Welcome to our very first topic in our new Event Series, where we will discuss all of the cool things that are happening in the world today. Stay tuned for more posts down the road as we take a closer look at all things events – including viewpoints from different perspectives, how each type of event is working now, and more!
If I had to put money on it, I’d say you, dear reader/client/friend/my mom (Hi Cindy!) have lost sleep over one, if not many, of these questions below. After all, most of our livelihoods depend on events.
I’m not necessarily talking about large scale, network televised events (although if you ask my husband, his happiness might depend on college football) but I’m talking about the events that keep our communities and our fans and our clients and our families engaged. Events like back to school bashes, watch parties at the local pub, hometown music festivals, trade shows, luncheons…the list goes on and on. We’ll actually dive deeper into specific details of our top events later in this series (that’s actually your cue to subscribe so we can remind you when that happens).
We’ve got good news and it doesn’t involve THAT phrase. You know the one. It’s overused and makes you want to punch a wall? The one that rhymes with mew mormal? But, we are going to say that all of these questions can be answered with some imagination. REimagination actually. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel here, so that’s a relief. What we need is to reimagine the path to get to the same outcome as before, maybe even a better outcome. And, we think we’ve got some good options to achieve those same results.
In recent Candid Conversations with our Clients (not to be confused with Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee) we heard similar questions asked over and over that specifically pertain to the future of events and so we want to address those specifically:
Hear the good news – connection can happen despite being in your house hundreds of miles away. There are technology platforms that are built specifically for this purpose. They are moldable to your image and branding and can achieve engagement if done correctly. Later in the series, we’ll take a look into the three basic event approaches and how to see it from an each participant’s perspective.
Make them feel valued. Meet them where they are. Cause for celebration has not gone away! What does that mean?
Well, do they have kids at home? If so, send them a home activity pack or puzzle or game for the family.
Do they miss seeing their co-workers daily (I sure do!)? Send out happy hour kits and host a weekly happy hour where each person takes a turn doing a modern version of show and tell. CELEBRATE their successes – they will appreciate the glimmer of optimism in a seemingly bleak time.
Flat out ask for money. If we’ve seen nothing else during this time, we’ve seen how generous and caring and supportive our culture is. People are willing to stand behind what they believe in and what they love, so if you ask for it, they will give. They might not be able give as much as they have in the past, but because more people are giving, you might find that they add up to be a significant amount. It’s always a good idea to give them something in return – people love swag, especially swag that shows their generosity. Create a limited-edition t-shirt or tumbler in exchange for their donation. They will wear it proudly.
This is a tricky one, but not unsolvable. Now, more than ever, have honest conversations with your contacts. They want to help you get the most out of your sponsorship, even if it doesn’t look like traditional assets. Maybe it’s a video introduction with another partner you’ve been wanting to meet. Or maybe it’s more involved presence on their social media channels with specific calls to action. (I bet you $100 their number of followers has increased during this). Work with them to be creative – this is the time for the true meaning of partnership to prevail.
Continue to put yourself out there. The content and the opportunity is there and the good news is that you can hide behind your computer screen if you were timid about the idea of putting yourself out there before. NO one has to know you are in your pajama pants, but what this allows you to do is ask honest questions and forge relationships without having to be worried about the awkward dismount (personally speaking) on the backend.
At a recent digital conference we attended, forced networking was easy. A new person popped up on our screen every 3 minutes – it was like speed-dating meets corporate networking. It was actually fun and exciting – we talked to people we never would have met in real life, even got tutorials on how to make the best happy hour cocktails. This all-digital world we’re in has never made it easier to get in front of people.
What we have going for us all in this is an incredible community. A community of geniuses and creatives and misfits that revere the idea of reimagination. So, when you ask these valid questions above, we get excited to reimagine the answers.
Robert Frost was on to something – we’re being forced to take the path less traveled and I bet it does make all the difference.