Saturday, November 26, 2005

anatomy of a truck event 2: it's all in the list

as part of our truck request, we were offered a consultation with a microsoft event planner/marketing person. if you ever request to use the truck, and receive such an offer...take it!

these folks are obviously experts at marketing truck events...so it makes sense to mine their experience and advice...especially when it isn't costing you anything other than your time.

there were several suggestions the marketing person made that we had not thought of...particularly in the areas of reminder followups and suggested calls to action.

in our initial request to microsoft, we were very conservative in our estimates of the number of folks we expected to be able to get through the truck.

since this was a home-grown event, and not a piggyback off a much larger trade show, being realistic with microsoft...and ourselves...about our ability to draw people was important. not just to set a manageable goal that we could set up and knock down, but also since it helped us set a more effective target goal...one of quality, not quantity.

as i said when presenting the event to the owners of our company, i'd rather have 1/3 less people come through the truck if those folks were much better prospects, rather than a bunch of muffin-eaters taking up space.

i had drafted a list of invitees from among our existing technology consulting clients, and simply asked all 10 of our company's owners to each submit a minimum of 2 of their clients who would be good prospects to invite to the event.

the response was amazing...

part of that was helped by the what's new tuesday sessions i've written about previously.

since the owners had a good solid foundation about the key items we planned to show...all of them seemed very comfortable in identifying clients and prospects to invite. so, instead of an average of 2 invitees, we received an average of 6 invitees
per owner. and most of those came within 48 hours of our sending out the request...phenomenal!

once we had the names, we of course had to gather the addresses and phone numbers, double-check the spellings, etc.

but that was pretty easy...less than an hour's work total for the number of folks we were talking about.

then i prepped an invitation postcard...about an hour's worth of work to compose, a half hour to proof, and an hour to print 100 of them, double-sided.

someone else printed address labels from the list i gave them and slapped them on the cards.

since they were postcards, postage was only $0.23 per card, which worked out to $23.

the cards were mailed saturday morning, 10 days before the event. most were delivered the very next monday, 8 days before the event.


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