The meetings industry hosts nearly 1.8 million meetings and events each year. How can you make your special event stand out? The answer might come from an unconventional source: online dating. Just as you do in the dating world, event professionals need to put on the charm for clients and attendees. If you’re looking to take your event to the next level, consider adding the following tips to your little black (play)book.
Before you meet someone in person, your dating profile and pictures are all indicators of what people can expect. Similarly, an event experience begins before you even walk through the front door of the venue. Photographs are an effective tool for selling ideas to clients, which is why it’s key to use attractive, accurate images within your event proposals. Photos bring a concept to life, allowing everyone to get on the same page and letting your client’s imagination run wild.
When communicating with attendees, arm them with the details they need in a brief, easy-to-read format. Graphical emails are a great way to convey information without getting too wordy. Creative invitations can stir up excitement among attendees, and if it’s within your budget, a pre-event gift can really wow an audience and get them enthusiastic for the main event.
In selecting a partner, you look for someone who fits your “criteria,” who complements your personality and style (work and otherwise), and who demonstrates that you are as important to them as they are to you. When establishing a relationship with a vendor, ask yourself: do they help me come up with creative solutions? Do they get me information quickly and on time? Do they do what they say they’re going to do? Do they have my back?
Maintaining good relationships with clients, attendees, vendors and your own team can be a real balancing act. It requires negotiation, being aware of everyone’s needs, making sure everyone has the information they need to do their job correctly and keeping everyone happy. Set parameters and boundaries early, let them know your expectations and help them understand their role, and this will create a good foundation for a successful relationship.
A first impression is important, but how do you leave a lasting impression? It’s all in the details. The food can be excellent and the music can be a solid choice, but what sets an event apart is attention to every single detail. The more thought and effort put into an event on the front end means a better, lasting impression.
Just as your date might not notice the effort you put into the fine details of your outfit, attendees might not notice that the napkins match the bar, or that the lighting is flawless, or that the menu is innovative, but they are still wowed. Don’t let that drive you crazy. Even if someone can’t quite put their finger on what exactly it was that made the experience so great, an event—or date—that affects someone in this way is a definite success!