Wednesday, 11 May 2005

canter and siegel

Marketing smells of poo.

I am harvesting email addresses from various entertainment and event industry sources and putting them in to Thunderbird so that we can send out a blatant marketing email to try to drum up some more clients.

I did four hundred yesterday.

I have become a spammer.

I deserve to be locked up in a brightly lit room, with rabid door-to-door salesmen on amphetemines telling me about their drunken holidays in Ibiza, until my ears bleed.

We need more clients. So we have to sell ourselves.

My issue with this is that I think that all advertising is unethical. So I have formulated an email, with what I hope is a refreshingly direct approach:

"Hi, this is who we are and what we do. Have a look at our website. If you think you might be able to use us, give us a call. If you don't want us to contact you again, please let us know and we won't bother you again."
I am hoping that this will attract the kind of clients that we enjoy working with - ie, ones that don't muck about too much.

This has all come out of Friday's job - it was hard.

It involved getting on site in Manchester at 7am. We worked through for 24 hours, arriving home at 7am on Saturday morning. The get-in and get-out at the venue is horrible beyond belief. It involves pushing the flight cases along a metal walkway, up a bridge and down again the other side, and then executing a ninty-degree angled turn through a very narrow fire-door that won't stay open on its own and isn't wide enough to get the flight cases through if you wedge it.

However, that wasn't the problem.

Neither was it a huge problem that I started having acute abdominal pains that made us briefly think I might be having some sort of gynaecological related emergency about lunchtime, and had to dose myself up to the eyeballs with painkillers and go and lie down until the get-out started at 1am.

The problem was the client.

She likes to play what B calls 'The Downhill Arse Kicking Competition'. She never forgets anything - it is always her staff who forget to pass information on, or us who forget to write it down.

In this case, she had apparently discussed with B having the gobos (the silouettes that get projected on to the walls from the lamps) on a 'Hollywood' theme. Which none of us this end had any recollection or record of.

And about an hour before the show started, she suddenly asked us to pin-spot the tables - shine a little light on each one. This looks pretty but is a pain in the neck as you can't really do it until the tables are in place. But once the table-guys get the tables in place they want to get the chairs round them. And once they get the chairs round them, you can't get the ladders in to focus the lights. It needs to be planned in so that we can organise it with the other people involved.

It was very frustrating, particularly as afterwards, despite the fact that the end-client was raving about the lighting, she told B that the colour scheme hadn't fitted in with her personal 'company standards' and that the person she got to do it last year did it for five hundred pounds less and with two fewer crew.

She has given us quite a lot of work over the last year or so, but it is becoming increasingly tempting to tell her to go back to using the other guy if he is so cheap and so great ...

Hence me turning in to a spammer.

I am going to go and scrub myself clean now.

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