Monday, September 24, 2007

We've having a party. Bring your checkbook.

Ok, I can tell you now that this one isn’t going to go over so well with some people.

But here we go anyway.

Today’s e-mail brings an invitation to the DC Ad Club’s “Sports Nite” networking event at Nellie’s, a hot new DC sports bar. At a cool $60 for members and $70 for non-members.

Are you kidding me? I’m an Ad Club member, but my wife and business partner Karen is not. So that’s $130 for the two of us to go have drinks and snacks at a bar for two hours.

Last I looked, $130 buys a pretty nice night out for two. Dinner, tickets to the National Symphony, a show at The National – you can even get into Caps games for that.

Isn’t the idea is to bring people together and to encourage participation in the Ad Club and the ad community? I believe it is – and should be. So why make it so expensive? $60 for two hours of networking?

The people who will typically be able to participate in events like this will be people for whom the fee is paid by their company (who can deduct part of it as a business expense) or who have the discretionary income that they can blow some of it on an Ad Club event. For the most part, that leaves out the junior and entry-level people, especially those at smaller agencies. And these are the people who have the future of our ad community in their hands. Not just the agency owners and senior players at the larger agencies.

If the goal is to grow the advertising community in Washington, then make it possible for people to participate. If the goal is to make money, have a car wash.

(Late addition / added 9/26 -- Just wondering. How many people go home toasted from things like this because they are determined to get their money's worth in drinks?)


Anonymous said...

Hi Woody, This was forwarded out to the Board. I hear you and I sort of relate to where your coming from. But I have to say that you get out of the Adclub what you put in. Personally, I've done a lot of business at events like this. Yes, you can have a nice dinner date for that kind of jing, but the flipside is that you can skip the date and do some networking. It's definitely open to debate, though. Come out and join us on the board one of these years and we can chat in person. Love to have ya. mertz

Anonymous said...

Oh, I almost forgot. I met my wife of 10 years at an Adclub networking event. I would've paid double ;)

Woody Hinkle said...

Hi Mike --

Good points. Maybe there is a way to make it possible for people to do business AND make the events more accessible.I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. Thanks for the comment. (P.S. Met MY wife at a rugby game. Go figure.)

Rebecca said...

Oh Woody ... if this is how you are gonna goad me into commenting on your blog, well, mission accomplished! How can the Prez of the Ad Club not add her 2 cents.

It may surprise you to learn two things:

1. We do NOT make money off of our social events from the fees. In fact, those fees are just enough to cover our base costs. It's true; I can show you the numbers. Keep in mind that we are a 501(c)3 non-profit. It's not our goal to make oodles of money on events; in fact, it's against our mission and tax standing.

2. We are charging about the same (or less sometimes!) for our events as other like-minded professional associations. And of course you can go to dinner or a concert or a Caps game for the same money. We all make choices for how we spend our $$ and time. It's about balancing enterainment and leisure time vs. career and professional development.

The Ad Club can do a lot for one’s career: help you meet folks in other companies, expand your knowledge of our industry, meet your spouse (as Mike notes!), and even help you find a job. Yep, it's true; my current position was a DIRECT result of being at an Ad Club event just about a year ago.

Come out sometime Woody and see for yourself. I know it's been quite a while since you've been regularly involved (and no, I have not forgotten your hard work on the 2007 ADDYs, nor your attendance at the Barbara Lippert event).

All the best ~ Rebecca