I was fortunate enough to go to the third playoff game of the Rockets vs Lakers game on Friday and a question came up after the game. What does it take to make an event fun and exciting? There were some people that came to the game and sat there stone faced not seeming to enjoy the game. I personally had a great time because I don't get to go to events like this much. Given that we had free food, drinks, parking, and the game, what else would it take to make someone enjoy the evening? I realize that this was a "vendor sponsored event" and that has implications and ramifications but we didn't talk business much and talked more about families and the game.
The key reason that I ask this is because it has implications on everything else. It all comes down to expectations and delivery. If you expect to have a bad time, there is nothing that you can do to make it fun. If you come in with an open mind, anything is possible. With Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, many of the kids feel like it will and should be fun. The same is true for birthday, mothers day, valentines day, etc. When talking to someone trying to buy something, if the expectation is that they will pay too much of that the product is too expensive, no one will be happy.
I keep thinking back to a golf outing that we had months ago. We had a big group and got paired with some technology guys. When we got to the first tee, I clearly stated that I was glad not to be in the office and was looking forward to a good day of golf. If they wanted to talk business, I would freely talk about things. If they just wanted to enjoy the day, we would relax and not worry about talking technology. It turns out that we talked more about business because they relaxed and really had some legitimate questions.