Use Videoconferencing In Your Shop


Regardless of where your shop is in growth right now, video conferencing can be a powerful tool to engage your customers. Debi Warner gets you started.

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Use Videoconferencing In Your Shop

You can use videoconferencing (or Facebook live video) to grow and maintain your customer base.

Use Videoconferencing In Your Shop


Videoconferencing software is one way to make video telephone calls a la Jetsons. It is even more than that, much more. You can conduct a class and invite up to 100 people to join.

video chat


You have heard of some of these names; Zoom, Facetime, Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook Live, Youtube Live, et cetera. Some of these desktop and mobile app tools have been around for almost 20 years and some are newer. Some are so easy that you may find your cat calling the pet shop for more food!


You might want to check with your favorite customers to find out which tool they like to use. I'm betting many will say the Zoom app. It has a mostly free pricing structure so I'll describe the steps to take to work with Zoom.

zoom group


To create a Zoom account you need an email to sign up. Or, if you have a Facebook or Google account, you can use your login information from either to sign in. If you sign up using an email, you will then need to create a password to establish your account. Then, once you're signed into Zoom, you can choose to "HOST" a new meeting or "JOIN" a meeting. If you are hosting a meeting make sure to choose "Video On".

zoom happy


Some other techie type things to check are in the lower left. The arrow next to the mute symbol gives you choices about what microphone to use. There is also a button on the bottom of the screen if you want to record the session (maybe a class) for future use.


To invite your customers to the meeting, you send them an email. The connection information is automatically generated by the Zoom app and includes the link and meeting password.


Once everyone is in the meeting, you, the host can control muting of other participants. You can choose to mute everyone, which is probably good during a presentation. Some attendees have yet to learn to mute themselves and they might be sewing during the class.


I know I've made this sound stupidly easy but that's because basic use is. There are more sophisticated features such as file sharing, and the features increase in the Pro and Business versions.


Here are some suggestions for quilt shop owners. You should post on your Facebook page the time and date of the meeting. Consider also using an email blast. Tell folks you need their email addresses in order to participate.

  • Think about the questions that you get asked the most in the shop and do a demo to answer them
  • Give a video tour of your shop. Some Facebook groups will even allow you to post a link to a video of less than 10 minutes
  • Offer a special time for questions and answers
  • Introduce a new line that you are adding
  • Do a beginner's demo of different types of needles, threads, scissors, rulers, etc
  • Do a demo of cutting, binding, or anything else
  • Offer to put together kits and show what fabrics might be used
  • Describe services you can still offer during shut-down such as delivery, help with math, and help with color matching
  • Conduct a class or a charity sewing demo


Be sure you post the videos under "Files" on your Facebook page so that friends can access them anytime.


Remember in early 2020, many of your customers are getting bored and would welcome what you're offering. Many a customer tour of your shop helps her spot an item she simply can't live without!


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Binding is used as both a noun and a verb. As a noun it is the fabric that's used to cover the raw edges of the quilt sandwich after it's quilted. This edging fabric is referred to as the Binding (noun). As a verb it is the process of putting on this fabric, and it referred to as Binding a Quilt.
Debi Warner
Author and humorist, Debi Warner, retired after many years as a clinical librarian and information specialist. She has her Master’s in Library and Information Science and achieved a Distinguished level in the Medical Library Association’s Association of Health Information Professionals. She has worked on teaching physicians to use computers and electronic resources. She also worked on several grants teaching the public how to use the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus public database and is co-author of several articles on health literacy. She took up quilting after retirement in 2012 and chaired the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show in 2019. She currently teaches several quilting classes over Zoom and writes for QuiltingHub.
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