Monday, September 23, 2013

Why All Event Organizers are Greedy Bastards

Okay, okay...don't get in a huff. Not ALL event organizers are this way, but today I had my limit and I needed to blog about it.

Here are my two stories:

STORY 1

Two weeks ago, I paid $1300 for a two-day conference. While the headliner was great and there were some teachable moments at the convention, for the most part, the conference was flat. I definitely did not get my money's worth.

So, instead of complaining to you, my virtual audience, I did the grown up thing and called the event organizer to share my displeasure. I was hoping for some adjustment in my fee or a heavy discount for next year's conference.

This is what I got instead:

"You (small business owner) are not my target audience."

"I'm sorry you experienced that with two rotten speakers, but we won't invite those people back next year to speak. Plus they were our corporate sponsors so we feel obligated to offer them a speaking slot."

What is going on here? I just gave up $1,300 of my hard earned money to hear this? Guess what event organizer, I'm not coming back next year to see if you improved. You didn't even ask me what I wanted. You just told me a) I don't really matter to you and 2) I don't care if you come back or not.

STORY 2

I volunteer to help out with local meetings for a national organization. Today they changed their pricing for walk-in attendees. And it was a steep fee. I called the event director and said I am concerned about this pricing algorithm and I think it makes the organization look dull. She said the board approved it and "that was that".

When I went on to say this meeting did not cost the organization ANYTHING and any attendance is a positive cash flow, she said I should write an email to the president of the organization. Say what? YOU are the event director. You should be advocating on my behalf as a member of the organization. You should have given individuals discounts for enrolling early instead of penalizing them for RSVPing late.

MORALE OF THESE STORIES

Look folks everyone is busy, but people are thirsty for good, valuable education. They want to be heard if there is a problem. They don't want to be told that they aren't part of your segment, better luck next year, or call someone who gives a damn.

If you want to make your organization grow, look at life through the lens of the person that called, emailed, tweeted or said something to you. They want your organization and conference to succeed.

Don't be a greedy bastard and don't make excuses. Fight for your attendees and do the right thing. In the end, they will be your biggest advocate and help your organization and conference grow.