The pace at many events is non-stop. As a result, many event planners routinely go home from events exhausted and find it challenging to achieve career/life balance. A dedicated meeting concierge, assigned to work exclusively with your group, provides extra support and can greatly reduce the stress of multi-day events.
I am not sure how common dedicated concierges are in the meeting and events industry. I'd like to think I invented them but I am sure that I didn't.
I came up with this approach for my own team building retreats and meetings about 7 1/2 years ago. It was after a retreat for which due diligence had been done by all parties in advance. The number of changes and special requests in the final days before the retreats were significantly higher than for most meetings. This pattern continued on-site.
In addition to facilitating the retreat, there were non-stop requests for changes and last minute special requests. Requests for changes even came in after the evening entertainment had ended and participants had dispersed. This was before the age of apps. for push notifications. I remember typing up notices, getting them printed, and working with hotel staff to stuff them into envelopes so that they could be slipped under guest room doors in the middle of the night.
I pulled it off but went home exhausted. I was convince that there had to be a more proactive strategy. With some careful thinking I realized that a member of the hotel team dedicated to our group would have made all the difference. So, I started to ask hotels to assign a member of their team who was off-duty as a dedicated concierge. It's been a triple win. The hotels love it.
- Benefits for Clients: The client wins by having their requests handled immediately. It's an affordable strategy ($25 - $30 an hour paid directly to the concierge). This is less expensive than bringing an extra member of the event team on-site. The concierge is familiar with the property and know exactly who to contact to get things done quickly and easily.
- Benefits for Hotel: The hotel wins as it takes pressure off the staff on duty. Many last special requests can be handled directly by the concierge. It's also a great way to give team members special assignments to grow their skills.
- Benefits for Facilitators and Event Planners: As a facilitator, a dedicated concierge has made it possible for me to focus 100% on facilitation and team building while on-site. The concierge handles unforeseen situations and special requests related to the hotel and guest rooms.
- Benefits for Concierges: Hotel employees love the role of dedicated concierge as it's an opportunity to earn extra money and acquire additional skills. It also adds variety to their work.
I just had a pre-con today and briefed the concierge on her duties for an event that my company has been planning for a client for next weekend. I'll return with Part 2 to discuss what dedicated concierges can do for your corporate events and share some tips.
Other Cvent blog posts have shared Event Planning: 10 Tips to Stop Going Home from Events Exhausted, Event Planning: 6 Surefire Strategies to Avoid Burnout, and Tips for Successful Pre-Conference (Pre-Con) Meetings.
Photo Credit:Memphis CVB