You look back at your plans and your ambitious 2020 event schedule and see all the trade shows and seminars you had lined up but missed. You might think, “Hey, I’ve gone without those events this year…do I really need them after all?”
You might have reallocated those 2020 travel and event funds towards capturing a dividend of sorts. Maybe you used those funds to help cover for lost revenue from a tough year. However, you should continue to plan events for 2021.
Plan for the New Year
As I’ve previously written, there are good reasons I refer to Industry as one of the three rings of influence.
Here are some reasons not to succumb to the temptation to pull back from those events as you set your 2021 plans:
- The relationships and perspectives gained by mixing with your industry counterparts are critical to your long-term success.
- It’s never been easier for government guests to attend virtual events. Many government officials are actually more comfortable and more open in this setting.
- You can still use the event as leverage to request a follow-up engagement.
- The nature of the events may change, but the ability to connect with colleagues as a result of your shared association will sustain.
- The collective voice of your association continues to amplify your voice in the other two rings of influence – agencies and in Congress.
- Your associations need you too. The loss of live event funds has been significant. Not all of the lost 2020 event revenue was insurable.
- Live events will return soon enough.
Don’t surrender the relationships you’ve developed through your association relationships. Rebuilding them will be more costly than the few dollars you think you’ll save by pulling back on these future plans.
If you’ve got a stack of association renewals for membership, sponsorship, and participation on your desk, make the commitment. You’re investing in yourself, your future, and your professional colleagues.
I’ll be speaking at AUVSI’s Xponential, October 7th at 1 pm Eastern to talk about the 3-Ring Circus.
Need help engaging with the federal government for policy or access to funding for your product? If you need help with this, schedule a call with Gene.
To get a copy of Gene Moran’s book Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring Circus of Federal Sales or information on federal sales, visit Capitol Integration.