Whether they’re major donors, possible partners, or press reviewers, there’s a reason you consider your event’s VIPs very important. In the commotion of checking guests in and making last second preparations, it’s easy to let your high profile attendees get lost in the shuffle. While they might still have a satisfactory experience without special treatment, an extraordinary experience will motivate them to maintain their status with further contributions to your organization. Follow these tips to ensure VIPs love your next event.
1. Treat them like royalty.
People love feeling special. VIPs should know that you are especially grateful for their attendance from the minute they check in. Reiterate how important their attendance is to your organization and consider creating a badge, ribbon, or other indicator of their dignified position.
In a perfect world, you would have time to wait at the check-in station to personally greet your VIPs when they arrive. At a busy event with lots of attendees your attention will likely be required for more time sensitive matters. Instead, try having your staff text you when they arrive, or, if you’re checking in guests with Attend.com, set up a VIP text message alert to automatically notify you the second they check in.
2. Do your homework.
Making someone feel important is about letting them know that they represent more than just a dollar figure or line on a spreadsheet. Know more than a VIP’s name, title, or donation amount. Leverage information available in your database as well as on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to have a conversation concerning something they actually care about.
What are they working on? Did they have any major successes recently? Mentioning public, but personal information will flatter them and make both you and your organization appear more caring. READ MORE.
By Name Tag Organizers
It’s quarter-close time and your board members are all in town for their round table review of next year’s budget. You have big plans for the events and promotions sector of your company, and you know that your department’s line on that budget is 15% bigger than last year’s. As they all walk in, you line up the markers and name tags in hopes of making their arrival perfect.
As each member grabs for a marker and a tag, the markers roll and fall; the tags slide out of their clean stack and clutter the agenda and handouts. You, now sweating and trying to remember if you put on deodorant that morning, are bending to catch the markers while searching for the second package of tags. The board members, perhaps a little edgy from traveling, aren’t being greeted and are left sorting out the line and the mess.
As if that’s not enough, Board Chair, Mrs. Been Doing This For Too Long – whose handwriting has seen better days, writes her name on the wrong side of the tag, the marker smears and she now has a royal blue smudge on her white, stiff blouse. Now she’s asking for your name and and not in the good way…
Imagine a different scene, where, weeks before the meeting, you took it upon yourself to request actual name badges for each board member: an engraved badge with their name, their state and even their number of years served on the board. Sure, it’s a cost, but think about how important your members will feel seeing a badge with his or her name on it waiting for them at every meeting and event.
Take it a step further (remember that, “exceeds expectations” box on your review each year?) and have those name badges elegantly displayed, in alphabetical order on a Name Badge Organizer. You are there at arrival, greeting each member with a smile and without a drip of sweat on your forehead.
The board members walk up to their name badge, take it off the board and clip it on their shirt, dress, sport coat or blouse. No sticky mess, no blue smudges and no long line. Conversation is happening, they are all moving along and you- you look awesome. This time, they don’t even have to ask your name, because it’s proudly on display on your very own name badge and they won’t soon forget it.
The speakers have left, the tables pushed away, the floors swept. Your event is over, and it has been a runaway success.
At this point, it’s easy to think your job is over, but some of the most important work you do happens after the event has finished. Now is the time to capitalise on your day, so make the most of it!
1. Thank Relevant People
Your event would be nothing without the venue, catering, staff, or speakers. Make sure you thank them appropriately; a letter, a face to face thank you, or, if they really went the extra mile, a hamper.
You want to forge good relationships, so that if you need to plan a future event, you can turn to them. Offering to be a case study or providing a review on their website is another way to improve relations.
2. Find Out How Over Budget You Went
You’ll probably already have a pretty good idea of this, but chances are something sprung up on event day, and stretched your budget a little past breaking point. Analyse your funds and work out what you’ll do differently next time!
If by some miracle you went under budget, where would you spend the extra funds in the future? Did you need more food/better marketing/a different venue? READ MORE.
Whether you’re gearing up for trade shows, major corporate events, conferences or already starting to plan your company’s Christmas party, 2014 is a year full of opportunity.
Each year brings new ideas that seek to make our events more entertaining, engaging and successful. 2014 is no different. Here are some exciting trends that you’ll want to keep an eye on.
1. Collaboration Conferences and corporate events will continue to shift from simple exchanges to participative learning. Expectations have changed. This shift will impact your venue choices, entertainment and even seating configurations. In the early planning stages, think about how every decision your make can increase interaction and collaboration among your attendees.
2. Venues and Entertainment Collide As events, shows and conferences become more collaborative, there will be more importance placed on the venue and that little “extra something” you offer guests. We can’t get away with a dark hotel ballroom and a one man band anymore. Event planners must re-imagine the spaces they are working with and the entertainment they provide. Your ability to capture the attention of your audience and improve the overall success of the experience depends on it. READ MORE.
via Associations Now
One event pro’s take on improving the educational experience for attendees puts the onus on the speakers.
You can only do so much window dressing to make your event better for your attendees. Sure, the design and the marketing don’t hurt, but if your speakers are boring, what’s it for, anyway?
Don’t lose sight of the goal: Velvet Chainsaw’s Jeff Hurt is a definite stickler for educational value at conferences, and his latest Midcourse Corrections post on the topic underlines the point in boldface and italics: We cannot lose sight of the return on attendees’ educational investment. “People do not return to a conference because registration was efficient or the marketing was interesting,” he says. “They decide to return based on their experience. And their primary experience revolves around education and networking. Sure logistics play into that experience but it’s now what we sell.” Hurt’s pitch: We need to do more to encourage our speakers to improve, and the way that they’ll improve is by focusing on the attendees. READ MORE.