Confusing worth with price

I received an email invitation today inviting me to sign up to a real-world networking group i.e. you actually meet people in real life rather than just online [old fashioned and quaint some may say].

I was struck by one of the "sales" points in the email.

We are giving away 1500 first year memberships worth £297 (+VAT) absolutely free.

Firstly, I chuckled about their use of the word "worth" since I think they were confusing it with price, which is often very different. Secondly, they were attempting to suggest you were getting a good deal as you otherwise would have to pay £297 - I'm intrigued as to who would pay such a fee, especially without understanding who you would be meeting at such events, and so question whether anyone would actually consider they were receiving a valuable inducement.

posted by John Wilson @ 1:04 PM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


At 2:42 PM, Blogger Manoj Ranaweera said...

The annual membership for Northern StartUp 2.0 is £250 inclusive of VAT or you can pay £30 inclusive of VAT for individual events. Face-to-face meetings require significant cost organise and the value achieved can be much higher than through on-line social networks.

I see both complementing each other rather than competing. To me, the issue is not about cost, but what value you can get out of it.

We very much focus on the startup community so you know exactly what you get.

I am surprised to hear that the publisher of the e-mail has not mention the type of individuals attending this event.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger John Wilson said...

Manoj, thanks for your comment. I concur with your comment re value and confess to considerable surprise at the charge for Northern StartUp. Networking events are generally hit and miss - you may get lucky and chance upon a person with whom you can do business, but it's not a certainty.

Having seen events like Open Coffee in action, which is unstructured and free, I think these are as effective as organised events for networking. Moreover, any cost to an event will be off-putting to some potential attendees and the widest net possible is desirable.

I'm not disputing that an organised event takes considerable planning and involves expense that needs to be recouped, merely that free equivalents can provide similar value in terms of connections made.

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Manoj Ranaweera said...

Yep, good debate. We tried with OpenCoffee in Manchester. Infact was conceived at the very first event. OC Manchester was never successful due to lack of critical mass. In this case we were aiming for 15.

First two events of Northern StartUp 2.0 was easy to organise. Now, every event is harder as we are still way behind critical mass. Again, we are looking for 50 and we get 30.

Northern StartUp 2.0 is not about just events, its about building an ecosystem for startups. E.g. Simul got first page coverage on Crain's this Monday. Now that is at the top end. Cost £30 Value ££££.

There has been deal done because of these events. It's more intimate and seems to work.

But getting to that critical mass is still some way off.


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