I have just been invited to an event, but wait they would like me to pay to be at the event! What sort of invitation is that you may ask? Well the best is they would like me to attend this event so that they can tell me about their products and services … Okay they have an internationally renowned speaker delivering the keynote at the event. The interesting fact is that I know this speakers topic and I have already seen all his videos on YouTube; in fact I think he may have retweeted a tweet of mine stating that
If you are not on YouTube you virtually don’t exist (pun intended)
What is the value proposition for me to attend the event? Reading the invitation it says that there will be opportunities to network. Okay let me understand that it is a three hour event and there are two keynotes – one by the professional speaker and one by the company CEO who will be selling to us. This on top of the exhibits, I know this as a friend of mine is exhibiting on the day and they also sponsored the fee of the professional speaker, they are not the only exhibitor either.
So how much time can there be for effective networking? My guess … Not that much. Which leads me to another thought, what is this networking idea all about at a corporate event? Think about it if you invited me to dinner at your house and there were ten guests, you would be a good host or hostess and introduce me to everyone at the dinner. That is after all the polite thing to do. At a corporate event my name badge is supposed to do that for me. Really what happened to the hostess? Well quite frankly they could not afford to hire hostesses to introduce us to each other as the budget went to entertainment and food. I understand that is because the corporate assumed that I don’t have a TV, so I need entertainment and I definitely don’t have food at home so they feel a social responsibility to feed me the things I would not normally eat either!
I don’t have a problem with entertainment and food at events, but I do have a problem when that seems to be the value proposition, but wait I may get a ‘Goodie Bag’ – oh wow with a memory stick, a brochure and some coloured paper – whoohooo! Would all of that be worth the R 600 I need to pay to attend the event?
Seriously lets try to give a better value proposition. How would you do things differently? I would love to hear your views.