When you hold a jewelry show, you want everything to go smoothly, and the best way to accomplish that is to anticipate the rough spots and find ways around them. Here's an example: If the show is being held in an out-of-the-way location, provide a map with the invitation, put signs in the front yard and make sure there's plenty of parking nearby. <a name="OLE_LINK1">It's easy for these types of details to get lost in the shuffle. Here are some other preplanning strategies that are worth some thought:
- Send invitations well in advance. Ten days to two weeks in advance isn't too soon.
- Arrange for door prizes or giveaways. This should be negotiated with the sponsors ahead of time. It will help make the show more appealing.
- If you won't have the option of allowing participants to pay via credit card, make sure to spell that out on the invitations so guests will have the opportunity to bring plenty of cash or their checkbooks.
- Plan to have adequate stock on hand. Even if you don't display multiples of each item, having plenty of stock available will keep special orders to a minimum.
- Know your market. If your friends love jewelry but are likely to be working on a tight budget, keep the offerings in line with what you think your friends will be able to afford. It will save embarrassment and ensure there'll be something for everyone who wants to buy.
No one ever perished for want of jewelry, so creating a buying atmosphere is important when putting together a jewelry show. In large part, this is accomplished three ways: making the jewelry look wonderful, creating urgency and providing hassle-free purchasing.
- Pick a good time for a show -- Certain times of year lend themselves well to jewelry shows, including a few weeks before Valentine's Day, teen and tween graduations, and the Christmas (and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) holidays.
- Be bold -- You don't lose anything by asking friends and acquaintances to attend your jewelry show, and the event is more likely to be profitable if you can assemble a large group. To do that, you'll need to have the space of course, but you'll also need to get out there and invite, invite, invite. For some people, this can be intimidating. If you have misgivings, look at it this way: People feel better when they look nice, and buying jewelry in a fun and mutually supportive atmosphere is by far the most appealing way to shop. You aren't asking for donations; you're hosting a fun afternoon or evening in your home -- complete with live entertainment. And hey, it never hurts to ask.
- Keep the munchies modest -- Like a good cocktail party, a jewelry party is about moving and mingling. To make sure your guests aren't spending their time balancing plates on their knees, keep the food and drink ample but easy to sip and nibble without mishaps. If you're worried that your favorite single serving quiche appetizers might be too much, they probably are.
- Lose the pets and small children -- Jewelry shows are adult indulgences, and pets, young children and snickering teens could put a damper on the proceedings. This is girly stuff -- and it should be unapologetically indulgent -- so keep the distractions to a minimum.
- Make it sensuous -- Adding soft music, fresh flowers, silky pillows and chocolate (or designer cupcake goodie bags) to your jewelry show has some merit. It gets all the senses involved and could make that sparkly charm bracelet irresistible.