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Real Life Story - Keely Horn

8th February 2018

It's great to hear success stories from our Organisers, particularly when it comes to newer ways of reaching out to customers. Keely Horn shares with us how she ran her first Virtual Party and top tips for making it a big success. 

Here is Keely's story:

"I was incredibly excited to be running my first Virtual Party. I set up the event a couple of weeks prior to the party date and my aim was to encourage as much interaction and interest in that time frame as I could. I posted on the lead up with games and threads that I myself would have wanted to engage with.

I chose to have a theme to give myself a structure to work with and less of our beautiful books to have to choose from! I made sure the majority of the books I wanted to showcase I had in stock so I was able to take images of the insides and familiarise myself with the books before going live with them in the party. 

I created my Virtual Party link two days before my event, that way it gave me 48 hours to ensure it was running smoothly and then it gave my customers 72 hours in which to place their orders which I thought was a good split of the five day default period. I created a document containing all of the Virtual Party book links so I felt prepared to be able to post them efficiently while the party was going on. Although this felt time consuming, it really wasn't and meant the party ran smoothly. 

I absolutely loved using the Virtual Party images, it gave me a structure to how I wanted my party to run and I created a timetable of what I was going to post and when. I believe the success of events like this is in the planning and the build-up. Once you know what you are doing and you have people excited to be attending then the rest is easy.

I made sure I had read all of the documentation on Tools & Downloads before the party and felt as ready as I could be! I made sure my customers were aware of being involved in a new way of buying by making a couple of simple images to show them what it would look like if they were shopping in my Virtual Party, which I think really helped. 

During the party I did some separate live threads, a welcome and a Christmas showcase. In between the lives I then posted images of the books with the Virtual Party links for quick and easy purchasing, as well as a couple of fun games to keep the interaction going. 

I was on tenterhooks at the end of the party and kept checking to see if I had any orders... I was thrilled to see my first order was for over £70! On the morning of the last ordering day I messaged all the attendees telling them it was the last day and that prompted them to place their orders. 

Customer feedback was positive! I was told on more than one occasion how easy it was and how it meant they spent more money! The whole website is there at their finger tips and during my 'lives' I made sure I cross sold other titles. So many of them have asked when I am going to do another one. I'm certainly looking forward to planning and carrying out my next one as it was a real buzz! Oh I forgot to mention my party had sales of £314, not bad for an hour and a half work at home!"

Thank you for sharing your success with us Keely. We hope this inspires other Organisers to plan their next (or first!) Virtual Party.