Looking for a pre-Christmas event to raise some much needed funds without hosting a huge event? Try a Consultant Extravaganza! You set up all the consultants, they do all the selling, and you get funds!
Consultant Extravaganzas are events held before Christmas where you put together a BIG shopping experience and have a consultant at a booth from every home party company imaginable… Avon, Mary Kay, Partylite, Home Interiors, Pampered Chef, Mia Bella Soy candles, Longaberger baskets, Shure Pets, Southern Living at Home, Lillian Vernon Celebrations, Discovery Toys, and more…. It’s a great way to get all your shopping done at one event, meeting consultants from dozens of companies, and for customers to potentially set up their own party OR start a business of their own!
You’ll charge for booth space and also a small entrance fee for customers to come shop that day, usually a nominal fee of just $2 to $5 to help cover costs of renting the building and insurance. One group I worked with did this for 25+ years, and the booth fee is now $185 each for 10′ x 10′, and then you pay $10 per table and $5 for 2 chairs, plus $25 for access to electricity. They have over 100 vendors each year, bringing in over $20,000 just in booth fees! For starters, aim considerably lower, but you can see the potential here! One rescue group tried this for their first time and brought in over $1,300, plus adopted out a few shelter animals at their own adoption booth.
Where to Host the Event:
Host the event at a convention center, hotel ballroom, church hall, VFW/ Knights of Columbus type building, Expo center at your local fairgrounds, a school cafeteria/ gym or other location. Charge an estimated $20 to $30 for the 10′ x 10′ or 10′ x 12′ booth space. You can increase this as you grow. Be sure to note how many electrical outlets are available to you at the location, if you can serve food, and whether tables and chairs and available to use. Often, you can get a good rental space for a nominal fee to a nonprofit, like $50.
When to Host the Event:
It sounds crazy, but you need to host it on a weekend day between the second payday in October, or as late as the second Saturday in November. If you go too far past that, someone might have already jumped the gun on you! And, shopping season will be well under way so you may not get as many sales as possible. Aim for just a 1 day event with slightly longer hours (10am to 3pm) instead of 2 days. This will make it easier on your group and on the consultants without having to hold everything over for a second day, which can double your rental fee and shrink your crowd.
One other thing, be sure to check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if there are any other craft bazaars or showcases going on that day. It would be sad to lose some people b/c of conflicting events. There may not be any scheduled right now, but ask the Chamber if any were held last year on that weekend. If not, then be sure to list your event with them right away so that others don’t plan for the same weekend! I think the the first weekend in November is a great weekend to host an event like this! It’s just after payday, and early enough in the shopping season that people will just start making their lists and getting ready to do some serious shopping!
Be sure to contact your regular insurance provider to discuss a one time use rider for this event. This will save you money on having higher premiums without having to carry the higher insurance all year long. and, it will keep you covered financially for such a public event. The insurance fee is nominal compared to the safety you’ll feel!
Add On Fundraisers:
- Raffle- There are laws in each state, so be sure to check out exactly what you need to do. Some require specific wording on tickets, others require a license and only hosting one a year. Check this website for some details: http://www.gambling-law-us.com/
- Host your own booth- Gather all those handcrafted items your volunteers make with those pet-related items you’ve gathered at a discount from online pet stores and other locations. Sell them at your own table to bring in a few bucks, but to also give you a chance to chat with fellow pet lovers who may want to adopt or have items to donate to your wish list!
- Crafters- Include a few high quality craft booths interspersed with the home party consultants. This really helps your customers have ready to take home items to browse and provides some great variety.
- Ask local children’s choirs to sing carols or play music… this clever tip brings in parents AND gives some entertainment. My small town always had a little middle school band, some girls’ tap classes and other people performing holiday items. They hosted it closer to Christmas, so the kids were happy to perform their BIG productions on a trial basis at the bazaar, and it brought in LOTS of parents/ shoppers!
- Sell Food through a “Furry Friends Cafe” set up in the bar area of the hall or in the corner of the larger room. Some baked goods (either purchased or donated) along with some drinks and lots of holiday music will really get people in the mood! People who are hungry don’t shop long, but give them some food, and they’ll wander around for hours! Purchase buns at a discount store and use pre-made chili and hot dogs, baked goods from your volunteers, perhaps some pizza donated from a local store, and add drinks! Be sure to check for any health issues with selling food. You may need a food handler’s permit, even if you’re hosting a bake sale. The Cafe can make approximately $400 for the two days.
- Pre-order for wreaths- If your group regularly sells wreaths, this is a perfect time to take orders for balsam wreaths and swags and then schedule pick-up locations and dates for right after Thanksgiving.
- Home for the Holidays Adoptathon- If you have space, hosting a small adoption event can help showcase some of your animals for adoption. Wrap their kennels with a thick, red plastic ribbon and use red duct tape to make a bow that stands up. If you don’t have space, be sure you have your scrapbook of adoptable animals at your booth for people to browse through and see some of your animals.
- Cookie Walk- If you’re not selling food, you may want to host a Cookie Walk! This can be an event all by itself in early December, but is definitely able to be used at this event. Basically, you sell cookies and other baked goods by the pound, and allow people to walk along filling up their containers with donated baked good items. Weigh them at the end, and then people pay for their goodies! Since this is a larger stand-alone event, you may want to do this separately, or just start as a bake sale at first.
- Informational Booths- Allow fellow pet related people to host an info booth at your location, if space permits. A pet groomer, pet sitter, pet photographer and others who could drum up some business closer to the holidays.
A local business women’s association may also be able to help you find more consultants in various fields who would like to have a booth. Usually, your group members will each know a consultant, and then some of the consultants will know another one. You can also check online at each of the company’s websites to find a consultant in your area. Be sure to have several different types of consultants, such as ones for jewelry, make-up, books, toys, cooking items, candles and various styles for home decorating. Allow only one consultant per company to make sure that consultant gets all the business.
Notes for the Consultants:
Ask for a donation for a door prize from the consultant, and possibly ask for a % of sales from the day, though a flat booth fee may be more desirable for all involved. Be sure to tell your consultants to have plenty of items on display so that people can feel and touch them, along with lots of catalogs to take home! They can offer extra discounts to customers at your party, and then possibly leave the party ‘open’ for an extra week. Consultants can treat your rescue as a party host and give you the credit that you ‘earned’ during the event, or a small portion of their profits, depending on the company and the individual consultant.
Encourage them to have lots of items on hand to sell right away, like a cash n carry. This is the biggest draw for many people and a sure fire way for consultants to bring in some sales that day, instead of getting lost in the calendar of the holiday shoppers’ “I meant to do that” lists.
Also, inform them of the set-up time early that day (or the night before, if possible), and remind them that they should stay set-up until the closing time of your event.
All of this information should be included in an actual contract so all parties know what is expected of them, and what will be provided.
Here are some holiday- and animal-themed names for the event…
______ Shopping Spree (use an “S” word in front that describes your town, group, animals in your group… Silky Terrier Shopping Spree, Savannah Shopping Spree, Santa’s Shopping Spree)
Saint Nick’s Shopping Showroom
Santa’s Helpers Holiday Showroom
The Elf Emporium
The Holiday Outlet for Old English Sheepdogs
Consultant’s Crossroads (benefiting cats and canines!)
Shop Till You Drool/ Drop
The Purchase Parade for Pets
The Home Party Holiday Plaza
The Festive Festival/ Fair
The Boxer Buying Bazaar
The Vizsla Venue (sorry, can’t think of much else to put with venue)
Meow Mart, Woof*Mart, K9-Mart)
Bow Wow Meow Mart
Festive-All (Tina Valant)
1st Annual Howl-iday Fair (Lynda, ShurePets)
Home Party Warehouse
Here are a few words that you can mix and match and use for inspiration for a name:
holiday, gala, festival, jubilee, Santa, Saint Nick, noel, fiesta
shopping, marketplace, mart, metropolis, bazaar, galleria, boutique, emporium, outlet, showroom, venue, sales, consultant, home party, catalog, party,
You can use one of the clever names and then add a sub-title to it to explain that it is a party consultant’s extravaganza with Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Avon, Mary Kay, Home Interiors, Taste of Home Entertaining, Tastefully Simple, Longaberger, Partylite candles, Discovery Toys….. and more!
Sample E-mail for Vendors to send to their Clients’
(This is one I attended, and is a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.)
Come shop with us at the Women’s Business Extravaganza
Saturday, April 9
Killeen Civic & Conference Center
The following companies will be represented:
Once Upon A Family, Mary Kay, Creative Memories, Longaberger, Melaleuca, Princess House, Tupperware, Gold Canyon Candles, Arbonne, Warm Spirit, Tastefully Simple, Cookie Lee Jewelry, Stampinâ€™ Up, Pampered Chef, Premier Jewelry, Celebrations by Lillian Vernon, Top Line Creations, Country Bunny Bath & Body, Avon, Girls Nite Out, Usborne Books, Body Shop at Home, Advocare, Party Lite, Close to My Heart, Southern Living at Home
*Drawings will be held every 15 minutes for a chance to win a door prize from one of our merchants, as well as a Grand Prized Drawing with a fabulous gift basket with the retail value of over $100!
We will have a representative from the Komen Foundation on hand to answer any of your questions about Breast Cancer Awareness. As you shop be sure and ask which merchants will be donating a portion of their proceeds from the days sales to the Komen Foundation.
Plus, I will be offering 20% OFF all Once Upon a Family products purchased at the extravaganza!
Hope to see you there!!!
~Once A Family Consultant