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Transportation Intermediaries Association Leader Invites Members to Put Pants Back On

By Noah Cote

April 24, 2023



How do you persuade someone to come to your event?

TIA Executive Director Anne Reinke was staring down the barrel of that very question as her association’s first in-person annual conference since the pandemic drew rapidly nearer. 

Lockdowns, social distancing and mask mandates had pushed everyone and everything six feet back at best, and completely online for most. As restrictions lifted and things started getting back to normal, it was time.

But there were apprehensions. 

How do you make sure people show up? Do you address the elephant in the conference hall, or just run the same old ads and social promos from pre-COVID? How do you even begin to communicate to an audience that’s been living in a world of fear, uncertainty and anxiety for two years? 

You begin, Anne decided, with honesty.

Marketing: The right message, to the right audience, at the right time, in the right place 

TIA knows their audience better than anyone. They know where to reach their members, and when they need to connect to drive traffic to the event. So it was just a matter of coming up with a message that didn’t suck.

Seth Godin says you start with a purple cow. Not every association has one of those handy, but what most do have to grab attention and engage a viewer is, in our opinion, even better.

A person. Someone who loves what they’re doing and wants to help other people love it too. 

Think of that elementary school teacher you clicked with. The podcaster or author or YouTuber you’ll dive into later today. They engage you by speaking honestly on a subject they’re passionate about. 

The people we love throw a little humor and creativity into their work. They devote themselves to connecting with you beyond boilerplate and key talking points. They bare themselves, and beckon for us to join.

They remind us why we’re here. 

Throw a benefit statement and a call-to-action in there and you’ve got yourself some impactful marketing, baby.

Maximum Impact

When Anne came to us, she had a spark of an idea for a video directly addressing her members. She had us write a script outline that she punched up to feel more like her own authentic voice. She had us film her remotely on her phone using Virtual Videographer and delivered a persuasion masterclass in which she spoke frankly. 

Or rather, Anne-ly. 

“Hey y’all! Anne here.” Immediately captures your attention. She goes on to sum up the two previous years. 

“Many of us worked from home, steered clear of our friends, coworkers and loved ones, and some of us entered a slob spiral of alternating two pairs of sweatpants day after day.” 

TRUTH, Anne. Slob spiral is a phrase we never heard before and still toss around the office. This is a perfect example of meeting your audience where they are, showing them you understand and respect their pain, and that you’re not afraid to get human with them, which is so critical – especially after two years of anxiety and isolation. 

“Isn’t it time to take the plunge and remember how to be together again? So I’m beyond excited to personally invite you all to join me at TIA 2022 Capital Ideas Conference and Exhibition!”

She follows it up with the benefit statement and her solution. She goes on to drop the CTA to their registration page – but she still has one more personal touch to cap it off.

“And remember, this is a real, live IN-PERSON event, so that means regular pants are required.”

We edited it, dropped an intro and outro graphic on it and sent her the final product.

They released it, and that’s when the lightning struck. 

TIA’s dream for the conference was 1,000 attendees. After the release of the video, their final attendee count was over 1,500 – an astonishing 50% more than their goal. The event was successful, TIA exceeded their goal, and Anne was so happy she even came back to shoot a testimonial about the whole creative experience.

So how do you persuade someone to come to your event?

Ask ‘em to put their pants back on.

A thumbnail of a testimonial video from Anne Reinke

Don’t take our word for it; click here to hear it right from Anne’s mouth in this testimonial video