If you’ve seen Tom or me speak… or if you’ve been to a workshop then you’ve probably heard our rant about ‘No More Special Events’.
A bold few always want to challenge this position:
- “But that’s how we build relationships.”
- “But that’s how we generate awareness.”
No one ever says, “But that’s our CASH COW!”
The reasons most often heard in defending special events are really tied to MARKTING. Substitute the objections above with, “But that’s how we do our marketing!”
Interesting. And, OK. So that begs a question, what about your SALES?
Think about your development efforts in terms of MARKETING and SALES. Right now we don’t use those terms (Enough? At all?). Use MARKETING and SALES as a simple strategic framework. What IF we all agreed that the one big event was going to be the most incredible opportunity for us to tell our story? What if we didn’t pretend it made a ton of money?
If you’re going to keep your event – in the name of building relationships – then tell me what you’re going to be doing to MAXIMIZE RELATIONSHIPS.
If you decide to keep that event then decide it’s purpose. If it’s to BUILD RELATIONSHIPS then set out to make it the best at doing that… but don’t pretend it’s the centerpiece of your funding strategy.
MARKETING and SALES.
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS and MAXIMIZING RELATIONSHIPS.
A reminder: Best way to MAXIMIZE RELATIONSHIPS is 1:1.
And a question: What if we took that time, energy and effort spent on the event(s) and put that into getting great visits and providing customized experiences with our top 10 or 20 prospects?
It’s the function of marketing to produce qualified leads for sales. I can’t remember where I got this definition but I favor it as it relates to our development efforts. Once you determine what efforts are marketing and what are sales then you can ask, “How are we using this marketing effort to find qualified leads for sales?”