Get something for what you give

| Estimated Reading Time: 2:30 minutes permalink

Today I got this email from a German magazine in my inbox:

[…] gerne möchten wir Ihnen heute unser Magazin whatevername zur
kostenlosen und unverbindlichen Auslage auf Ihrer Veranstaltung “beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf” von 09. - 11. Mai 2016 anbieten. Wir sind sicher, dass der Service bei Ihren Teilnehmern gut ankommt.

Which translates into something like:

[…] we’d like to offer you our magazine whatevername to display and give out for free at your event “beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf” from May 9 to 11. We are sure that the service is well received by your attendees.

Nothing bad at this, you know. I always try to get got deals and nice stuff for my attendees. But I also always try to have something that helps all groups involved. So this means, the publisher, the attendees and – of course – me, or better said my event. So I wasn’t expecting to get any money, but thought some kind of countertrade would be fair, when asking:

Thanks for your interest in my event. How could a possible countertrade look like? Is it possible that you do an article about the event before or after the conference for example?

You see, that I’m not expecting much, but somehow I think, when you offer someone or something a platform to get known to more people, even though the magazine in this case costs something and it is for free to my attendees, you should get something back. At least a little bit. And even if it would only be something to get the dates of your event spread or tweeted about or anything. The more disappointed and sad was I, when I got this reply:

[…] da wir unser Angebot eher als Anreicherung Ihrer Veranstaltung, denn als Werbung verstehen, muss ich Ihnen leider mitteilen, dass wir keine Gegengeschäfte eingehen.

… which is in English …

[…] as we see our offer as an enrichment of your event, more than advertising for us, I have do let you know, that we are not going to do a countertrade.

I mean, yes, it is maybe good value for the attendees of beyond tellerrand, but am I wrong, if I say that it definitely is advertising for them, when they have the chance to offer their mag to 500 attendees? And I also can’t get rid of the feeling that somehow this email sounds condescend to me, doesn’t it.

Anyways. I hope that you’ll evaluate anything, no mater how small you think your business (newsletter, blog, website, community, event … whatever) is, it has a certain value. To you, to the people who read or attend it and therefore it should be worth being treated like it has. Maybe sometimes it is worth thinking about if you do something like this more than once, before saying yes too quick. Don’t forget: as if you do agree to things like this once, you’ll be asked for things like this more often. It’s a little bit like working for free … (thanks to Joshua Davis and also to Yuko Shimizu, who both – amongst others – reminded me about this in their talks)