With beer in hand, we waited, anxiously. Who could it be? I mean, there were many to choose from. I leaned over to the media member next to me and suggested, “Pedro Martinez? Dwight Evans? Jim Rice?” We waited some more, until the door to the Legends Suite opened just a crack, and then swung open fully. There stood a fit, older gentleman—who looked like he could still play. “Everyone, this is Jim Lonborg, 1967 Cy Young Award winner for the Boston Red Sox,” announced our tour guide. There was a bit of a silence as the group looked at each other in unknowing consternation. To me, this was about the coolest thing—being in a room with baseball history.
Last month, Eric and I were invited to visit Watts Works Learning Center, state-of-the-art facility where customers, distributors, sales representatives, and others can obtain hands-on experience with the company’s plumbing, HVAC, and water quality products and technologies. But as part of the perks was a visit and tour of Fenway Park, watching the game from the Legends Box (right next to Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski’s box) and visiting with Mr. Lonborg for five innings.
This is when companies get it right. They know how to treat media, contractor customers and reps to, hopefully, what amounts to a trip of a lifetime. And brand loyalty can have its extra benefits—visiting production plants out of state or overseas, attending sporting events, fishing trips or golf outings, etc. These companies vie for your attention, and when it comes down to it, your dollar. The effort put into these events is tremendous as they want you to enjoy every minute of your experience, and they want to have a lasting impression on future business decisions.
Just a few weeks prior to the Fenway trip, Uponor held its biennial Uponor Convention, held every other year at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. From what started from as many as 100 attendees has now blossomed into a 1000+ attendee event with great educational seminars, a working trade show on the floor, which included such names at Milwaukee Tool North America, Taco, Grundfos, and Holdrite.
But the glue that makes the experience “stick” and so much worth while is the connections you make while at the show, your head is filled with delicious knowledge, the entertainment is top notch and once you leave you can’t wait to return.
Really, how cool is that? Spend a few days at a getaway destination, feed the brain and network with some of your closest peers. If you do a good business with a company and the brand loyalty is there keep an eye out for great opportunities to travel, whether it is for training, a facility tour or just a customer appreciation event. You probably will not be disappointed.
This is when companies get it right.