Who knew, “packed in like sardines” equates with successful!

Years ago when we were much more active in our local political party, I was put in charge of the cocktail party before one of the group’s annual dinners. The dinner would be held in the ballroom of a downtown hotel, so the cocktail party needed to be somewhere in the same hotel.

The first thing I needed to do was to pick out a room, so I made an appointment to do that with the director of sales at the hotel.  Because I was new at this, I really appreciated that the very busy chairman of the party offered to also be there to help pick the room and get the ball rolling.

When we met, the sales director took us to see a large meeting room as a starting point for deciding what size room we needed.

As soon as I saw the room, I thought it would be perfect for the number of people we estimated would be attending.  But the chairman had had much more experience at this sort of thing than I had, and he had a totally different point of view.  He said the room would be just the right size for our needs, IF the sliding doors in the middle of the room were closed and only half of the space was used.

I was shocked!  It seemed obvious to me that that would make the room way to small for the number of people we anticipated.  I was so shocked in fact that, even though I was the newbee and he was the old experienced hand at this, I was ready to argue that that would be a big mistake.  (Let it never be said that I have to know alot about a subject in order to have a very definite opinion about it!)

But as soon as I began to debate the choice with him, the chairman shared a point of view with me that he had learned from many years of planning these events.  A crowded event is a successful event.

On that day I bowed to the chairman’s much more experienced judgement, and I not only applied that theory in the following years when I was planning that event, but it is a viewpoint that I have seen over and over again proved right.

And now that I’ve shared the chairman’s philosophy with you, try to remember it when you attend events and see if you don’t agree. “If you want people to feel like they are attending a successful event, pack them in like sardines!”

15 Responses to Who knew, “packed in like sardines” equates with successful!

  1. Hilary says:

    I never would have thought of it either, opting instead for comfort. That’s a very interesting psychology.

  2. Sandra,I would have thought just like you! Considering what he said I think it does make sense and I will be observing the next event I attend!

  3. Sandra says:

    Hilary — Now that I have that idea in my mind, it really is interesting to observe how correct it is.

    V — It’s certainly an interesting theory that I would have NEVER thought of if he hadn’t pointed it out to me.

  4. C. Beth says:

    Wow, I never would have thought of it, but it makes sense!

    Interestingly, I’ve heard that when a church reaches a certain capacity (80% I think) visitors are less likely to come back because it feels too crowded!

  5. Barb says:

    I will never look at another can of sardines again without thinking of you!
    ….I, too, never would have thought of that theory!

  6. Chrissy Witt says:

    true true true!! So true! I’ve never heard it put quite like this, but true!!

  7. Sandra says:

    Beth — I’ve heard that percent too. In fact, I heard that there is a denomination (maybe Methodists?) who use that percent as a trigger to break off some of that congregation to form a new congregation. But even in churches, while “packed in like sardines” may not work, I sill think visitors are attracted to a “full” church more than a sparsely populated one. It would be interesting to hear your dad’s opinion on that.

    Barb — I’m trying to feel good about stinky, slimey sardines reminding you of me. I’ll have to work on that. 🙂

    Chrissy — It’s an interesting dynamic, isn’t it. 🙂

  8. Barb says:

    Well, I didn’t THINK of it that way!
    Guess I had better quit trying to be
    so cutesy!

  9. Sandra says:

    Barb — It was funny, just like you meant it to be. I was just kidding too. 🙂

  10. Suldog says:

    Absolutely true. It goes along with the other wisdom that people are more likely to feel that they’ve gotten value if they pay for something rather than getting it for free. Therefore, any small charge – even ‘in-kind’ work of some sort – is preferable to giving away stuff if you want folks to feel truly invested in your political doings.

  11. Sandra says:

    So true, Suldog. In a similar vein, when Hubby was running, we were told to be sure to have some fundraisers that were very reasonably priced to attend for the most frugal voters, because people are much more likely to vote for someone they’ve contributed to, no matter how small the amount.

  12. Barb says:

    We must be getting closer to your surgery. I know all will go well because you are doing your ‘before’ exercises, and you are a strong and determined lady. Think how much better you will feel after it is done.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  13. Sandra says:

    Thank you, Barb. My knees seem to be getting worse by the day, so I’m getting more and more anxious to “get on with it”.

  14. Nick says:

    Sardines go well with politicans – both slippery, oily characters who end up stinking if they hang around too long.

  15. Sandra says:

    LOL, Nick. In some cases of that comparison you might even be doing the sardines a disservice! 🙂

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