Was trick or treat on Mainstreet a SCARY waste of time?

I took my kids to Trick or Treat on Mainstreet last Friday with myperson in a neighborhood wearing a Ghostface mask and cloak kids.

It was fun, but I couldn’t help but snicker behind my mask when business owners claimed that it was a good way to get in front of people and give back.

Was it really?

I remember being herded from booth to booth, my kids waited for the candy to drop into their buckets.

But I don’t remember any single business giving me a reason to come in and buy something. Why would I become anyone’s customer?

Ideally, when you run a booth, you want to get people’s attention and stick around long enough to give some information that will make it possible to follow up and make a sale.

Like the owner of Sunshine Plumbing and Heating, who won the Powercircle Small Business Marketer of the Year Award.  He has a booth at a busy expo and drew people in by giving away balloons to the kids. (Similar to Trick or Treating).

Once he had people’s attention, he offered to give people a free copy of his book – a consumer guide to heating and air conditioning.

Now, not everyone is in the market for a heating and air conditioning system. If someone has no interest in getting that book, they might not be interested in becoming his customer. So they can take the balloon and go away.

If someone says YES to the book, they might buy something from him. He didn’t just hand over his book on the spot. He got their address and mailed them the book.

He also mailed them ten other pieces of information in the four months after the expo. When he finally sent the sales letter, he made $200,000 in sales from the people that came to his booth.

So when I see people shoveling handfuls of candy to kids and parents who aren’t even paying attention, I think, what a waste!

I want business owners to make the most out of these opportunities, and use their booths to start a real relationship with customers (that lasts longer than the one-second dopamine rush that comes when the Snickers bar plops into the pillowcase).

I want to see business owners think of a clever way to collect the names, email addresses, and addresses of possible customers and follow up and make a sale that can be traced back to the booth at the event.

It makes me sad to see waves upon waves of people walk past your booth while you give away shocking amounts of sugar… and maybe a business card gets passed out… but nothing happens after that. 🙁

… maybe this situation doesn’t lend itself to generating leads. But I’d like to think you could do it with some advance planning.

I’d love for someone to prove me wrong. Show me your system for turning the hoards of zombie trick-or-treaters into customers. If you did something that worked, I want to hear about it.

If you have an event coming up and you don’t want to squander your booth fee and your time… give me a call. My number is 505-515-7001. We can put our heads together and make an offer that will bring in leads that you can turn into sales.