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A crazy question with massive mileage

Beware event convention hucksters and charlatans

In the world of business, dollars mean the difference between success and bankruptcy. This axiom is universal and applicable to every business and event. Put bluntly, if you can't pay your bills, you are out of business.

My issue with too many (not all) people who give marketing advice and presentations at industry conventions is their use of vanity metrics, backed up with unqualified opinions.

e.g. "Look at how many people are using social media. Here are the global stats. Therefore, you must use social media!"

My rub with vanity metrics is it's a lazy way of playing the "trusted advisor" game. For too many events, social media accounts for less than 5% of their total ticket revenue. This is not my opinion, it's what the data clearly shows.

And the above critique is not limited to the social media acolytes.

I'm an equal opportunity discriminator. Either what your doing can directly be tracked to dollars or not. There is no partial credit.

Just last month, I was at an air show convention in Las Vegas. There, a panel of "experts" were espousing the dos and don'ts of event website design.

One of the panelists, an award-winning owner of a prestigious marketing agency said, "don't do (X) on your website because it annoys people."

If that same opinionated panelist took the time to look at data, they wouldn't make such ignorant statements.

Case and point. One client did the annoying (X) with little cost in terms of time and money. That same client sold nearly a thousand tickets to their event. Total cost, about $250 USD and 30 minutes of the client's time. All with zero complaints from event attendees!

"How much would you pay to sell 1,000 tickets to your next event?"

Instead of me being all angry pants on people, let me give you a simple tool for your marketing toolbox. The next time you find yourself at a convention or seminar on marketing. Ask the following question of the presenter:

"Can you share any case studies or hard data supporting your specific recommendation?"

One important note on the above. Regardless of my disapproval of most marketers and advertisers, my goal isn't to publicly embarrass anyone. So, I would encourage you to wait and ask the question above in private.

Use the question above and let me know how it turns out.

And in case you're wondering, I welcome your questions regarding any of my recommendations.

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