Welcome to the Backyard Marketing Blog!
Clients of Backyard Marketing often ask if we have a list of “best practices” to follow when contacting local people who sit on state, regional, national and international association boards. The answer is yes, and for the next few months I would like to explore some of these with you.
My first suggestion is start with local people who currently serve on a board. Current board members can help you book business right now because of the leadership position and the influence they have. We often hear from local people that they are attending a board meeting in two weeks or next month and would be willing to present information on their hometown at that meeting. This kind of immediate access into the board room by a respected fellow board member is only possible if the local person is currently on the board.
A few other things current board members could share with you:
- If the board member has thought of inviting the association to consider their hometown, and if they need assistance with the invitation.
- What the association is thinking long-term about its convention, and when and if your city and their hometown could make a bid.
- What other meetings could be possible for your city (i.e. first time or regional meetings)
- What advantages your city might have over the competition and how best to promote that.
- What objections you would need to overcome in the bidding process
- Other people (perhaps committee members) you need to call who are handling the site inspection or chairing the meeting. Often the local person will let you use their name or send an email to this person introducing you in advance.
- If your city has come up in meeting discussions in the recent past and the result of the discussion.
- If the association is considering any short or long-term changes to its meetings (merging with other organizations, etc.)
- Recent statistical information on conference attendance, cities being considered for future years, and what is most important in selecting a destination.
- If the board/committee member is involved with other associations or organizations that hold meetings and which ones might have meeting potential for your city.
In other words, board members are a wealth of information and much of this can be gleaned by a simple phone call. Next, I’ll share tips on Maximizing the Potential of Your First Phone Call to a Local Person.