Often times the success of a meeting or program is measured by how pleased the client, attendee or VIP is with your venue selection and execution of the event itself. Because you rely heavily on their feedback, it is important to show your appreciation for their attendance.
Sometimes the event is mandatory and sometimes not. Sometimes you have a few key players to impress and sometimes you have a roomful of VIPs or potential clients. No matter what the circumstance, I have listed a few touches you might want to add to your event to truly "WOW" your guests. Some are subtle and some grandiose, but I guarantee that you'll have a room full of smiles if you spend the time going above and beyond for your guests!
1. Personalized Welcome Amenities: Spend the time to learn about your attendees preferences and plan to have an amenity delivered to their room accordingly. It could be anything from a bottle of wine to a stack of golf magazines to a fresh arrangment of flowers.
2. Upgrades: contract a handful of upgrades with the salesperson and suprise your VIPs with an upgrade at check-in. Request that the front desk mention that the upgrade has happened "on behalf of such-and-such company."
3. Welcome Receptions: Welcome your guests upon arrival with a small, optional reception.
4. Raffles: Splurge on a few large prizes for your guests to enter to win at the end of a program or event. Some common items include iPods, spa packages, HD radios and airline miles.
5. Thank You's: Send an individual email to each guest within a week after the event thanking them for their attendance. If applicable, recap their contributions to the event to personalize the message further.
6. Learning Names and Bios: Spend time prior to the event learning the profile of each individual so you are better able to recognize them personally and impress them with your engagement. If you're already familiar with all the people on your guest list, share some of the information with the hotel so they can help you make each and every person feel extra special!
7. Pre-Event Surveys: Send out a survey or add some pre-event questions to your online registration form prior to the event requesting information as to what each attendee is anticipating to get out of attending. You could even go so far as to ask for food and hotel room preferences. This way, each guest has a part in the making of a successful event.
8. Surprise Guest Speakers: Impress your guests by booking a guest speaker who is sure to knock their socks off!
9. Lobby Greetings: Keep a schedule of who is expected to arrive to the hotel and when. Stand in the lobby and greet your guests as the check in, making them feel important and welcomed.
10. Photos: Hire a professional photographer to document the event. Send the photos of each individual following the event.