Has a friend ever tried to live vicariously through you? (To be fair, it might be a North American thing.)
Being one of the unmarried guys - I find my friends, usually the men, saying, "I want to live vicariously through you!"
It's a bit ironic. My friends are well aware that I what to settle down. But when they settle down (or for whatever reason), people tend to get incredibly bored. Don't get me wrong - There is nothing wrong with marriage and kids. But people still want some excitement in their life.
In the late 2000s, I attended Eben Pagan's GuruMastermind Conversion Summit in Los Angeles. During one of the sessions, Eben talked about how most people live incredibly dull lives.
He illustrated the point with a simple example: People wake up bored, they go to work bored, come home – watch some T.V. and then go to bed bored. The next day the same monotonous process starts all over again.
One could argue that Eben's example is a pretty harsh assessment. Yet the more I think about it, the more he might be right.
When I ask my friends, "why do you want to live vicariously through me?"
They usually respond with "because I've settled down and don't get to have as much fun anymore." You need to realize that most people are bored. If people are looking for a little excitement in their lives, give it to them!
It's never been so easy or inexpensive to capture the attention of your target market. The challenge is cutting through all the advertising noise.
A straightforward way to overcome the usual advertising glut is by injecting a little personality into your event promotions and marketing. Eben recommends being "edgy authentic."
Being "Edgy Authentic" is a great way to capture the attention of someone who might be bored. By being edgy, you cut through all the other pompous corporate-style marketing. Be authentic and genuine when you communicate with your target market. Because your target market will appreciate your candor!
Apathy, ambivalence, and indifference make the challenge of getting people to your event very difficult. The same goes for trying to sell a product or service.
You need to get your target market so excited that it's difficult NOT to buy from you. As Jeffery Gitomer put it "people love to buy, but they hate to be sold."
By applying an appropriate amount of edginess to your event marketing and promotion, you'll stand out from the crowd.
At first, you'll feel a bit uncomfortable. But with time you'll see the benefits of not being like everyone else in marketing. Don't be afraid to stand out! Be personable and interesting.
Here's how the late/great David Ogilvy summed it up:
"Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating. You know you can't bore people into buying you product, you can only interest them into buying it."
And yes, everything above applies to every event. Think about it this way. When's the last time you spent your hard-earned money to attend an event in an attempt to be bored?
Here are some additional tips from one of the greatest event promoters (P.T. Barnum) of all time: