Folks on the eastern side of this great state are still a little giddy. Something we’d been hoping and dreaming of for nearly a quarter of a century finally came to pass: The St. Louis Cardinals are World Champs (page 69). One of the three other times we’d been to the party since 1982, the champagne went to the team on the western end of I-70—the Kansas City Royals.
You may well ask, a couple months after the fact, what any of that has to do with our industry. Well, plenty. For one thing, baseball metaphors work year-round. For success: Hitting a home run, coming through in the clutch. For failure: Striking out, getting caught looking.
So, here we are in the final innings of 2006 (Okay, some metaphors work better than others), and the boss throws you a curve: Put together the holiday party. In two weeks. Do you swing wildly at anything that comes your way? No, you keep your eye on the ball, concentrating on budget, venue, schedule, division of responsibility, and so on. When time’s this short, you can’t dicker about price, and you probably won’t be able to ink a date with any of the venues you’d hoped for. Why not cater the event and take another look at the company offices? Or, maybe there’s a commercial building and hotel banquet rooms with space for lease. See the article by Jamie Vollmer on page 14 for some other great ideas that won’t be out of your ballpark.
Perhaps the game’s deadliest power hitters, Albert Pujols of the Cards, didn’t make his mark in the Series with homers. One of his biggest contributions was on defense, by stretching wide to his right for a ground ball, falling to the dirt and throwing out the runner from his back and at least one pitcher homered too.
Maybe the suppliers in our industry need to think out of the (batter’s) box. Defy expectations. If your business is a great restaurant, imagine new ways to promote it as a meeting place. Or if your venue is known mostly for hosting weddings, how do you keep that label from being set in stone? Don’t always swing for the fence − or, if you’re throwing to someone who does, mix up your pitches even more than usual.
Then, say you’re a free agent − how do you price yourself? Taking a closer look at photographers and florists in part II of “What Are You Worth,” (page 22) Michael Humphrey helps explain why you pay what you do for special players.
Okay, I’ll hang up the spikes here for a moment. Plenty more exciting things are going on at MM&E… off the field, if you will… that I’m thrilled to share with you.
Since the last issue we have added over 200 more listings to the MM&E Web site of products and services to help you plan this season and every season. In September alone we had more than 250,000 Web page views on the MM&E site. It seems many of you have found us, and as we continue to grow at 30 percent per quarter, we are sure many more will.
In this issue we are excited to debut a section sporting the new brand called MEET – St. Louis; Kansas City; and Branson (page 19). We have added this section to help in your planning efforts… please let us know what you think.
Well, thank you for indulging my exercise in fantasy baseball. Next time you see me in this space, it’ll almost be time for spring training!