My husband usually likes to stick around on Open House day, to tend the fire in the fireplace (great ambiance!) and also to chat up his fellow co-workers who might not know me that well.
You can always invite people through word of mouth- such as friends or neighbors. Another way is to actually invest in some invitations. I create postcards using an image of one of my pieces from the current year, and on the back, I include details for the party.
Important info to include on your invite:
*what is it
*what you’ll be offering to eat, if anything
*if people can bring a guest
*include your email in case guests have questions
I usually plan my open house closer to the holidays. I’ve tried having in early October, but the shows in November/December have been better attended. Shoppers tend to do a bit more Christmas shopping during these months than earlier in the season.
When to send the invite out: I think it’s smart to give people plenty of notice so that they can mark their calendars for your event but you don’t want to send them too early that they misplace your invite or forget about it. I say send it out at least a month in advance.
It’s always important to offer some kind of food at your Open house. I usually pick 2 savory snacks, and 2 sweet snacks and then offer up a variety of drinks. We’ve had non-alcoholic beverages and have also offered wine to guests depending on the time of day. I generally have my party on a Saturday, from 1-5 pm. People always like to snack after lunch and actually the snacks I serve can act as a lunch as well.
What’s on the menu: Some of my favorite dishes are Chocolate Chip Zucchini bread, or cookies or Brownies. Some sort of dip for tortilla chips like a chicken wing dip or cheese and crackers. One year I offered up the leftover Halloween candy as one of the sweet treats!
I set up a nice check-out table at my last year’s event and that made things so much nicer when bagging up jewelry and writing up receipts. I will definitely do this again!
It’s smart to offer several payment methods. I accept cash, credit cards, or checks.
I set up the tables in my family room last year just to switch it up a little bit. It got a little congested in this area though and was hard for people to see things, so I’ll be moving the tables back into my dining room/living room for this year’s event. You definitely want to keep a good flow so that people don’t get stuck when trying to look at everything. I am lucky to have so much space and will probably try to utilize this more by setting up smaller displays all around the room instead of one big table of jewelry.
Another tip: Have people write down their email addresses on slips of paper and at the end of the event draw a random email to win a pair of earrings! This is also a great way to build a nice mailing list for a newsletter.
Also, I have offered a 10% off coupon on the invitation postcard, and they get the discount when the bring the card with them.