Welcome to a blog post series called Missed Opportunities. Every so often, I’ll share a personal anecdote where a business could have done something brilliant from a marketing perspective — but didn’t quite reach that goal. I’ll unpack how they missed their goal, why that matters, and how they could improve on it going forward.
Holding events is one of the best tactics you can choose to market your business. You gain exposure, credibility and welcome new prospects into your place of business. If you can get people through the door, it’s a surefire way to gain new leads. But that’s assuming the event goes well, right?
Recently, I attended a presentation at a local bike shop. The event was about the hardware and apps you can use to measure your riding.
Cool. It’s hard to navigate the products used for this sort of thing, so I was excited and eager to learn from local experts. Unfortunately for the shop, the event was a missed opportunity across the board.
The first step in running a smooth event is to get the word out.
The invitation for this event came via email, but
simply provi ded me with info for the event – no link to the shop’s website, with no sort of incentive to attend
(e.g ., get 10% off an in-store purchase for attending).
This first email sent out needs to be a really attractive, persu asive offer that gets as many people as possible interested and excited about the event to maximize attendance.
OK, so I finally get to the shop. After starting late, the room quickly filled up and there were not enough chairs for everyone. You don’t want a portion of your audience standing, that’s just awkward and a nuisance for certain guests.
There were no refreshments, no snacks, nothing to make the environment feel warm and welcoming.
The presenter from the store was unprepared, providing too much information that became overwhelming for average riders. People began to tune out, pull out their phones, clearly losing interest.
There was no introduction by the store owner welcoming us. No invitation to walk around and shop after the event, nothing about promotions (hello? We’re prospective customers sitting in your store!) Overall, the vibe of the room was sloppy and unprofessional, leaving a feeling of disappointment for all attendees.
The Bitter End
The presenter began to run over the allotted time and people were petering out (the standers in the back were long
gone at this point). At the close of the presentation, there was no goodbye from the store owner, no coupon or promotion to hand out. Worst of all, no collection of email addresses to follow up about the event! Nothing.
When you run an event of any type, there needs to be a pre-, during and post-event marketing plan to maximize your investment.
You’ve likely sunk time, effort and money into the event. This shop had 30 bikers in their store, sitting and waiting to be wowed a nd educated by their local shop employees.
Instead, most of the guests left unimpressed, and their loyalty to the store is the same (if not worse) as it was when they entered.
This event was a huge missed opportunity where even just tweaking a few aspects of the whole evening could have provided the shop with new business.
Events are a great way to gain new prospects (I even host my own
), but you’ve got to make sure they go smoothly, and are worthwhile for those attending.