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Wiener Dog Lesson [WATCH]

October 2, 2011

The 2011 Stafford Oktoberfest is officially in the record books. All of those who played a part in the event deserve a hardy round of applause. The food, crafts, fun and entertainment was terrific. And, if you paid attention you would’ve also learned a lesson.

One of the most difficult things for event planners is trying to guess what will draw the crowd. Sometimes the planning committee’s feature event draws an unexpectedly small crowd, while a side-event pulls in just the opposite. Such was the case Saturday.

He has performed at Disney World, Silver Dollar City, Caesars Palace, and the MGM Grand. Professional ventriloquist Greg Claussen was the feature entertainer for the Stafford Oktoberfest. Claussen didn’t disappoint the crowd – holding them in the palm of his hand from the moment he took the stage. The only problem with the performance was the size of the crowd. For whatever reason only half the $5-$8 tickets available for the event were sold – approximately 100.

Turn back the clock ten hours to the parade. This year’s parade had a few less entries, but the crowd on Main Street was as big as ever. Hundreds of people – with their children – lined both sides of the street. Was free candy the reason why?

Run the clock forward two hours and there’s an announcement from the Grand Marshal – all three hundred of the $5 raffle tickets for the chance to win a shot gun had been sold.

Four hours later was the time of another popular event – the Wiener Dog Races. A uneducated guess on the size of this crowd would be “Three Hundred.” Owners came from far and near to enter their favorite weeny.

So, here’s the lesson.

People will do what they want to do and often that isn’t what seems clearly logical. Five dollars to see a well-known professional entertainer, or five dollars for a “1 in 300 Chance” at winning a shot gun? Seems rather illogical to me to bank my money on a chance – but, I don’t get to decide logic for others.

If you’re an event planner – or just a person in general – you certainly want to try to figure out the “whys” of people’s choices. Discovering those “whys” can show you if and how you should make a proposal. Maybe throwing free candy to the audience at the Greg Claussen event would’ve been the difference maker.

The other part of the lesson is this. Don’t get angry with people’s choices – they’re rarely driven by personal reasons. I love ventriloquists, but I can’t be angry with those who don’t.

I really enjoyed the 2011 Oktoberfest and learned a Weiner Dog lesson at no cost. To everyone who helped with the 2011 Stafford Oktoberfest – a BIG THANK YOU!

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