No, I wasn’t thinking this before a date or anything.
However, it is THE question that I ask myself every time I think about signing up for an event, a networking group or a seminar to grow my business. As a marketing coach for small business development, it’s also a question I hear from a lot of my clients.
So here are some signs that YES, it will be a waste of time to invest yourself in an event:
Every attendee has a free email address
I once called the organizer of a networking group and asked what kind of businesses were going to be present. He couldn’t really even tell me because much to his frustration, most of the emails on his list were Gmail’s. I hung up promptly after thanking him because in my experience, a business that still uses a free email address isn’t really professional or big enough to be my target. No matter what your target, I might argue the same for you.
The group is being run by a person who doesn’t fit your target client profile
When a networking group is being run by an individual or if an event is being put on by an organizer, I always check out who that person is. An example is a recent group I looked into where I saw that the founder and organizer of the group was a big player in the industry of real estate. When I looked further into the list of other members, I saw that mostly mortgage brokers and insurance agents were present. This didn’t fit my target client who is a 6 figure service based consultant or coach so I moved on.
The venue wouldn’t normally be frequented by your target client
In my Public Speaking seminar, I talk about the hilarious story of how I presented management skills to a group of mostly retired members of a management association at a pub. It turned out that that particular chapter of the association had morphed into a social club. I learned from then on that the kind of venues that my target client goes to is more in the vein of expensive boardrooms, private members clubs and high end meeting rooms. Not a pub or a bar or a restaurant. That’s what MY target client does. What about yours?
The fee for the event isn’t typical of what your target client would expect to pay
Since my target client is an established business owner, I am very leery of events that are free or almost free. I now find that my potential clients frequent high priced ticket events such as industry awards, galas or annual general meetings of their association. Conversely if your business targets are startups or a lower economic bracket of the population, you would WANT to frequent the free or almost free events.
So if you don’t have an answer to this question of ‘is this going to be a waste of my time?’ first make sure that you’re crystal clear on who your ideal target client its, then consider the above factors in making your decision. The last thing I want you to be doing is wasting your precious small business marketing resources.