Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WEST Sale IV and What We Learned

I love this picture! Big smiles on the faces of so many people I have gotten to know and love over the past few years. Friends, fellow crafters,vintage lovers and WESTies. So special. I try hard to make things right for these people.

They are a huge part of my life and not a week goes by that I don't chat with at least one of them either through Etsy convo, email, text, Facebook or Instagram. Amazing how technology helps us stay so connected and in touch. Without it our team would not be what it is.

Our early October sale saw us using multiple technologies to get the job done. We used to take in the applications, our Etsy forum to hash out all the details privately, Google docs to work out the application and organize volunteers, to share large files, to manage our newsletters both for team members and our wonderful customers, Facebook for event invites and ads, Instagram and Twitter too, and finally to collect anonymous feedback from the team after the event.

Wow! that's quite the list isn't it? I know I'm amazed that I'm learning to use it all! Thanks to the efforts of my talented teammates, who constantly push me to do things better and faster.

What did we learn from the use of all this technology? Well quite a few things in fact. Technology is our friend but we can't let it replace face to face conversations and quick phone calls. They are still quite useful too.... As a virtual online team we are mostly all comfortable with online tools. Notice I said mostly. Some of our members are adapting to sharing this quicker than others. We'll keep at it and learn together--that's another great thing about our team--we succeed together!

What would we do differently next time? Probably the only thing we all regretted was the date: we set our sale for the Saturday of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. While we still had stellar attendance, we know we could have shared with more of our customers on a non long weekend date. But other than that, and a few tiny details we'll change next go round, we were all very pleased with what is becoming a repeatable successful formula for WEST events.

And what's the key to that formula? Volunteers! It's how we get so much done to meet our goals. Almost everyone helps out and by all pitching in we contribute to our success.

Ruth, WEST captain

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