By: Clay A. Lundquist
I recently spent the better part of a week in New Orleans at a business conference. While I learned a lot about business and marketing at the conference New Orleans had some other lessons to teach and surprisingly this was taught while carrying a hurricane down Bourbon Street. Now one of my favorite things to do is to just people watch. I do it in airports, baseball games and at events. Well as you can imagine watching the freak show that was occupying Bourbon Street every night was like hitting the jackpot. Whether we were at a bar patio or just sitting on a stoop there was plenty to look at. But being an event guy who according to my wife, “can’t stop working”, I of course noticed something that was event related. Outside every bar, pizza parlor, music venue and gentlemen club there was at least one person hawking the services of their establishment. No matter how generic the product or service they had to offer, and no kidding, there were a few that can show an event brand ambassador a thing or two about how to engage with people. These men and women are out in at these venues every night putting in a shift with a smile on their face and they are more than willing to tell you about what they have going on at their establishment. Now many of these people probably wouldn’t be your most ideal BA or Emcee for an event but the energy they gave was inspirational. If they can push hurricanes and crappy cover bands for 8 straight hours to people who have partied a little too hard and are either belligerent or just plain sloppy with that kind of energy, there is definitely something to be learned.
I go to a lot of events and the Brand Ambassadors at many have lack luster attitudes and are not as outgoing as they should be. Being a brand ambassador is a great job for anyone who wants a flexible schedule and good pay, but finding a person who has all the skills needed to do the job weather it’s sampling or lead generation or just plain information distribution is at times hard. There is definitely a skill to working events and while some people have the right personality, it can also be trained.
In future blogs I will discuss what to look for in great event staff but for now I just want to applaud the folks out on Bourbon Street. You guys are brand ambassadors at their most basic. But damn if you aren’t effective.