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How to improve guest experiences at your next event

Creating an exceptional guest experience goes beyond service good food and drinks. It involves careful planning and attention before, during and after the event. A well executed plan will increase the likelihood your event will be considered a success, and the failure to plan adequately will almost certainly spell disaster.

Here are some of our tips to help you improve guest experiences at your next event

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Tips to Improve Guest Experience Before the Event

Plan well and plan ahead. The further ahead you plan, the more likely you will be able to find a venue that matches your budget, size requirements and décor. Not to mention adding in food and beverage, entertainment and the need to market your event to your Guests.

The overall goal here is to create anticipation for your event. Anticipation will breed desirability and increase ticket purchases and turn-up rates.

Choose an outstanding detail to focus on

Whether you have splurged on the keynote speaker, are providing unmissable free advice or have goodie bags that will make the Oscars look cheap, ensuring your guest know that there is something outstanding and unmissable will be there. You won’t be sharing all the information before the event… just enough to entice.

Logistics planning

Logistics can prove to be an issues if not handled thoughtfully. Prepare yourself an agenda and timeline, but also consider spending some time working through some common risks and mitigation strategies. For example, what would happen if the facilitator you are sending there is sick the morning of? Or if they lost their voice? What would you do and how do you adjust your event – it might be as simple as asking the venue if they have hireable microphones or packing one just in case. Cancelling it is an expensive action. Consider these before they become a reality will ensure if anything does go wrong, you have a plan in place.

Catering

While food might not be the reason guests consider your event to be incredible, poor food, or no food might just have the opposite effect. Ensure to consider catering when searching for a venue. Chances are the venue will offer food or have a partner vendor. You will be able to find trusted caterers for corporate events using Bizzievents.

Ensure to allow time for snacking, eating or coffees in your event timeline. You don’t want to have the barista tamping coffee or making a long black while you are trying to welcome your guests.

Event Marketing Tips

When planning marketing strategies for your event, you should be working backwards from your Guest needs. If you have the luxury of treating each event as unique and your team has the time and resources to achieve it, consider adding more personal touches to the event RSVP acquisition through some of the below tips:

  • Review your data carefully: don’t make assumptions that this event attendees are the same as previous ones. Are they the same demographics? Are they needing to travel from further away? Is the time of day the same? What are their jobs, interests and family lifestyles. While this all requires deep data, using what you have on hand will assist in picking the right audience to target.
  • Create a strong brand identity: don’t deviate from your brand colours or messaging and ensure what you present matches your brand, what the guests could expect were they to work with you again and consistency in messaging. This should also mean the time to get this live is reduced, as you should have a brand playbook to adhere to.
  • Celebrate your venue: If you were able to source a venue that has a unique offering, make sure you celebrate it. A simple example would be if you are booking at an art gallery, highlight the resident artist. This will increase the liklihood that your guests will turn up, but also might help the venue and artist increase their revenues too. We can help you find and book corporate event venues.
  • Utilise free listing platforms: Eventbrite is one of the largest listing platforms to get your event onto. If you are running a free event there are dozens of other platforms. If you are running a paid event we recommend considering Humantix, which is a not profit and all proceeds go to children charities.
  • Subscribed customers: Email is a cheap way to engage your database and you can go as personalised as time allows you to be. If you have the data about the individual, try to include it subtly into the email. Just don’t discount the power of SMS or other messaging systems (pending your opt-in policies). An SMS could be a fantastic way to drum up extra RSVPs and is a cost effective solution. Just ensure you adhere to the SPAM Act when doing so!

Tips to Improve Guest Experience During the Event

There are unlimited ways you can improve your guest experiences on the day, picking a few options will be a surefire way to improve ROI.

Length of the Event

While you might think your content is worth 6 hours, consider your guests. Have they taken time out of their work day to come visit you. Can you reduce that to 4 hours and give back that time to the guests so they can get back to their own work that is likely piling up?

An event that runs too long will end up with more guests opening their phones or laptops to get work done, or attendees walking out at breaks, or worse, during the presentation.

Ensure to provide clear expectation of the timing of the event and inclusions before hand and on the day.

Your Host and MC Welcomes

You have been charged with putting on a great event. A great event needs to start off with a great impression. That is one of the jobs of a good host. Ensuring your host knows the agenda, a bit about the guests and the expectations of the event will go a long way to ensuring they are prepared. A fantastic host will then be able to work with what you briefed and what they know, to be able to cater for any unexpected events.

Create an emotional engagement

Your guests have been told what they are going to get before the event. Ensuring their anticipation meet reality is one thing, but crafting an emotional engagement is another. This is the primary factor to determine if your event is going to be valuable. Connect with your attendees and ensure your key facilitator or representative is there, aware and engaging with a sense of well-being, openness and trustworthiness.

On day Entertainment

If your budget allows it, consider adding in additional entertainment. A Keynote Speaker is a great way to build anticipation with your event, but it is also a way to ensure your guests are engaged throughout the day.

Whether you are looking for a magician, musician or keynote speaker for your corporate event, Bizzievents can help you source one.

Tips to Improve Guest Experience After the Event

There is nothing worse than  being ghosted. And being ghosted by a business isn’t going to do you any favours.

Your goal after the event is to ensure that value you delivered is re-communicated. Your guests need to feel like their attendance was valued. Not valued as a bulk, but valued as an individuals.

Follow-up with your guests

Consider when you have hosted people over for dinner. You put in the hours of work, end up making fresh pasta and half the day cooking. You even pulled out your desert recipe you save for special occasions, the one everyone always asks for. So how do you feel when the next day nobody says thank you. The follow-up is so important. It can be as simple as a thank you email, or if you have their address a nicely worded postcard, gift box or a phone call thanking them.

This is also the perfect opportunity to collect more data. Was the venue what they expected? Was the speaker loud and clear? Did they have any questions that weren’t answered? Are they ready to buy

Additional Engagement opportunities

If your event had a networking stand, consider highlighting some of the members that your staff engaged with (if you have permission), add in additional factsheets or key takeaways. Make is so obvious that the event you put on is something they need to be telling their network about.

Crafting the best event attendee experiences

There are three words to describe your pre event, during event and post event experiences.

  1. Anticipation
  2. Emotional Engagement
  3. Value
Matthew Jackson Profile Picture

About The Author

Founder of BizziEvents, Matt is passionate about all thing corporate events from an business and attendee perspective. Matt is on a mission to help event planners create exceptional events by unlocking more time for higher value work.

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