Party Tips: Offline Marketing for Online Companies

velvet rope.jpegIt’s ad:tech time, and that means party time here in New York. And if there’s one thing online players haven’t yet mastered it’s the art — and the common sense — of hosting offline events.

Take RSVP’ing. You get the e-mail invitation, you respond in a timely fashion, you get to the door, and four times out of five, you’re not on the list. Which begs the question of the list in the first place. But OK, a list is necessary.

Who’s managing that list? It’s astonishing the number of industry players hosting parties this week that don’t have a company or a PR representative at the door. Last night at a club, a couple of burly, clipboard-toting doormen were busily turning away executives from ad agencies, major online properties such as YellowPages.com, and yours truly from the velvet ropes.

We’d all RSVP’d.

What did our host gain from the event? A bunch of “guests” huddled in the cold complaining to one another about a bad experience.

If you’re investing five or six figures in an event to impress clients, prospects, and the media, protect that investment and those relationships. Assign company reps to work the door. Create a drop-dead list of people and/or companies that get in, no matter what. And above all, don’t let a nightclub’s bouncers determine who’s in and who’s out. It’s hardly in the venue’s interest to serve even more free food and drinks, is it?

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