Show, Don’t Just Tell
“We have to be a sponsor; it’s important that we be seen as a contributor.”
“We can’t afford not to have our name on this event.”
“Yes, let’s sign up early and get the booth at a discount.”
Have you heard these phrases within your company?
Are you part of the decision process surrounding marketing, association membership, or event participation?
A Lesson from the Blue Angels Homecoming Show
I recently attended the Blue Angels Homecoming show in Pensacola, FL at the invitation of my client, ESA South. It was an amazing experience on so many levels.
This airshow attracts roughly 150,000 attendees over the course of two days. The Blue Angels perform dynamic aerial maneuvers with their trademark professionalism and esprit. The community engagement with this show and the Blues is palpable.
As a way to support the execution of the show and the Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department, corporate “Chalets” are sold. These are private viewing venues directly on the front line of the air show near the center point of all the action. They are incredibly well-positioned for optimal viewing.
Most companies, including my host, make a special effort to invite people, customers, and partners who are important to their business. Employees are invited to partake in this special treat. It’s a fun environment where people are absolutely thrilled to be present and have a good time.
The Amazon Chalet: A Costly Oversight
But that wasn’t the case at the Amazon Chalet.
Amazon made the effort to secure a Chalet, just a few doors down from our premium perch along the runway. Yet the Amazon Chalet was completely empty.
No food and drink.
No branding, no enhanced signage, and no positive marketing value at all.
The emptiness of a Chalet secured by Amazon was stunning, and mentioned by nearly anyone who walked by it. How could this happen?
Is Amazon too big to fail? Yes, they are a ginormous company. This was a multi-level failure.
The negative branding image of an empty Amazon Chalet cost more than the Chalet. Someone signed off on a sponsorship, but nobody followed through.
In the big picture for Amazon, the cost is pencil dust as we say of federal budget rounding. But think about it in your own circumstances.
To the questions above, ask the follow-up: “Who will follow through with the execution?”
For a lot of reasons, you don’t want to be like Amazon.
For a copy of my book, Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring Circus of Federal Sales, and more information on federal sales, visit Capitol Integration.