Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “You have be willing to fail.” This is great advice, but I seem to hear it so much right now, that it’s kind of lost it’s meaning. What does it even mean? What does it look like to “be willing to fail?” As Seth Godin said to me once, “you have to be smart. If you are skydiving, failure is not an option.” If you want an example of an organization that is willing to try new things (and therefore willing to fail), look no further than the Ohio Promotional Products Association (OPPA). OPPA recently held a new event (The Sales Safari) that included 20 some suppliers and distributors in a different type of meeting format. In an industry used to trade show after trade show, OPPA decided to offer its members a format where each group got 20 minutes with each supplier. It was fast and furious…like speed dating for business. In addition, whereas most trade shows are free to attend, this event had a cost for both. The event was a commitment of time and money, and the hope (I am sure) was to gain partners that were willing to invest in their business. At Hasseman Marketing, we really enjoyed the event. Not only did it give us a great deal of information to take back to our clients and prospects. It gave us the opportunity to meet with business partners in a totally different setting. OPPA took a chance. They felt like this was a chance to offer something different. It may work (long term) and it might not. But their willingness to try new things created an experience worth having. OPPA was willing to fail…so they created a successful event.
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