Jan 23, 2008

Bang for the buck or personal connection?

The other day I took a call from a small bookstore, asking for one of us to give a presentation on biofuels. After looking at schedules and the hours people will be putting in at the Good Earth Home and Garden show this weekend, I turned the bookstore down; I haven't been able to stop thinking about this since.

Recently, I have been pushing to get more 'bang for the buck' out of events - with limited time and resources, it makes more sense to talk to 500 people at a trade show instead of 15 at a bookstore. That said, turning the bookstore down felt wrong. After all, these people wanted to learn about biofuels!

Traditionally, SeQuential has done a ton of educational events, from tabling at the Muddy Boot Festival, to having a full tradeshow setups, to giving small talks at various Rotary chapters. I personally have put in hours and hours at events (as have many of us at SQ) and really appreciate the value of face-to-face contact; it gets more across that a pamphlet ever will.

When it is all boiled down, the hard truth is that there are only so many hours in the day; there are more opportunities to present than we have time to. To make the largest impact as possible on greenhouse gases, energy security and local economies, you have to educate as many people as you can on the simple fact that they have the choice to use a cleaner burning fuel.

This is no criticism against smaller events - I would wholeheartedly prefer to be at them, but it just reflects the situation the world is in and the potential for communities to make change on a global scale. By talking to 500 people at a home show, I feel SQ can help make a bigger impact, faster. Even though the connection isn't as deep, the education component is strong enough to drive change.


hopaong fishwife said...

Maybe you could train up a few "interns" to speak to the smaller groups while you handle the big stuff. Then you could have more in-depth presentations for the high interest folks from the small and large group overviews. Bang for the buck and the personal touch...with two great options, why not choose both?

Sasha Friedman said...

An intern is a good idea - SeQuential hasn't had an intern in well over a year. It takes time to train people, but I'll keep it in mind if the right person pops up.