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The good is often the enemy of the great. Consider the special event, for example. Very often, event planning uses extensive internal labor resources while producing returns that don't merit the cost. Since labor costs are often hidden, many times the event's true costs are not identified.

When determining if an event is a good marketing investment, begin by adding up the cost of the promotion, the event expenses, the hours staff spent to organize it (including support departments like maintenance and food service). Then ask what value it brings to the organization. Does it recruit new customers? Change consumer perception about a critical service or product? Does it create the desired goodwill among the right audience?

If the same resources were used for direct sales calls, would the impact on the institution be greater? With time at a premium, make sure that your efforts are focused on enhancing revenue and improving the organization’s image with the largest, most influential groups. And remember that choosing to do one thing always means that you are choosing not to do another.