Life is full of failures, so chess life must be too.
In marketing, or making presentations to generation sales, by some method, some ideas work best with timing that is near perfect, or a product which is so cool, and so new, that it elicits gasps (oohs and aahs).
Possibly the introduction of a certain celebrity can help or not.
But when all is said and done the "offer" must be so compelling as to overpower all the reasons to do nothing. But there is one factor which shouldn't be ignored and it is the NUMBERS. Being a math guy, I can appreciate this.
THE EVERYMAN ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE SAMPLE
If a proposal is made to 1,000 people and 1% respond positively, or 10 people in this case, then is THAT compelling? It depends on other "numbers." If the unit (as Steve Ehrbach would have called it) is $100,000 that might be enough, but then we have to look at some other numbers, such as, "How much is the unit going to cost us?"
We keep coming back to numbers.
Some could look at 990 people saying "No", in effect, as a failure, but if the product cost $25,000 each, then a profit of $750,000 might be considered a huge success.
Similarly, but conversely, if you gave away something for FREE and 80% thought it to be worthy enough to say "Yes" while the "unit" cost was $10 each, then that $800,000 expense better have a big "Whammo" upon final rollout or somebody might just go down the drain.
So while it is perspective, it's also numbers. It doesn't do any good for me to scratch my head and ask WHY there isn't a bigger turnout for the "Chess TNT" event if NO ONE CARES! To "care" something must be compelling, something to get us out of our rocking chair and take action. E.g., if our car has bad brakes, most of us will take some kind of action to solve that problem because life and limb are at danger here--a pretty good sized priority.
But, if we forgot to put out the garbage one week, that's inconvenient, maybe smelly, but probably not life threatening. So where's the "in between?" Marketers ask themselves that question ALL the time, so by that FACT alone (i.e., "all"), there must be lots of "failures."
What happens when there is a big SUCCESS? There is an attempt to duplicate it in many cases. When Elvis Presley died the t-shirt vendors, music companies, etc. went crazy selling "stuff" and still have. Maybe it was only a minor success (because there were so many different vendors). But when Steve Jobs died those "marketers" tried the same thing with bobbleheads, etc. and from what I have read, the lovers of Apple products didn't respond (unless it was an iPhone 4S). It's ALWAYS dicey.
The guy who marketed the Farrah Fawcett posters sold millions of them but he went broke! "How's that possible?" Lots of distributors he sold them to didn't pay him what he was owed. They kept the money they made, but he was left high and dry. He probably lost everything and possibly the printers did too.
THE RIGHT PRICE POINT
This pretty girl came up to a dude and he asked her if she would sleep with him for a million bucks. Quickly she said, "Sure honey." Then he said, "Would you do that for five bucks?" She replied, "What kind of girl do you think I am?" He backed up and said, "We already know what kind of girl you are, we are just trying to agree on a price!"
Successful events are like that too. What is the right price, the right location, the right venue, and the right time? Is Neil Diamond worth $150 in Chicago but only $60 in Davenport, Iowa? Is he coming on a week night or a weekend? (Funny thing, Neil Diamond can come to the Quad Cities where I live, on a Thursday night, and sell out 10,000 seats, but running a chess club on a Thursday night, which is close to free, can get only a half dozen or less involved.) Has the potential ticket buyer seen that show before and is it necessary for it to be different to see another one?
In all honesty I don't have the answers and even the "numbers" guys are wrong from time to time (that's the "bell curve" for you), more than you might believe because "how hot is hot?"
Maybe something "outrageous" would draw people like watching Jerry Lee Lewis play "Great Balls of Fire" while playing chess too on a board that is on fire. But the chess would be incidental. If magician Chris Angel was playing chess with Garry Kasparov and made Kasparov's Queen suddenly disappear, would people come to see that? Would you? It would cost a sack of donuts to get those two guys to show--and know that there would be a lot of media there and it would probably have to be done on TV or closed circuit TV. The logistics would be pretty incredible.
If you have been with me for all this, WHAT would it take for you to attend a chess event? Let's take ONE thing out of the mathematical expression: COST. What would you like to see or do? And how long would your attention span be? What hurdles would you be willing to give up to come?
My bet? Only a few people who read this Blog (or maybe none) will take even 2 minutes of their life to answer. In many cases there has to be an "event" just to talk about the Main Event. That is, a captive audience.
One reason I am curious: Recently someone spoke to me about "Next Year's Event" and the first thought which came to MY mind, was "What do they know that I don't know?"
I'd like YOUR input even if you think it isn't valuable because it is. There will be others who think or behave JUST LIKE you do. No kidding! You won't lose points with me. This is a fact-finding mission. I do not have George Gallup to help out. Don't guess what you believe someone else would do (i.e., other chess players), just what it would take for you. I have some ideas of my own, which could be presented in 2012.