Today: “It’s the invitation—not the event!”

 > The Situation:
Just left a meeting with a new marketing client. Planning their first attraction marketing event. A wine and cheese reception—where they will introduce a brand new (and very exciting) product/solution. Problem. Before we met, they sent out 300 invitations by snail mail—and—so far only eight people have responded. Ouch. What if nobody comes?

 > The Idea:
There are two key ideas with this one. First. Yes. Attract people to you. Hold events. Print invitations. But. Don’t send them out by mail. It’s very expensive. And. (This brings us to the second point).
Which is: ”The invitation is more important than the event.” What do I mean? Let me illustrate. I urged this client to blitz every building site in their (high end) market around Metro Vancouver. And I urged them to use the invitation as a “device” to use in asking “who” they needed to present the invitation to (the builder; the architect; the interior designer; the owner—the decision maker—all of the above?) Which (of course) gives them the opportunity to gather market intelligence—which can not be gathered when you send invitations by mail.

 > The Risk:

There is no risk. I tell my clients that the only risk is sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. Holding events—and delivering invitations—compels them to “get out of that office” (or shop, or showroom, etc.), and get out in the world where the action is.

 > The Reward:

In the process they can’t help but meet decision-makers. They can’t help but collect requests for quotes. They can’t help but make sales they would never have made otherwise. I’m sorry. It is just unavoidable. That’s why the invitation is more important than the event. In fact, if your event is very successful, it means that you won’t have time to spend with very many individuals. So, the process of presenting invitations—and speaking to prospective guests—is actually more productive. Get the idea?

 > The Call to Action:

Try it. Try getting out into the world. One reward will be discovering how much business is still going on despite the slowdown. Another reward is the one I just mentioned. You will do business that you would not do otherwise. So. Just do it.

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