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Stop the Constant Events!

Next week Amex Open is having a great event educating small business owners on how to do more contracting with the government. It sounds like a great event. Something my business could use. But I won’t be going. Why?

Everyday my email box and newsfeed are filled with events that pique my interest. Leadership this, small business that. Literally I could spend every hour of every day in Phoenix networking. While some are a waste of time (aka, “not working” events), most are events that have something to offer. A bit of information or a tool I could use for my business. They are all valuable. So what is the problem?…They are all valuable.

Please. Stop.

With today’s technology, small business owners shouldn’t have to sacrifice half their working day to get the information they need. We need to stop being lazy and relying on old communication tools like workshops, seminars and events.

I know….NOTHING and I repeat NOTHING will ever replace the value of in-person meetings. But so many people use that as an excuse for why they cannot use innovative techniques to engage and communicate.

I use “lazy” ironically because, believe me, anyone who has marketed and ran an event knows that events are expensive and time consuming. Mainly because there are so many of them, it’s hard to get your message to stand out.

So here is my challenge to you, the small business community, and more specifically, Phoenix. Figure out a way to build value and communicate with people outside of face-to-face interactions. I am not saying stop interacting face to face completely (I am a professional trainer and speaker and I do really like my job ; ) but maybe we could cut down the ratio to 1 out of 3.

Especially, non-profits. There are so many causes that I love and would support, but increasingly the non-profit community is built around events. Most of the time these events end up costing more than they raise, and that’s the rub. If non-profits used social media, email, direct mail, and videos correctly they wouldn’t need as many events.

Admittedly, a large piece of why we still rely on in-person events is because the only people who have embraced technology is marketers and salesmen. Maybe I can change that.

We are limiting ourselves. It costs us too much time and effort. If we can’t get the tools that we need or connect with people we should know without driving two hours in traffic, leaving the ones we love at home and hoping our clients don’t need us during that three-hour networking event, seminar, or whatever, we are only hurting ourselves.

Our expansive Valley is an opportunity. An opportunity to stop relying on old methods and embrace new innovation.