to mail out, and guidelines on when to mail them. See the note above with more in regards to choosing a good date.
Make sure you have Room
Whether a small gathering held at a kitchen table or a larger one, where you invite your friends to bring along their totes for a few hours of scrapping after the show, make sure that those in attendance will have enough room for the activities planned. The consultant should have space to display her product in a spot free of clutter and any hazards such as food and drink. If you plan to host some cropping during or after the consultant's show, make sure that you have the space to do so. Each person should have enough space to lay out at least one page with a bit of space to open up their tote and set down a tool or two. Set up a side table if possible for those hot tools that you might not otherwise have enough room for each participant to plug in right where they are working on their layout.
Food is Fun, but...
Having food at a party is fine, but keep it set up well away from the consultant so there is no risk of damage to her inventory from a spilled drink or greasy fingers. Asking guests to keep the food in the kitchen while the scrapbook fare is set up in the living room for example is totally acceptable. Anyone who balks at such a set up is just being rude. While bottles of drinks are often accepted at many crops, at a show where sales is the main focus, separation of the drinks and food from the consultants supplies is just good manners.
Hosting a scrapbook party with a consultant is a great way to try new products and see supplies and tools up close. Consultants often have great tips to share with partygoers, and fun, along with sales, makes for a perfect gathering. Never invite someone to such an event with the sole purpose of making a sale though, as everyone has his or her own shopping style. While sales are fun for the party host and the consultant, there are so many individual styles when it comes to scrapping that some attendees might not be interested in whatever is being sold. Make sure that your friends know up front that all you expect is for them to show up if their schedule permits, and to just have a good time!