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From The Founder: Saying goodbye is even more important than saying hello.

By Ken Davenport

I recently found myself at a vacation destination . . . where the local economy is fueled almost entirely by tourists who fly in from places around the world.

When I arrived, I was welcomed with open arms, given gifts, and made to feel so welcome.  Yep, they warmed me up to get me to spend money.  And it worked.

But when my trip was over, an interesting thing happened.  No one seemed to care about me.  It was a customer service version of “Don’t let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out!”

Staffers were slow, people were rude . . . and don’t even get me started on the airport – uncomfortable, no food, broken facilities,  long lines, no wifi despite it being advertised, etc. (ok, you did get me started).  Boy, was getting out of this place not fun.

Now, guess what memory I took with me the most.

Yep, the last one . . .

I had forgotten about the hello . . . it was days ago.  The most recent memory was what I was most likely to recall . . . especially when people said, “Oh Ken, you just went to XXX.  How was it?”

People are most likely to spread both positive and negative word of mouth right when an experience ends, whether that’s a show, a vacation, or a break up!  Catch ’em right after the final moments, and that’s when people are the most passionate, which means saying goodbye is even more important than saying hello.

If you’re  a regional theater, how do you say goodbye to your audience?  How do we do it on Broadway?  Or if you’re a playwright, how does your finale compare to your opening?

Or if you’re a blogger, how do you end your blog?

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