Tara Roth essay

“And the Crowd Goes Wild”

“Everyone get your tickets out! Are you ready… the winning ticket number is…” The excitement in the air! People already thinking about the prize and what a great addition it will make to their life, not to mention the fantastic story to tell everyone about how they never win anything but this time they did. We all know that feeling of anticipation before a raffle. It is what makes an event so exciting, sells tickets and/or creates a buzz about your business.

As familiar as I am with being the person to hold the little red or blue beauty of a ticket and see that I am a winner, I am equally familiar with how fantastic it is to be the person on the other side handing that ticket to a hopeful winner.

I work currently as a Sign Language interpreter for my Mother’s Agency. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities are small and word of mouth means everything. Over the years my mom has worked hard to grow her business based on good business ethics and treating people right and it worked she has gown her business and is working on a national level. In about 2008 she decided to add a sister company on to the business and needed a way to help the side arm of the business to get traction on a very limited budget.

What can we do?

A RAFFLE! Of course! And with that the planning began.

We had to do research on some conferences that would be in town and contact them to get a booth. Ah yes, that booth where placement in an exhibit hall for the prime real estate comes at a price that our budget wasn’t ready for, so we got that little spot in a corner… how will people ever see us?! And then to see our competitors that are big businesses with lots of investors setting up with their big shinny signs. Oh dear, are we in trouble? I wondered at what my mom would do.

Without blinking she found some great deals on fun prizes that kept us inside our strict budget constraints and sent my Dad out to procure them, bring them back into the event and set them up for people to see.

What is happening now? People are starting to pass by those big shiny signs of companies in those prime event locations. Full of curiosity the asked about the prizes. And when told all they had to do was listen to what our company had to offer and sign up on a list serve to get a raffle ticket that could win them the craved gifts, they went wide eyed and signed up, holding tight to the pretty red raffle ticket. Before I knew it, the whole convention was a buzz, not only with the idea of winning but with the information they got about our new business. Many of those manning the competitor’s booths wanted to know if they could sign up and get a raffle ticket too. Talk about changing the dynamics of our original set up.

It came time, 4pm was raffle drawing time, the crowd outside our booth was so large it was hard to see everyone! It gave my mom an opportunity to speak to those who use our services and thank them, connecting them to our business and harnessing the excitement around the raffle.

The whole event was a fantastic hit and started us out on the right foot. That company is not only still in business, it has grown and is well known and love in the community.

Raffles support growth of business and connection to people and we were able to harness both at this event.

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