[OVC-discuss] [Fwd: Great Success for OVC and Clear Count!]

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Thu Aug 20 2009 - 15:12:33 CDT

attached mail follows:

Dear Friends of Open Voting:

Last night we saw the most significant event in our organization's history. We had the first event in our Clear Count campaign. It worked. This is the clearest indication yet that OVC will be completely successful.

All the major features of the viral Clear Count campaign were demonstrated:

- New supporters came to OVC
- Another person agreed to host another event
- We raised money (everyone contributed)
- The conversation was enjoyable and productive – a great exchange
  of ideas (including how to improve the marketing of Clear Count).
  The party was scheduled from 7 – 9 but everyone stayed past 10 pm
  as hardly anyone noticed how fast the time went by.
- While one person at the event agreed to host another event, in
  following up with responses leading up to the event, several
  other people offed to host events.

Consider this:

- None of us had ever been to Clay's apartment (it was beautiful, thanks Clay!)
- The mapquest directions were a bit tricky (easy to miss a turn or two)
- To get there at 7pm, one had to navigate very heavy rush-hour traffic
- We asked Clay to open his home and provide refreshments, not to recruits
  guests (he did not recruit guests)
- Mostly, we were meeting each other for the first time (strangers coming to
  a stranger's home)

The turnout was lighter than expected (7 people there, $365 raised), but that could have been corrected easily. Clay said his living room was good for around 10 – 12 people seated. With the RSVPs we had, I figured we had about 12 people. The only follow up I did was an email on Tues that said, “looking forward to seeing you Wednesday.”

In retrospect, this was really dumb. Everyone should have been contacted by phone. We would have had a better head count, and could have recruited more if necessary. In one case, a woman responded that she thought she was just endorsing something, not RSVP-ing to an event. I thought she was kidding. I would have found out she was not kidding if I had spoken with her on the phone. So, we will make it a rule to always talk to confirmed guests by phone well before the event. Probably, there should be two phone calls: one as soon as we get the RSVP, and one the day before the event so we can get a good idea of how many will attend.

Also, the phone calls will help in other ways. For example, transportation could have been a problem for some. We had people coming from all directions and could easily have arranged carpools. The phone calls would also have given people a better idea of who all is involved -- increasing comfort level and interest.

OVC supporters are generally intelligent, magnanimous, interesting people. By participating in the Clear Count campaign, you will help OVC but also enjoy the experience. Facebook, blogging, email, texting, and so on, can never replace actual human contact.

It took me about 10 minutes to create the event on Facebook and send out the invitations. Some hosts may want to organize the event with only pencil and paper and phone calls. Whatever works, let's do it!

We want to organize as many events as quickly as possible. I think 1 – 2 weeks lead time is adequate. Mainly, we are focused on California right now, but would consider doing events in other states depending on circumstances. It is still possible to schedule events before the end of the month. I'd really like to fill up Labor Day weekend with two events each day.

I am asking you to attend or host an event in the near future. Please send me times and dates you would be willing to attend and / or host. We will be in touch with you regarding the scheduling. I enjoy so much all the great vibes in the room, and I'm sure you will too. Everyone understands the importance, and understands the difference we are making.

Obviously if you know some well-known well-liked person (or are such a person!) willing to attend the event you host, that would be a big plus for drawing people there. It is not really necessary, though. We can make it a very worthwhile event without any big drawing cards.

If you cannot host but are willing to attend, just give us times and dates you can make, and the areas you would be willing to go to. Generally, week day times will be 7 – 9 pm. Weekend times could be more variable. Make sure you give us your phone number. Let us know of any special needs, preferences, or requirements.

Thank you very much for your support.

Alan Dechert

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Received on Mon Aug 31 23:17:09 2009

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