Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Great info on Hostess Coaching from TSF

Subject: A view from `the other side'…part 1

This was a week afforded me two separate occasions to shift my paradigm and see things from `the other side'; as a party invitee and a customer at a booth. I think you'll find, as I did, that it was quite interesting.

Last month, we received an invitation to a surprise birthday party for a friend of ours. The friend's husband was throwing the party at a local pub. The invitation asked that we RSVP - however, because our schedule was quite hectic at the time and the event was nearly a month off, I put it on my `to do' pile.

About ten days before the date of the party, I called the phone number indicated on the invitation (the answering machine of another friend) and left a message that we were planning on coming. Three days after I left that message, I received a voice mail from the friend's husband saying - “I don't know if you guys were planning on coming to the party or not, but due to low response, I am canceling.” OK, audible groan, right?

How discouraging for my friend's husband to have put all the time and effort into mailing out a large number of cleverly designed and well thought out invitations, organizing a venue and enlisting the help of another friend to receive the replies. How sad for my friend - who LOVES a party - when she finds out how the whole scenario played out after the fact?

I couldn't help but see the many similarities to working with a first time, inexperienced hostess.
What went wrong and what can we learn when coaching our hostesses?

1) Don't send invitations out too far in advance.
An RSVP needs a date.

2) Don't assume that people WILL RSVP.
Phone guests to ask their intentions - don't just cancel!

Society has changed. In a world full of good intentions our lives are crammed so FULL that some things (like manners) fall between the cracks. It is not OK, it just IS. We want to be good friends and we want to be polite - this is how most of us were raised. Yet too often - what used to be a `given' in polite society - like a response to an invitation - gets lost in the shuffle. Clearly, this phenomenon is not exclusive to home party invitations. Today, it holds true to everything from birthday parties and baby showers - to weddings!

By letting your hostess know this from the moment she sets her date and you will be helping her to be more proactive when inviting friends and family to her home party.

1 comment:

UB SoCal said...

I have a party scheduled for Friday. Last Thursday I checked with the hostess regarding RSVPs and she said she had 10 RSVPs and two were bringing friends! That was awesome so, due to the Holiday, I ordered my product on the weekend and it was shipped today. This afternoon, I checked with her again and she said she had 16 RSVPs plus the two guests and many haven't responded yet. YIKES! I may not have enough product. I am borrowing some from Tracy and will replenish her supply! Lessons learned...confirm...confirm...confirm!!!