Corporate meetings and gatherings are back in a big way. After so many months at home, event organizers are ready to flex their planning muscles and jump back into the game. To reinvigorate and inspire them, Streamline is counting down the Top 5 Ways to Create Memorable Meetings. With these tips, organizers can create gatherings that are engaging, inspiring, informative, and above all, fun, leaving every guest eager for the next one.
In Part 1 of the series, we introduced the importance of a consistent theme, while in Part 2, we highlighted the benefit of The Guide. In this post, we graciously offer some helpful advice on Focused Hospitality.
When meetings have hundreds, even thousands, of attendees, they have the tendency to feel impersonal. Guests are just faces in the crowd, and if any issues arise, they are at a loss as to where to turn. All that can be avoided by ensuring your event has focused hospitality.
As people are emotional creatures, an experience that makes them feel welcome and inspired is one they will remember fondly. So, a hotel stay with warm, helpful staff and a clean, spacious room, or a restaurant meal with attentive, friendly servers and well-crafted food leave a positive impression likely to drive repeat business. That’s the impact of focused hospitality.
While corporate events may not seem to be part of the hospitality game, they do have a similar host/guest dynamic. Attendees pay to go to the event, and in return, the host organization schedules activities, finds the right location, offers food and beverage, and hopefully provides a positive experience. If attendees feel welcome, attended to, and cared for, they will feel that their presence is valued. They are more likely to engage in the material and informational sessions, and are far more likely to feel positively about their experience, and thus, the host organization. If there is another opportunity to attend in the future, it’s likely they will.
So, what does hospitality at a large-scale event look like? It’s a smiling face to welcome guests when they arrive, helping them through registration, directing them to where they need to go, or even offering them a refreshment. It’s friendly servers and bartenders, fulfilling requests and checking in for any additional needs. It’s a point person touching base with attendees as they wrap up for the day to see if they have any questions or further requests.
In addition to capable and abundant staff, it’s also the physical details that bring hospitality to an event, such as thoughtful table settings, the event space itself, and food and beverage menus as well as impressive presentations that indicate the host intends to create something enjoyable, not simply ply attendees with the bare minimum.
“The small details can add up to a big impact when it comes to producing a successful event. While we all know that content is king, the audience will be more engaged and receptive to it if we’ve created an environment that energizes and excites them while also making them feel welcome and appreciated,” said Brooks Parker, Business Development and Sales Specialist of Streamline Event Agency.
At the eMoney Summit in Austin, for example, Streamline helped eMoney welcome over 1,000 financial advisors with a brightly lit LED wall and a well-staffed registration desk at which attendees could check in, receive their event gift bag and information, and have any questions answered.
During the Logan’s Roadhouse corporate meetings, drinks were served at curved bars that limited congestion and fostered better one-on-one interactions between bartender and guests. The bar was also stocked with many premium options to cater to different tastes. Beyond the bar specifics, Streamline knew that the location of these events needed to reflect the restaurant chain’s culture of creating an immersive and welcoming experience for the guests, something conference rooms with fluorescent lighting would not accomplish. From a picturesque longhorn ranch in Austin, to an art gallery in Detroit, to an iconic café in Nashville, Streamline stepped in to create memorable experiences that would ignite and inspire their guests from the moment they walked through the door.
However, while extensive and fancy offerings are always a nice touch, the way the guest feels by the close of the event will always be the biggest takeaway.
Stay tuned for Part 4 to uncover Streamline’s next tip on designing memorable meetings.