9 Tips for Using Dedicated Meeting Concierges

TED ConciergeLast week we discussed the benefits of dedicated meeting concierges for event planners, the hotel, and clients.

To ensure that you integrate integrate dedicated concierges into your event effectively, here are 9 tips.

Tips for Using Dedicated Concierges

  1. Stress the need for flexibility. It's pretty much a roll up your sleeves and do what it takes to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly ... just like event planning.
  2. If it's a long day, split the shift with 2 concierges.
  3. Provide a detailed agenda and in a column to the right, outline some of the important duties and responsibilities.
  4. Be sure the concierge attends the pre-con meeting with you and the suppliers.
  5. Introduce the concierge to the key contacts from the client and the group early and clarify their role.
  6. Provide a table near the entrance to the meeting (inside) where you can sit with the concierge and participants can find him or her during breaks.
  7. Be sure to pre-schedule a break and stick to it.
  8. Be sure to tip the concierge generously when the work is over.
  9. Send a letter to the venue giving feedback about the concierge so that he or she has something to add to their portfolio.

Role of Dedicated Concierges for Large vs Small Meetings

For large meetings and conferences, the dedicated concierges can assist with special requests from attendees, guest room issues, reservations for local restaurants, and ideas for tours and offsite excursions. For small meetings, attendees can be directed to the regular concierge for reservations, tours, and excursions. For small meetings, dedicated concierges can fulfill a much broader role. They can assist the event planner in the meeting and also liaise between hotel departments as issues arise. These include:

Before the Meeting:

  • Help set-up the hospitality suite and the green room
  • Expedite transport of heavy boxes to hospitality suite and meeting rooms. (Porters to assist.)
  • Assist the event planner in arranging for last-minute photocopying.
  • Assist the event planner with last minute collation of material.
  • Make sure porter’s carts are on hand.
  • Double check meeting room set-up against floor plan with the event planner and address any areas that aren't in sync.
  • Follow-up on changes required after event planner completes guest room inspections.
  • Be on hand to ensure that entertainers have everything they need during set-up. This can be handy for properties with freight elevators.

During the Meeting:

  • Man the welcome desk.
  • Distribute gift packs and amenities.
  • Touch bases with front desk to handle check-in issues.
  • Update the event planner or facilitator about how many people are left to check in.
  • Deal with late arrivals once the meeting has started.
  • Arrange room service for guests that arrive too late or too exhausted to join the opening dinner.
  • Monitor food and beverage levels and alert banquets.
  • Handle special requests from guests.
  • Proactively reach out to guests to determine if there are any guest room issues. (More often than not, guests say nothing and negative feedback turns  up on post event evaluation forms when it's too late to fix things.)
  • Monitor the cleanliness of hospitality suites, green rooms, and breakout rooms.
  • Ensure that any guest room or housekeeping issues are dealt with promptly.
  • Contact the audio-visual technician in case of technical glitches.

After the Meeting:

  • Ensure that entertainers and the client have everything they need to truck out.
  • Assist in packing up the hospitality suite.

Have you ever used a dedicated concierge for a meeting, event, or retreat? What were some of the benefits? What tips can you share? Please share your feedback.

Photo Credit: Erik (Hash) Hersman

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