Free DonutsAnything with the word "free" serves as a great hook. Free? I'm interested. It's even better when the next word is "donuts." This morning, my company is hosting a free client event in Lombard, Illinois. The title of the session is "Practical Applications of GIS." And yes, we have free donuts too.
Roughly every quarter, we have hosted a free event for current and prospective clients. Our idea is to offer a session to provide our audience with an educational opportunity regarding some of the diverse topics our staff addresses. Naturally, the end result is to generate new work. Over the past year, we have discussed legal issues involved with land surveying and mapping, water quality best management practices (BMPs), and now GIS.
Our sessions attract an interesting cross-section of markets. Attendees come from municipal backgrounds including village engineers, public works staff, park district and forest preserve planners, and commercial developers. With today's session, we've expanded beyond those clients. We are expecting IT staff and insurance providers too.
Lately, our staff members have been able to stretch their legs and speak before new audiences. Up until now, they have mainly spoken to our clients on very specific project-related issues. Since these sessions are extremely technical and specific to the services we provide, such as stormwater for example, I am not the presenter. As a result, I am challenged with helping my peers get their message across to our audience. I must admit, I have faced plenty of resistance from my coworkers leading up to these events. I hear comments like, "Why are we doing this?" or "I'm too busy right now, have someone else speak." Though frustrating, it's rewarding to hear them afterward say things such as, "That was great talking to everyone," or "I'm so glad I did that. When do I get to do another?"
It's better when I grab a chocolate donut and someone comes up to me and says, "I'd like to talk to you about an upcoming project."