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Making last, FIRST

Recently, I spoke at COSE’s Small Business Convention, my assigned time was the last session on the last day of a two-day conference.

My fear…attendees would have had enough and be ready to head home a little early. My challenge…how was I going to grab people’s attention and get them to my session?

I could spend $250 to include something in the attendees’ welcome bag. But that was typical. I needed a fresh approach. I found it when I was out for a run.

Business cards have 2 sides

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Since I was attending the conference, I had two days to meet people before my session. Why not use the back of my business card as a mini-billboard?

I spent $70 to print one-time use business cards with the critical information about my session on the back. The concept caught people’s attention and made a favorable impression.

Bribe your attendees

If nothing else worked, bribery just might do the trick. A unique, inexpensive and fun giveaway was up next. The complete set of six Mad Men seasons fit that bill.

Play music

Attract the last-minute decider. Ten minutes before your session begins play energetic and uplifting music. The curious will peek in to see what is happening. The easily influenced might stay, and for the indecisive, the music helps them make the final decision.

Did these tactics work? Yes. I certainly made a memorable connection with those people who received my business cards and more than 25 people attended my session … that I considered a win!

How have you become first when you’re last? I’d love to hear how you handled a similar challenge.

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