Open Houses Strut Your Stuff With Pride
"Out of sight, out of mind" is a dangerous place for an in-plant to be. Let your organization know what you do by holding an open house.
I love open houses. The term itself evokes the ambiance of free food and fun, and I'm a strong proponent of both.
I was attending an in-plant publishing department's open house a few years back, and a colleague who prepared the event was telling me that one of the benefits of having an in-house position was that he didn't have to worry about "selling."
Trying to believe what I was hearing, I glanced over the richly decorated refreshment table to notice the bindery operator finishing the shop tour, obviously taking pride in the perfect-binding job she was showing. Soft music was playing as the pressroom manager called out the last three door prizes. One was picked up by a member of the executive administration, one by a client and one by a vendor.
"It's a good thing you don't like selling, Ray," I said, tongue-in-cheek. "You wouldn't be very good at it."
As in-house managers we all have a serious responsibility to sell our product. Whether it be by hitting the pavement and knocking on doors, visiting clients or holding open houses, we must acknowledge that we do not have a "captive" customer base. Whether you're buried in the bowels of the basement, relegated to a remote site or smack in the middle of campus, it is essential that your customer base know what you do and know that you take pride in doing it. "Out of sight, out of mind" is a very dangerous place to be.
I have been employed by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia for almost 20 years, and, quite frankly, I was not driven by all the "good reasons" to hold an open house. Instead, my department sort of fell into it.