At my most recent Remarkable Women’s Network event in Irvington, NY at the Eileen Fisher LAB store, Sheila Longhi, an independent rep for Silpada Designs, and I had a chance to chat between small group breakout sessions. Since both of us have the role of host at events of our own creation, we have a keen eye for what works and what doesn’t.
There’s tremendous competition out there for busy people’s time, so both Sheila and I are respectful of and delighted by those who sign up for our events. Sheila has boiled her philosophy down to three words:
She simply puts out the invitation and hopes that her audience will see the value in getting together with like-minded individuals in pursuit of business, networking, buying, selling or whatever the day’s proposition holds.
She’s not embarrassed to remind attendees of their commitment. With so much on our plates, it’s essential to say, “Don’t forget!” It’s part of the process, even though they may have rsvp’d weeks before. It’s necessary to reiterate the invite and the specifics of attending. I believe (I do this myself, actually) that invitees wait for final instructions.
The most important piece of Sheila’s formula is part three: serve. And I don’t mean coffee and tea! Be sure there’s value in what you’re offering. What will each participant take away when they leave? Are they walking off with something special?
What I love most to hear is about connections made, resources discovered, enthusiasm shared. Sheila, too, is all about giving to others. It’s a winning formula.
Sheila sure does get the service part and so does Jane. They are thoughtful listeners and I’ve learned so much from each of them regarding group gatherings and how to keep them fun to keep people coming back! Bravo!
I love this reminder, Jane.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was during my design training. When we are presenting an event we should “give” of ourselves, and our information, not “sell”.
Having a sound business philosophy keeps us honest.
Thank you! I went to my third workshop last night where at the published ‘end’ time the program was not even close to winding down. You owe it to your audience to respect their time and energy. At the very least acknowledge that you’re aware of the time and announce how much longer it will be before you end.
Hear! Hear! Audiences are rare commodities and MUST be regarded as precious resources. The advice I’ve heard recently re social media is give 80% of the time and sell only 20%. Sounds like a fair trade. Curious to hear what others have heard on this subject. Thanks for your input.