Those of you who follow us on Twitter @siamangltd will know that last week I found a couple of hours between meetings and such to book my attendance at a ‘symposium’ with a local marketing company.  There’s always something new to be learned even in subjects you’ve been around for a while.

My experience was not a great one.  It could be that now that I’m in my mid forties (Middle aged as some people like to suggest) that I’m less tolerant than I used to be.  For me, running a business with a family and other responsibilities means that time is my most valuable commodity.  Also, my father’s habit of always venturing into the bathroom just as we planned to leave for somewhere has left me somewhat scarred when it comes to punctuality and timeliness.

This event was advertised as lunch followed by a lecture/talk/round table.  I arrived 10 minutes before the time the event was about to start (I learned from John Cleese’ Video Arts).  Never to be late or too early – arrive 5-10 minutes before a meeting.

Lunch was a table full of boxed (Lids torn off) Dominos Pizzas shared between what seemed to be anyone in the building.  Normally I won’t miss an opportunity to chat with people, but I didn’t quite see ‘help yourself to pizza’ by the charming (and he was) receptionist to be the preamble to such an event.  I guess I’m getting old….

We were called through to a meeting room at 12.45 for a 12.30 start. No, this is not a typo…

The meeting room had too few seats for the number of participants (This event had to be booked by the way, so it should have been easily to create a seat to participant ratio of 1:1).  I decided to leave at this point.

Maybe it seems a little grumpy of me to do this but bare with me.

If a marketing company can’t engage with potential clients, how are they going to help me?  

Timeliness is important.  If a salesman is late to a meeting (sometimes up to an hour) does he really expect me to still be available?  I certainly won’t meet with them at the later time – Someone who is late for a meeting clearly doesn’t value your time and won’t value you as a customer. (If someone phones ahead and tells me there’s a problem, then that’s a little different).

If the team hosting the event can’t work out how many chairs are needed for an event where they have a list of attendees, how can I trust their numbers and metrics? How can I trust them to give them my business? Ultimately, the primary reason for their event is to sell you their services.

If they can’t get their own personal branding right (introduce yourselves at the beginning), what on earth are they going to do with my brand?  Oh well.  Our @siamangltd followers will know about the upside to such a poor experience!

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