Maggie Rants [and Raves]

VIP Status

by Maggie Franklin | April 14, 2014

So I got this e-mail today. From some tradeshow somewhere. And that’s the first problem — somewhere.  Where?! Oh yeah, the “George R. Brown Convention Center.”

Which probably makes plenty of sense to all the people who live near the “George R. Brown Convention Center,” but I’ve never heard of it before. I don’t know where it is. And the e-mail doesn’t tell me.

So I’m not sure how I’m supposed to get all excited about my “VIP invitation” to the tradeshow at the George R. Brown Convention Center and start making travel plans and hotel reservations to go to a place I’ve never heard of.

I don’t understand why the people behind the marketing material completely brain-farted on details like where the show is. Or why it’s so common for event and business marketers to brain-fart on little details like this and then sit around and complain that their business failed.

But I could google “George R. Brown Convention Center” or even click the link to the event’s official website and learn a lot more about it if I were particularly inclined … or, for a moment, believed that that the George R. Brown Convention Center was anywhere near to where I live and within a reasonable traveling distance for me to make plans to attend.

The other problem is that the e-mail’s subject line says it includes a “VIP Invitation” to the event.

I don’t particularly think I warrant “VIP” status to most things. I see myself as the nail industry’s version of Kathy Griffin — strictly D-list. So it’s not like I opened the e-mail expecting an all-expenses-paid trip to the event and a request to be anyone’s guest speaker.

But when you say you are offering a “VIP invitation” to anyone for anything, it should be more than just a generic, mass-e-mailed HTML copy of your event flier. Seriously, this is the e-mail version of those indie band flyers that teenagers paste to bus stops.

If you’re going to call it a “VIP” invitation, then it should include a “use this coupon code when reserving your tickets to receive special pricing” or “...and receive an invitation to our exclusive pre-show party” or something that isn’t the same as every other show attendee.

So no. I’m not googling their convention center.

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