How To Host An Event For Your Online Shop!

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Genevieve and I wearing Adorned By Chi bunny ears in the photobooth!

I did it! This socially awkward girl threw a shindig! After attending the first Finesse Your Life event in Dallas, I got the craZzy idea to partner with other fun bloggers and businesses to host a tea party with games, polaroids and etiquette training. It was basically everything I’d ever want at an event or party! I was a bit nervous once I got the ball rolling, but it was more fun and more magical than I could have ever imagined it to be! And most importantly? It was great branding for Adorned By Chi.

Planning an event for your online shop is no easy task and I’ve already gotten questions about how I was able to do it, so I figured I’d give some tips while also sharing some snaps from the party.

Make A Plan +  Start Early

I gave myself about 6 weeks to plan my event. Be sure to start early! No one likes being asked for things last minute. Before I made any moves I made a list of what I knew I’d need for the party. Cute venue, confetti, balloons, tea, tea cups, treats etc etc. I could have easily just purchased these items, but I thought it’d be a great idea to offer some fun opportunities for other businesses as well. So I made a list of really cool businesses who I’ve been dying to work with anyway, and I created a spreadsheet with the business name, their specialty, and contact information. When you’re planning an event everything has GOT to be organized!

Make A Flier or Video

Wait- before emailing anyone about your idea you need a visual so they can see what the event is all about. You could even do this before you have the venue locked down! (Although I had mine confirmed before- The Vintage House!) Just create a quick flier, or even a video, that explains what you’ll be doing. Having something visual to back your pitch up legitimizes your event and is just all around more professional. Here’s the first flier I made!

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Pitch!

Now, armed with your flier, you can contact the businesses you adore, explain your event, and let them know how partnering would benefit their business as well. Be very specific with what you’re asking for. If you want everyone to leave with a sample, let them know. Some will say yes, some will say no, and some won’t respond. Don’t take the last two personally. Sometimes there are set budgets for things like this and people run out before your event. Or maybe your event doesn’t align with their brand. No biggie! I was very lucky to work with some of the most creative brands out there: Steel City Pops, The Confetti Bar, The Vintage House, and My Beauty Tea all pitched in to make this event a blast!

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My Beauty Tea and The Confetti Bar sent sample for guests to take home..

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And Steel City Pops came by with a delicious pop delivery! The rhubarb was a hit! | image source

Plan Your Events/Reach Out To Your Network

One thing I had in mind while planning was…I need lots of activities! I personally feel super uncomfortable at “networking” events. It’s like being thrown into a pack of wolves with no way to defend yourself. Small talk? Yuck. Discussing my career? Double yuck. So I made sure to plan a “get to know you” game with fun questions, a raffle, a photobooth with Adorned By Chi headwear and a cute polaroid camera, and some sort of etiquette training to keep everyone interacting and involved.

I ended up scrapping the etiquette training because I realized that could be boring, and I replaced it with fun confidence coaching by Cyd from It’s Her Strut! I witnessed her great speaking skills at the Finesse Your Life event and asked if she’d like to teach a class….and she said yes! Her confidence crash course was definitely the highlight of the party. She was a pure professional, bringing worksheets tailored to my event, and she was also a ton of fun! We got to interact together, loosen up and strut down a runway!

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Cydni was preachin’!

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And we were listening!

I also reached out to blogging buddies who ended up helping in major ways! Addie from Old World New made the chicest photobooth I’ve ever seen, and it made our polaroids really pop!

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Addie looking all cute and vintage!

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Ginger, pictured above, from the Ginger Marie Blog brought some yummy snacks and Sevi from Ware is the Vodka made handmade napkins for everyone to take home!

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A shot of the swag bag contents by Sevi

Working with others was amazing because it takes off some extra stress, helps promote your event, and it’s just plain fun!

Promote and Collect RSVPs

Now that you have your partners and collaborators, update your flier with their logos and promote! Here was my final flier:

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I promoted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter….and so did my blogger buddies! Another reason why working with others is important. You reach way more people! And thanks to their promotion, I was approached by Wonder Wishy Nail Art who came to the party equipped with her awesome polish skills! Yes, we had a nail salon at the event. And yes it is the most girly thing ever and it was perfect! Hire Wonder Wishy Nail Art for your events..everyone loved her art!

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I initially had people email me if they wanted to attend, but using Eventbrite was so much easier and helped me keep track of how many ladies were coming. I set the limit at 32, because we had a small space. Keep your space in mind, and know how many people you’d want to attend…then add a bit more to that number as a buffer. With a limit of 32, I expected 15ish women to be there.

Choose a Unique Hashtag

You need a hashtag to promote social sharing during the event, and to make tracking posts a whole lot easier. For the tea party I chose “#ABChightea“. When you search that tag on Instagram you can see all the pretty pics from the event!

Get to Your Venue Early to Set Up

I arrived an hour and a half before the event to set up. Giving myself so much time made things sooo much less stressful, and having helping hands made set up a breeze. You never know what will go wrong (like all the balloons popping in the wind!) so give yourself some buffer time. Also, don’t freak out when things go wrong. Just get creative!

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Tea from My Beauty Tea. Harvest Cranberry was the star of the show!

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After that? Just be a good host, check up on people, and enjoy the party!

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Group shot attempt #1!

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Group shot #2!

If you live in Dallas and haven’t been to The Vintage House you need to change that ASAP! Not only is the owner (Nan) the nicest woman ever, but her little pink shop is seriously the cutest!! And she was nice enough to give guests 20% off their purchases. And people definitely bought products. They’re so cute, how could you not??

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In the end people won Adorned By Chi, wore Adorned By Chi, and were talking about Adorned By Chi, which is what hosting an event for your shop is all about!

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Alexandria from Southern Muse wearing Adorned By Chi bunny ears!

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So happy my event was a success! I’ll definitely be throwing more in the future. What do you think of the tea party? Have you ever thrown an event or do you plan to? Let me know below!


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