Where the promo parties went, part 2

by Michael Alderete on 10/4/2003

When Rochelle proposed we go out Thursday, I asked her, given she is planning a summer picnic for 100 people and has a school assignment due, both on Saturday, if she should be going out drinking. She said it was OK, but we absolutely could not go anywhere else after.

So of course, when the guy sitting on the bar stool next to me told us about The Glenlivet party that was starting in 30 minutes, we decided to crash that one, too. (Thank god I decided to bathe yesterday!)

We finished our drinks, paid our tab, and zipped across town. Finding a parking space was remarkably easy, but in spite of that, we were still 20 minutes late.

No problem! The program has already started, just go in and find yourselves seats. We won’t hold you up here with any registration crap, since then you’d miss the wonderful information our speaker is imparting! Woohoo!

The program was actually a vertical tasting of four Glenlivet Scotches, very cool. It was clearly a promotional program for The Glenlivet; I’m sure they’re doing dozens of these around the country, hoping to raise awareness for Scotch and The Glenlivet.

Rochelle and I have been to a few of these kinds of parties (a few times we were even invited). Done well, people leave feeling like they learned something cool, that they can now be the expert on this subject in their social circle. Ideally, they turn into enthusiasts and evangelists for the product. (God knows we have on the subject of tequila, so we know this does work.)

In other words, there is both thought and purpose behinds these kinds of promotional events — unlike so many of the dot.bomb parties that were thrown. People are still getting drunk on Marketing’s dollar, but Marketing can explain clearly what they plan to get out of it, and in all likelihood, can point to improved regional numbers afterwards.

Now we just need to figure out how to learn about these types of parties in a predictable, repeatable way, instead of by randomly talking to strangers in bars.

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