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The Make-Or-Break First Impression
By Jon Levy – Director, Business Development & Travel
You really never do get a second chance to make a first impression at your engagement.
Picture this: You have the best engagement in the world. People are flocking in from far and wide to check out your company, your product, and they’re ready to become your customer. Everything is running smoothly and you’re proud to showcase your staff because they’re knowledgeable, presentable and engaging to participants. You can already picture the ROI flowing in like a raging river of prosperity.
Now, flip the script: Your engagement is average, at best, and operationally sketchy. People walk right by you, and your staff and brand ambassadors visibly look like they want to be elsewhere. Your event investment seems fleeting, akin to a nightmare Craps run in Las Vegas.
Obvious answer, but which would you rather have?
It is important to be mindful that anytime your brand is represented by any calculated action, the worth, competency and success of your company is judged in parallel. So, that means that when your company’s flag flies at an engagement, it’s crucial for brand reputation to have a smoothly-running, interesting and engaging activation, with high-level facilitators in parallel that will yield an increase in ROI, instead of the other way around.
Last month, we touched on the importance creating an exciting, appealing activation that is trustworthy and adaptable to your needs.
This is first of two key ingredients contributing to successful ROI when facilitating events, because a lackluster, unappealing activation that doesn’t run smoothly will only leave people with a mediocre feeling about the event, and about your brand.
So, when thinking about creating any activation that carries your company’s name, consider the following aspects:
• Will people be excited to experience this?
• Will the activation run smoothly in all potential situations?
• Will this activation promote and relate to your company in a positive way or negative way?
• Will this experience be memorable or unforgettable?
Says Steve Bauerle, Senior Vice President of Business Development at GolfTEC: “There is an attention deficit in the marketing world. The attention span of today’s society is so short and ‘swipe’ oriented that if you don’t provide an immediate appeal that works smoothly and a memorable experience that will forever connect to your brand in a positive way, you’ve lost customers before you ever had them.
“At GolfTEC Events, we combine the insatiable love people have for the game of golf with an opportunity to create memorable experiences through participation, and have been doing so at a turnkey level for 15 years, so you know our activations will run smoothly and immediately enhance brand objectives.”
The personal connection
The Godfather claimed “It’s not personal, it’s just business,” but we’d like to disagree. It’s all personal. Even as technologically driven and consumed as our society has become, facilitated events are still all about the personal connection, so your company’s human-to-human engagement is VERY important in relating to the worth, competency and success of your company.
Questions to contemplate:
• Are your facilitators competently-versed on the company, products, etc.?
• Are they presentable, well-spoken, engaging and friendly, but not too pushy?
• Is their involvement going to improve the first impression of your company or make it worse?
“The companies we represent at events are successful in part because they understand the importance of being represented by a very strong team who extends the resources of their strongest brand ambassadors,” says Bauerle of GolfTEC’s engagements.
“When we facilitate events, we play a very proactive role in reinforcing what a brand stands for. We create an environment that extends the brand identity while creating a memorable experience connected to that brand long after the event. In essence, we help bridge the gap of brand and consumer with positive experiences for each.”
The bottom line
Since you won’t get a second chance at a first impression, make it count. Do your best to forecast if your engagement will be a Best of Show or an “Oh no” when it comes appeal and experience, and understand that these elements of the engagement – and the human connection surrounding it – are vital to a favorable initial imprint on your prospective customer. And, then, like the aforementioned Vegas Craps scenario in reverse, watch your ROI flow in like a lucky streak never seen before.
Ready to put our brand-building expertise to work during your next event? Contact us for more information.
7am - 6pm MST, M-F