BY EHM Feature Writer Ainslie Young
When you’re putting together an event there’s no doubt there’s a lot to think of. Here’s a few crucial to-do’s from a guest’s point of view that you need to tick off to ensure everyone goes home beaming.
1. You’re Here!
This may sound super obvious but it’s important to let your guests know they have arrived at the right place. There’s nothing worse than having your guests feel awkward and uneasy when they turn up to your venue and they are full of uncertainty.
Put your event guests at ease and have a simple sign informing them that this divine yoga studio, community hall or exhibition centre is exactly where they need to be to enjoy your fabulous event.
2. Have a support crew
In addition to having a ‘welcome’ sign, it’s also a great idea to have someone warmly greet your guests as they arrive at your event.
You don’t necessarily have to have a huge team of staff running around greeting guests and ushering them inside. You could even do it yourself if your event is nice and intimate. A great alterative is to ask a trusted friend or family member to be your sidekick for the day and welcome guests and provide relevant instructions to your guests.
This important ‘to-do’ helps create a professional and personal vibe for your event and helps you start off on the right foot.
3. Think about inclusivity
If you have different groups attending your event, for example maybe your mastermind group or students from your online program, think about how you can make your other guests feel included.
Yes, your loyal followers are important and it’s understandable that you want to show them how special they are to you. But remember that you also want to connect with your newer followers and bring them into the fold rather than alienate them.
Here’s a specific example from a recent event I attended. When my friend and I arrived at the workshop we headed straight for a table full of name badges. But we were told that we wouldn’t receive a name badge as they were only for students of a specific course. Even though a name badge isn’t a huge deal, not getting one did make us feel a bit left out (and other guests in the same boat also voiced this opinion).
A simple solution could’ve been everyone got a name badge and the students of the course had a coloured sticker on theirs to identify themselves.
By considering inclusivity you’re assuring your guests that everyone is welcome and their presence is valued.
4. Have an agenda
Another simple ‘to-do’ that often seems to be overlooked at events is an agenda. Even if you know exactly what you’re going to cover as a part of your event it’s important to let guests know all the awesome things that you’ll share.
Even if you have provided an event outline in your marketing and promotional materials it’s vital that you go over it again on the day. You could verbally run through the agenda as you kick off proceedings or provide the event outline in written form either on a small flyer or at the start of a workbook that you may provide.
This helps ground your guests in the experience, removes any uncertainty and again shows you’re thinking of their needs and reinforces how much value you are providing.
5. Be generous in question time
One of the best opportunities to connect with your guests and impart all of your wonderful knowledge and wisdom is during question time.
However, a few times I’ve been a part of an audience where guests didn’t receive generous responses to their questions and it caused the event to end on a low note.
A number of audience members plucked up the courage to ask a range of questions but the responses were unfortunately far from generous. Responses included signing up to the facilitator’s newsletter or to read a specific blog post so they could learn the answer to their question.
It’s important to remember that when a guest asks a question, often the significance isn’t necessarily placed on the information that you provide but the personal connection you create when you take the time to offer a thoughtful and personal response.
By following these important ‘to-do’s’ you’ll help your guests walk away feeling like they’ve received so much value from your awesome event and that they had an opportunity to truly connect with you.
All photo credits belong to Kate Di Blasi Photography