I attended yet another boondoggle poker party last night hosted by two outstanding service providers in Southern California and I know their hosting money was so well spent. I am a supporter of sponsoring industry and community events and yet, if your goal is to get the best bang for your limited buck a targeted boondoggle is THE way to go. I've written about this in the past and it keeps surfacing as such a strong relationship development tactic.
Let's say you have $2K to spend on "something" that will generate new opportunities. If you spend that money to sponsor an industry or community event the dollar amount will usually provide you with a minor sponsorship package. You get your name or logo in a program and on a couple of announcements; you get tickets to the event; and the opportunity to briefly mingle with event attendees -- hopefully you can turn a one minute conversation with a couple of folks into an business opportunity.
Now, take that same $2K -- Invite a select group of referral contacts and potential client executives to spend the evening playing tournament poker at your home or appropriate location. Your spend is location (if other than your home), finger food and drinks, cigars (optional) and playing cards and chips. What you receive in return is what I experienced last night.
Of the twelve men attending I already knew four, the rest where strangers to me. After spending four hours laughing, telling stories, raising, bluffing, losing heart-breakers and doing knuckle slams and high-fives I know I could call any of the twelve today, and they would answer.
Isn't bonding GREAT!
Do not ever overlook the opportunity to create special moments through targeted boondoggling. The results go so much further than normal sponsorships and activities.