We had a client ask us recently whether they could conduct a pitch presentation in-person rather than online. Interesting question. Because while I have my own views, it’s not something that can be answered with an easy yes or no – irrespective of businesses that may or may not be opening around us during Covid.
As a starting point, I asked the question of my 2,000 or so followers in a LinkedIn survey which, while not scientific, I felt would at least provide a sense of where some Canadian marketers and agencies were with their views. The result showed a split down the middle with 51% saying they’re not ready to pitch in person, together with some polarizing comments on both sides.
With that kind of split, the answer would seem to be a pretty resounding ‘no‘ at the moment. But what if you really want to meet your team before selecting your agency of choice, and conduct a chemistry session in person?
If that’s an approach you’re contemplating – here are some things you should consider while the current climate prevails – irrespective of your own personal views:
- If you’d like to see a chemistry session (or pitch) in person, make it a request – not a requirement
- Be clear you respect the agency’s policy around in-person meetings and it’s their choice
- If you’re seeing more than one agency for your chemistry session and one says ‘no‘, change the other(s) to online sessions to ensure fairness for all.
- Recognize that even if agencies do pitch in-person, some staff may choose not to participate and be comfortable if some members choose to join online
- Be clear that if they choose not pitch in-person this will not negatively impact your decision (i.e. it’s not a decision criteria)
- Confirm everyone on your search team will follow safety protocols around social distancing and wearing masks and whatever additional protocols the agency may request
- Keep the numbers small and book a venue that’s outside
While we all continue to stumble our way through these uncertain times, this will likely remain a hot and sensitive topic for many months to come. So rather than consider this a complete list, let’s call it a work in progress and additional thoughts and comments are welcome.