Five guests are gathered around you, watching your every move. What will happen next? You put your hands in your pocket and pull out silver lengths of rubber. Then an explosion of movement has your arms moving in an orderly frenzy, creating tubes of air. Voila! In front of their eyes is a functioning balloon chainsaw. “Vrrmmmm,” you do your chainsaw sound (trying to imitate Uncle Curt) as you cut into the guest’s waist “timber!” They eat it up. Both children and adults are rolling with laughter. Hahaha! Several of the guests holler at their friends to come over to see you. If that weren’t spectacular enough, you show off your balloon Tinkerbell in a balloon glass case (Don Caldwell’s design). Jaws drop to the ground. Never have they seen such creativity. All of them snap pictures on their iPhones and bring others to see your masterpiece. This growing crowd of twenty-one people believes you are a creative genius.
What happens after the event?
The guests have pictures of you and your work, but do they remember who you are or what you do? No, they remember your balloon Tinkerbell and chainsaw, but they don’t know you, except for the few that asked for your business card. However, the picture on your photo is from 12 years ago when you had hair.
Imagine if all of the people at the party, even beyond the twenty-one people in your circle, knew who you were and remembered you and knew how to get a hold of you. Is that a great marketing team? Yes, indeed. They are happy to share how great you are if you make yourself easy to remember.
What do you do before, during, and after an event to make sure people know your name, face, and company?
Before the event, you should be on the hard copy flyer, email invitation, or their website?
At the event, here is a simple checklist:
- Display table with your sign, portfolio, business cards and balloon creation or other sample of your work/work product. It should look interesting to draw people to it. You invite them go to the table to see your unbelievable pictures. Others will see a crowd and want to go see what they are viewing. In your portfolio, it is wise to add copy, so the viewers can read about what you do while they are being sold on your talent. Displaying other items like articles in the news and client lists help give you credibility.
- Introduction for the host or emcee to read. Introductions are for important people like speakers. Aren’t you important too? Yes. The formal introduction ensures that other people know you are important, in case they just thought you were the entertainment. This will increase your return on your image in terms of marketing and pricing. A normal company party is not introducing their strolling entertainers. On the rare occasion they mentioned you, they announced we have a balloon artist, face painter, juggler, and magician. Are you not like all the rest, are you? Lead your client, give them your 45 seconds introduction. Tell them when to do it, how to say it, and rehearse it. Clients will do what you request most of the time, but you need to be proactive. Tell them what works best and expect them to do it. You will set yourself apart from the thousands of other strolling entertainers. (By the way, the more they pay you, the more they will listen to you.)
- Each time your creations go out, are you letting your customer remember you with your card? Try and incorporate your card into the balloon creation or work it into a magic trick. They may or may not keep the card, but at least they will see it, touch it, and will have a better chance of remembering you.
- All your equipment must have your logo and your colors on everything. It will look like you care about your image, you are consistent, and you are reinforcing your brand. Your balloon pump, your nametag, your equipment bags, and everything the customer sees should have your company name on it.
After the event, are you sending your client pictures of the event with your logo and contact information on the photographs? The best way to keep in touch with the attendees when you don’t have their contact information is to post pictures of the event. It’s so easy to do these days to post pictures. If you do all of the above, you will be in the attendee’s head for at least a week, from when they promote the party to when you post your pictures. They will have seen you or your logo at least ten times, heard your name a few times, and seen your face several times.
You will have more people remembering you than the few who requested business cards. I often run into people who will say; I have your card from 10 years ago sitting on my desk. Yes, it would help if you established a memorable brand first, and then you will be locked in their head. Yes, you will be remembered. This is called “Maximizing Your Return On Image.”