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Reducing our Footprint and Doing Good at the MPI Ottawa Golf Tournament

(Left to right) MPI Ottawa's Riccarda Galioto, Co-Director
of Community Outreach & CSR, and Ryan Young, VP Finance,
accept a $640 cheque from Doreen Ashton Wagner
for  the Chapter's  official charity,
the Ottawa School Breakfast Program. 
This past week Greenfield Services sponsored a hole at the 14th Annual Golf Tournament of the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Ottawa Chapter.

The organizing committee had challenged sponsors to come up with creative ways to be kinder to the environment with this event, held at the picturesque Fairmont Chateau Montebello resort, which has an Audubon International-certified golf course.

The Greenfield Team took up the challenge by selling $5 mulligans on the course's difficult 14th-hole.  No disposables were used, making this a simple, low-impact promotion for the environment.  Even the hole signage will be re-used, thanks to innovative work by another sponsor, Miller McConnell Signs.

The company matched donations dollar-for-dollar and all proceeds went to the Chapter's official charity, the Ottawa School Breakfast Program.

For more news and pictures of the event, see the Chapter's Facebook page.

A Meeting Planner's View: What an Outdated Mailing List Says to Your Customers

This post is by guest contributor Cara Tracy, CMP, CMM. Cara is a meetings industry professional who has been on the supply side of the industry, as well as the planning side. She offers great advice to hotels, CVBs and anyone else who provides proposals to meeting planners -- check out her blog.

Want a surefire way to waste money, kill trees and show how out of touch you are with your customers? Use an old mailing list!

When was the last time you updated yours? I received a promotional brochure from a meeting industry supplier last week that was addressed to the person who had my job sixteen years ago. Sixteen years, people.

Now one could argue, the brochure made it to me so the supplier accomplished one of it’s goals. Yes—it made it to me because my predecessor’s title was also on the mailing label. The person in my office who sorts our mail doesn’t have a list of former employees that goes back that far.

But here’s the issue … I received it and the first thing I noticed was the addressee and the next thing I thought was “Boy, are they out of touch!” Not “Wow! What a great promotion!” or “This would be great for my next meeting.” In fact, I don’t even remember who sent the piece.

Guess it didn’t meet the rest of their goals, did it?

If you insist on using snail mail to reach out to your customers, keep your records up to date. I assume you make regular solicitation calls. As part of that process, confirm the customer’s information, including designations (they may have earned a new one recently and it’s a nice way to honor them.) Or have an assistant or an intern make calls to verify information. If that is the only purpose of their call, I recommend they call the client’s main switchboard rather than taking up the planner’s time.

How do you feel when you receive mail addressed to a predecessor or with wrong information on the mailing label? What else can you do to ensure this doesn’t happen to your customers?

And of course, Greenfield Services can help you update that mailing list... Give us a shout!

When Rebranding Misses the Opportunity

Recently I received an email from a trade show display company that we have done business with over the years.

The email was to tell me all about their new name, brand and logo.  I really like this company but unfortunately their communication left me thinking, "so what?"

What does their new name and logo have to do with me? Who cares if they've changed their colors and have a fancy name?  Of course one might say that it's important to inform your clients that you have changed names, but I thought this was a missed opportunity.

Why not tell me about new resources that you have also made available to your clients along with this rebranding process? Point me to your new website where I can find ideas for my next trade show.  Provide me with content that will help me have a more successful exhibitor experience.  Maybe even connect me with other like-minded clients who have used your services and are willing to share case studies or tips for live events.

With business-to-business clients being increasingly critical of what enters their email box, don't squander an opportunity to provide value to clients. Make sure that you offer information that will make your clients' life easier; because unless you save them money, time, or effort, you're not providing value.  And if you're not providing value, you're just pushing a commodity.