Small events or meetings on short notice don’t deserve as much effort as those with longer planning times, right? You don’t really think I would agree to this, do you? Ok, I get it, sometimes it can become all a bit much to work on 20 different issues for the event, and in the end the content is what really counts. I agree with that.
However, there are some very simple and basic ways to make your business meeting stand out and leave a satisfied and positive impression with your attendees. Here are 5 tips you can implement at any event, no matter how much time there is for the planning.
1. Answer Participants’ Questions Within 24 Hours
Now, you might laugh about that but I guarantee you that nothing resonates as well as taking care of your participants’ needs! Don’t leave them hanging in the uncertainty, and answer whatever question or issue they may have – in a timely manner.
Of course, there will be questions about things that are redundant if they would have read your invitation carefully or follow the link to the agenda or simply switch on logical thinking. But, that isn’t any of your concern. Instead of having emails over emails of concerned participants piling up, shake the stupidity you see behind some of their questions off, and just answer them! For your own ease, create drafts in your email program that you can simply copy+paste for frequently asked questions.
Don’t think any question isn’t important. Or isn’t urgent. You never know what depends on your answer and blocks your participant’s planning process for your meeting. And in the end, you don’t have much time to plan it yourself, so just imagine how tight it might be for him waiting for your answer.
Give priority to your attendees over finishing or perfecting that one line on the name badge. They deserve it. And they will reward it with a positive mindset towards you. Knowing they can count on you and you were there to help them. Step #1 on building relationships – done!
2. Simplify the Setting to Put Focus on Your Content
Numbers, times, floors, meeting room names… there is so much information alongside your actual meeting content that is influencing your participants. If not held in a regular meeting space, they are confronted with new information all along the way. Help minimizing the loss of focus on your content by making this ‘new’ information as easy as possible to remember.
Every hotel or conference center has wonderful meeting room names matching their theme. Too bad that your colleagues or international clients won’t care about that too much. However, they are forced to memorize this information for the duration of your meeting.
Make it easy for them and use the same names at every meeting. It doesn’t take much time or effort to ask the staff to cover up their sign or customize it digitally. You can even extent this to the outside and adapt your guests’ parking space. Play different signature songs on each level of the parking garage and decorate the walls with icons related to your theme. Like this, your guest will never forget where they parked (was it level 1 or 2?) and might even establish preferences where they will like to park because they identify themselves with that specific label.
You can influence your attendees’ feelings so much by simplifying their life. Another score for your company’s success.
3. Focus on Customer Experience
See how you can change the feeling of your attendee by transforming your coffee break with little elements that stimulate his senses? Think about further ways how to improve his experience inside the meeting room to foster attention, or before the training starts to calm his nerves.
4. Provide a Community Platform
Communities help making the experience last longer than just the short time spent at the event by reliving and sharing the experience with others. Use that first connection at your event to continue the conversation afterwards, leading to long-lasting relationships and business. Make it easy for attendees to network with each other before, during, and after the meeting. Have a collected sharing platform for information, documents, summaries, follow-ups. Don’t lose your participant at any time of the event planning phase because he is too busy or unorganized to find that one crucial information in his emails or papers.
By creating a simple sharing platform (doesn’t need to be anything super fancy or beautiful, though it should be easy to use and understand) you allow everyone involved to interact with your event theme even after the event is over. Not only can they include the shared experience at your event in their everyday conversations following up, but also exchange with other participants, be reminded of happy moments and relive them together.
5. Keep Smiling
Last but not least: keep smiling! At any time that you are interacting with anyone. But also when you are busy with tasks and you think nobody is actually watching you. Believe me, somebody is!
Your energy introduces you before you even speak. – The Vibrantmind
Even if there are things not going your way or you are just a bit stressed or actually busy and don’t (think you) have the time to listen to whatever the participant wants from you now, don’t let your face actually show that. Stay positive, keep smiling, listen to their concern or comment. Put everything aside for a moment and make it their moment.
Your audience is the crucial component of your event, and you want to keep them satisfied at any moment. There is nobody who isn’t as important as others. Even if their business level might differ, treat everyone with the same respect and attention – you can never know who he or she might know. Any negative experience can spread and get out of your control. So stay in charge, focus on their needs and spread the positive energy you want everyone to associate with your meeting.
And besides, smiling will also help calm your nerves and make you feel positive yourself, open for solutions, and whatever negative thought was on your mind becomes so much easier to deal with.
That said, take a moment and smile, be grateful for the things you have accomplished so far. And if you think that isn’t enough, write us about your nerve-racking event, and let’s see how we can put that smile back on your face.
Have a wonderful day!