Apr 22, 2014 It’s The Little Things
OK. You have mapped your event strategy along with your desired outcomes, created a solid project plan, and engaged a great team. Now, the BIG work is underway!
Robust timelines and key milestones capture all the important stuff that is critical to the event, but what about the little things? How do you keep the details top of mind? I’m not talking about all the design and decor nuances, but those every day simple things that make one feel at home while traveling.
I was reminded of this recently when doing a site visit at a hotel in Arizona. I started my day early and was not so bright, as my morning coffee was just not what this San Francisco coffee snob is accustomed to. Based on this, I asked the hotel if we could upgrade all the coffee for the meal functions to something more on par with our cherished SF roasters. All I had to do was ask and this is a simple, low cost option when you don’t have the budget for specialty coffee bars.
Here are a few other suggestions. And while they may all seemingly be little things, small gestures often contribute in a big way:
- Internet: make access really easy, provide clear connection instructions upon check-in, or when guests enter the ballroom; don’t make your guests hunt for this lifeline; don’t forget to try to negotiate with the hotel to comp guest room access if it is not already offered
- Stock a bowl at your reception desk with items that are much needed in certain environments, such as lip balm or sunscreen for desert climates
- Consider where your guests are traveling from and include items that make them feel at home, such a European style breakfast or a variety of green/black teas
- Have loaner device chargers and adaptors on hand, as nothing is worse than an empty battery on a busy day
- Exercise: make sure the gym is open at all hours and convey these extended hours to your guests
- Stash away common wellness items such as cold/flu, allergy, pain relievers, and vitamin C powdered supplements; they take up very little space in the road box but can provide SO much relief to that keynote speaker or special guest who is struggling through their day
- Water, Water, Water…in the cars upon arrival, in the guest rooms, and all around the meeting space – both still and sparkling; keeping your guests hydrated will help them stay focused
- Place vegetarian options front and center, not as after-thoughts
- Grab-and-Go for the Road: provide snacks and to-go meals for those racing out the door to catch a flight or who are on to the next event
The ability to connect, stay healthy, get energized, and feel comfortable will go a long way in ensuring that both your guests’ experience and their level of engagement is optimal.