Barnum was extraordinary at hyping up anything. He could take a seemingly ordinary object and create an amazing back story. He would then feed that story to the press and get droves of people to show up.
When Barnum was younger there were certain times where he let the hype go overboard. By overhyping he lost some credibility with the public and the press. Fortunately for him he was very good at delivering on the hype and getting credibility back.
Delivering on the Hype
I don’t think it’s right to hype or advertise something where you can’t meet or exceed the customers expectations. For the purpose of this article, the word hype and promoting/advertising are one and the same. If you can’t delivery on your promises, don’t hype it.
Here is the interesting part ... I’ve seen more instances of great events not being hyped enough as opposed to over hyped. I honestly think too many events fail because they don’t advertise or promotion enough. Not because the event wasn’t well planned or well executed. If you haven’t already, please read “The Danger of Free Event Thinking.”
Barnum's Never Said "There's a Sucker Born Every Minute." But, he did say and believe this ...
“It is of no advantage to advertise unless you intend to honestly fulfill the promises made in this manner.”
(Barnum Quote - Vitale, p. 103, There’s a Customer Born Every Minute)
He's some important information on one of the most mis-quoted (being that he never said it) lines in history ... The Real Story Behind, "There's a Sucker Born Every Minute."
The Movie Analogy
I think movies are a bit analogous with events. Studios spent a ton of money hyping up their movies. They inundate the market with everything from trailers, to interviews, news coverage, cross promotions, etc.
There is a popular notion that you can get attention by creating more noise than the other person. It’s just a casual observation, but I’ve NEVER heard any of my friends say “That movie was awesome, but they hyped it up way too much.” When a movie doesn’t meet or exceed the public’s expectations, people usually say, “that movie was way over hyped.” The movie analogy is directly applicable to events.
You can never over hype a truly great event that is well planned, well executed, and gives the event attendee EXACTLY what they want ... That's a formula for event success!
If you’re an event organizer or promoter, you owe it to yourself and your audience to hype your event as much as possible.
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