Got a suspicion that holding corporate events is a waste of time and money?


Corporate Events

Our event: drink our wine, eat our goodies then go home without buying from us.

You and me too dear reader.

I went to a wine tasting event run by a city lawyer recently. I had a great time but I’m not sure they got value for money from the event. Consider this little lot and see what you think: –

  • I am never going to buy anything from this law firm and should never have been invited in the first place. Wasteful.
  • Many of the lawyers spent the evening talking amongst themselves. Pointless.
  • There didn’t appear to be enough senior lawyers there; they were mostly associates. Wrong level.
  • There didn’t appear to be any kind of plan or BD purpose for the evening. Vague.
  • Nobody followed up with me after the event. Fruitless.

So lets review the event then: a pointless waste of time attended by the wrong people at the wrong level resulting in a vague and fruitless outcome.

Now, I’d like to think that this was an isolated incident but I fear it isn’t. Too many corporate events are run either because they are on a timetable or because somebody thinks they need to do something and an event is the easy option.

So what is a body to do? Well you could try following the Flair 5 step approach to successful events.

  1. The client-facing people decide who comes to the event and invites them in person either face-to-face or by telephone.
  2. Before the event the BD team work with the client-facers to decide what the objective is with each of the attendees.
  3. The BD team attend the event with the client-facers and to support and facilitate the agreed objectives being met.
  4. After the event the BD and the client-facers will review the event by looking at what progress was made and what comes next.
  5. Each successful objective counts as a Progress Point –  the total amount of Progress Points can be published as a quantitative measure of the success of the event. We call this the ROI Sheet.

If you measure events by the number of bums-on-seats this approach will horrify you. Of course if you want to get the most out of your events budget you can start by having less of them; invite less people; require more input from the client-facers but get much more sales momentum (and therefore sales) as a result.

Image courtesy of  Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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Posted in Business Development, Communication, Presentation Skills, Sales, Sales Conversion, Targets, Uncategorized
5 comments on “Got a suspicion that holding corporate events is a waste of time and money?
  1. PERFECT timing Mike. I’m running an event next month and this has made me think again about my pre-event planning.

  2. Jared says:

    I recently attended a corporate soiree and had the same feeling. I doubt they did any business. The key people were not available for discussion. Nobody followed up with me after the event. I am sure they spent a lot of money on the party. All I got from it was a free night out. They will not get my business because they fumbled the ball, so to speak.

    • Mike Ames says:

      Thanks for this Jared. It is shocking how much money is spent on these events with very little return for no other reason except they are badly organised. tut tut tut.

  3. gregwithmore says:

    Hi Mike! Just a quick add – one shouldn’t forget about the event theme. It should be discussed and approved beforehand so it won’t offend any of the attenders. There are many nuances but that a short extract. Thanks for your attention.

    corporate events

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Mike Ames

Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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