Last night, I attended a welcome party for BlogWorld LA, along with a few hundred other people. It was held on a rooftop with great music, plenty of space to stretch out and mingle, good looking food, and a lot of wonderful attendees. What struck me, looking around at all my nerd friends and blogging enthusiasts was that we had all been treated like VIPs, velvet ropes and everything. It was a great feeling.
That VIP Feeling
The cost of providing that VIP feeling was minimal. There was already an event planned. The velvet rope and the professional staff at the venue ( Icon Ultra Lounge in Los Angeles) were already paid for, and the detail touches, like the delicious looking food and tequila samples and Heineken beer, the DJ spinning really fun mashups of danceable songs, were all elements that required some consideration, but were doable. The event was sponsored, so that made it cost-effective for people (they had to buy drinks other thank tequila and Heineken), and so all that was left was to make sure everyone felt like they were part of something.
When you look it all over, the trick was in ensuring that the hosts (the BlogWorld staff) did what they could to set up a venue that felt exclusive (we had a gorgeous outside party with a view of the city), and that they mingled enough to introduce the stragglers so that everyone felt like they had something in common. Lara Kulpa, community manager at BlogWorld, made that happen all night long. So the gold in all this, from my perspective, was in Lara and team making us all feel like VIPs, and I mean everyone.
What Does That Buy?
I’m not intending to speak for everybody who was at the event last night, but from the people I had a chance to speak with, they all felt good. People at the event felt like they were welcome, like they were part of something. It was a good sensation.
Going into the rest of BlogWorld, my assumption is that these people who were treated like VIPs will be able to smile and nod at a few more people in the halls. They will have a sense that they are part of a group, and not just attendees. They will feel as if the people sitting alongside them in sessions are peers and not just strangers. That’s a value worth thinking about, because it keeps everyone engaged, keeps everyone interacting, and it forms friendships that can turn into business, but also that encourage people to come back for another event.
And if you’re Rick and the gang at BlogWorld, making people feel like they have a place where they belong means having some nearly-guaranteed follow-on revenue for the coming years. What’s that VIP feeling worth? Lots, I’d venture.
Do You Offer that VIP Feeling To Your Community?
How are you building out that VIP feeling for your community? Do people feel like they belong to something when they interact with your business? What would be the velvet rope, swank location, and flowing tequila of your business be? It’s fun to consider.