The guest experience is one of the most important factors that should be considered when planning an event. It is essential that the event manager prioritizes this issue and puts themselves in the guest’s shoes to ensure they meet, or better yet, exceed guest expectations to create a successful event. Here are some vital tips for your event manager to consider when planning your company’s guest experience!
The Attendee Journey
One of the first things to consider is the attendee’s journey throughout the event, starting with the attendee’s own travel to the venue. If the delegates have to make a long or challenging walk to the event space, this can immediately put them into a negative mind set before they even make it to the door. Therefore, the event manager needs to pick the location of their venue carefully, making sure that is easy to get to or if it is a remote destination then transport needs to be provided so guest travel is as hassle free as possible.
The arrival needs to be welcoming and efficient. The attendee should be able to check-in quickly, gain all the information they need for the event and most importantly not have to line up. There are several strategies which can be put in place; firstly, have a team of smiling, professional and well-informed hosts to greet guest on arrival, making people feel comfortable and answering any questions they may have.
Second, for the check-in itself, there are many electronic registrations systems which are now available to allow guests register with a click of a button, taking only seconds. If the attendee needs to collect any collateral on entry, have space where guests can pick-up refreshments. It is worth considering staggering these areas to avoid unnecessary queuing and having plenty of people on hand to ensure attendees move through space efficiently.
At every stage the event manager needs to ensure that their guests know where they need to be at all times and are well informed of the schedule, meaning the guests do not have to think and have a relaxing experience. This can easily be achieved by taking simple measures of such as putting up directional signage around the venue, having an event team on hand in high traffic areas to assist guests and providing information packs or an event app which includes schedules and event information for quick reference.
At the heart of your event is the program or content which has to be carefully thought out. Delegates attend events for many reasons which can anything from education to networking opportunities or even just to have fun. To be able to engage guests and create the best experience possible it is essential that the event manager identify the reasons why people will attend their event and build their program and content around this. At the end of the day, the guests need to walk away feeling they have gained something from the event and feel rewarded for giving up their personal time.
Another factor to consider is the catering. The quality of the food needs to be top-notch and attendees need to be fed at regular intervals. For almost every event the food and drinks offered should be an absolute highlight and if it isn’t this often is the first thing that guests will complain about. The event manager needs to choose e a reputable caterer who has a proven track record of delivering high-quality food and service. In addition, the menu needs to have a selection that is interesting and pleases a wide group of people. It is also imperative that those special dietary needs are not forgotten and that provisions for them are made.
In conclusion, when planning an event the guest experience should always be at the heart of every decision. These basic but important considerations will go a long way to ensuring a successful event for everyone and most importantly your company’s brand and reputation.