Spill It Sarah…
Let’s chat about competition. We’ve been taught that the word “competition” is closely related to “enemy” or “foe.” Then there are the inspirational quotes like, “you are your only competition,” or “our competitors bring out the best in us.” So as I continue, we can keep these concepts in mind.
Having exhibited at, worked with, or just listening over the last several years, we often notice that some meetings feel they are in competition with other meetings. It always semi-confuses me because if the goal is continuing education for physicians, how can that create competition? To me, that’s like saying the Race for the Cure is in competition with the St. Jude Marathon. Why would one be trying to beat the other?
So where am I going with this? I guess, my challenge for you is to no longer think of your event as in competition with others (and vice versa).
My perspective on competition is that you have to be playing the same “game” for it to even be competing. So if I’m playing a tennis match – yes. I’m in a competition. I do not feel this mentality when it comes to my profession… I’ll explain a little further.
Companies and organizations are created to solve problems; provide solutions for customers with products and services. They are not created with the goal to beat someone else. At least I’ve never seen that in any single mission statement – ever.
This isn’t a sport. We shouldn’t even be playing the same game. Products and services are in the same ballpark, but if you’re really providing a true solution, you should be differentiated enough that there isn’t anyone who could do what you do – hence no competition.
I would also challenge you to consider how you’re spending your time thinking about this/them. If you are spending time, obsessing about what your “competitor” is doing, who’s working on your business?
Ultimately, don’t focus on tearing down other people’s towers so that yours is the tallest; just build a bigger tower. But do it because it serves your audience. As soon as the purpose becomes about making money (money is a result of your fulfilling your true purpose) or tearing someone else down vs. the reason you started in the first place, I’m nervous for you.
Ann’s Two Cents
I say it all the time – I don’t believe we have competitors. “Competitor” implies that your customers must choose either your company or another company that provides a similar product or service. PodiatryMeetings.com is a media company. There are obviously other companies that are similar to ours. We advise our clients to spend money and partner with our “competitors” all the time. The more exposure and awareness for our customers, the better. Your “competitor” has a lot to offer. For example, I lean on meeting planner colleagues all the time, and each of us learns something from our conversation.
“You can copy the recipe, but the sauce won’t taste the same.”
All of us provide our own unique value. Focus on making continuous improvements, not on what someone else is doing. It’s ok to watch what your competitor is doing and try new tactics based on that market research. It’s not ok to waste time and energy feeling less-than.
The worst thing you can do is waste your breath talking about your competitors, especially negatively to your customers.