Now, i’m not a professional event planner. I’m not even an online business owner.
But from a critical customer’s standpoint, do you know what i think is absolutely crucial to keep an event or company afloat? Especially one which specializes in public relations?
It’s the way you make the people who show up to your events feel that will outlast everything else.
Your food may have been crap, your event lame and lackluster, the venue smelling of fish and cigarettes and the stage propped up with canvas and tarp. But, trust me when i say that if you even made half the effort that you do to get the same incompetent vendors time and time again, to actually get to know your potentially loyal patrons or even make small talk, that’s 70% of your job for the day done.
Or, your food may have been gourmet take-out, the place reeking of expensive perfume and the event an all-white affair to match your vendors’ pearlie whites as they peddle their $9 milkshakes. But if your event-goers went there and left feeling even shittier than they did before walking in, what, really, is the point of your event that was created to “bring a niche community closer together”?
I’ve been to a few events this year and let me put it out there, i am not claiming to be the friendliest person out there, not even the closest, and i know i can be rude and hostile at the best of times. But i can assure you that none of those times are during the hosting of an event or the welcoming of guests to a gathering.
You don’t have to roll out the red carpet, you don’t need goodie bags filled with smartphones and vintage cameras and pastel rainbow-coloured stringers– but at the very fucking least, could you not spare a smile and some very small, small amicable conversation for someone who is shitfaced awkward as hell and standing in the corner?
At first i thought i was being salty af but then i asked around and it turns out i’m not the only one who feels that businesses nowadays need to step up their PR game. You don’t rely on the event to make a connection with the people who make it successful by being there, you don’t rely on the people to bring their own friends just to make themselves feel at home, you take it onto yourself to do it.
Cause i may or may not remember the horrible food poisoning i got while eating some bad cheese and it may slip my mind that there literally wasn’t any water for sale during the scorching event which already had an unworthy entrance fee, but literally the first thing that comes into my mind when someone asks me, “so, how was the event?” that really sways my answer is how i felt while i was there.
“Oh it was great! The food wasn’t all that, in fact, it was all kind of overpriced and it was also really hot but the people there were really nice though! It was just a nice atmosphere all around”
as compared to
“ummm it was…okay? Like it was so hot and everything was just not worth the money at all, it was badly executed and idk it just wasn’t a great event. Nothing special”
are the two types of answers i can give to someone which may or may not impact their decision to go to the next one. If you think about it, those are essentially the same answers with equally honest judgments but just phrased in a different context.
I know it’s still a baby industry but how the fuck else are you going to nurture growth if customers are dropping off one by one because it’s no longer worth their time?
Also, you know how shitty self-righteous wannabe world travellers always go, “go out, do things, meet new people?” Yeah that’s bullshit because what they don’t mention is that when you go out do things and meet new people, you should also bring a friend with you as backpadding to fall back on because without a friend, you’ll look hella stupid and no one will think of approaching you at all.
I went to an event last month where i was literally on my own the entire night and if it wasn’t for me striking up a conversation with people around me, i could’ve gone the entire night without opening my mouth. The host/organizer walked in front of me, walked around me, stood beside me talking to all the regulars that he/she was familiar with, the whole while side-eyeing me because i’m obviously new, without saying a single word. I spoke to someone and asked if she was new there and she went super friendly, “no but i can tell you are!”. She was friendly and talkative but at the same time, in my head i was just thinking, “if you could tell i was new and on my own, why the fuck did it never even cross your mind to make me feel welcome or say a single word to me?”.
I went to another one where i had had a substantial talk with the organizer a week or two before her event. I went to another event of hers and went, “******, hey!” and she looked at me and went, “hey!” without any form of continuation. So we just continued looking at each other and i eventually walked on. I would’ve continued it but it’s her fucking event, right?
I don’t know if it’s just my face or the way i look or whatever but regardless of all that, it shouldn’t have been an issue or a barrier standing in between you making a person feel welcome at your event which you open up to public. It makes me think that sometimes, business don’t really grasp the power their customers hold and neither do the customers themselves.
No one’s perfect and i guess just because you’re a business owner, it doesn’t mean that you necessarily come equipped with excellent conversational skills. So no, i suppose you don’t automatically have to be nice to everyone just because they come to your event. But in that case, why don’t you take a nice cut from all the profit that you make from your $11 diluted gluten-free vegan no-fruit smoothies which taste like what i imagine compost to taste like and hire a decent team to do it for you?
So local businesses, if you’re wondering why you suck, this is probably why. That and you make people wait 45 minutes for a burger.