Your event offers a unique opportunity to connect with your organization’s employees, clients and/or prospects. It also provides the event’s participants with an opportunity to interact with their colleagues and peers and learn important new information. It can be an engaging and well-executed experience, even without a star keynote speaker or dazzling presentation. In fact, the most successful and enjoyable events and meetings are ones that create a comfortable, friendly environment.
Knowledgeable, courteous staff and clear, easy-to-read event signage are givens for any meeting or event you host. But did you know that the small details can be just as important to attendees? In fact, it’s often the little things that people remember most!
Following are five quick and easy ways to make your event more premium for attendees by focusing on a few small details.
Say Hello With a Smile
Make a friendly first impression with this simple greeting. Attendees don’t always know what to expect when entering an event, and they may not know anyone else in attendance, so a warm hello can go a long way toward putting them at ease and giving them the opportunity to approach staff with questions. It sets the tone for the event.
Take it a step further by adding a “welcome” element to the event. You can be as elaborate as your budget allows, but it doesn’t require a huge investment to make participants feel special and welcome. Some ideas include:
- Hire musicians to perform as guests check in.
- Hand out branded goody bags or bottled water at event check-in.
- Hand attendees a creative program highlighting information they’ll want to know, such as the meeting agenda and Wi-Fi logon details. You could also include some fun trivia or puzzles.
- Encourage your staff to roam among attendees and ask if they need anything or just engage in friendly conversation.
Use Name Cards
Name cards are not the same as name tags, and they don’t have to be affixed to clothing. Instead, attendees can place their name cards at their table for the duration of the event. This gives them the freedom and opportunity to introduce themselves to other attendees and network informally during the course of the event.
You could take it a step further by color-coding the name cards to differentiate between new and long-term employees, partners, VIPs, clients/customers, and prospects. This allows everyone to feel like they’re part of a special group and can make it easier to network with others who are part of that group, or with those who aren’t! After all, your event provides attendees a unique opportunity to connect with peers in their field.
Dress Up Your Tables
Presentation is everything! Using even simple, plain table linens versus naked tables will improve the event experience for attendees. Amp it up by using colored linens or a colorful theme. A little expense on linens goes a long way.
Provide Water Service
Be sure to provide pitchers of water and glasses at each table, and wait staff to service the tables. This eliminates the need for guests to get up mid-meeting in search of refreshments, minimizing disruptions.
You may also want to include sweet treats that attendees can nibble on during the meeting, things like wrapped hard candies, bite-size candy bars, and an assortment of chocolate. Remember that presentation makes a difference. Place the candies in glass jars or bowls where everyone at the table can access them or easily pass them around.
Other important items to include on each table are pens and notepads, things attendees can use on-site during their time at the event.
Serve Healthy Snacks
It’s hard to focus and be productive when you’re hungry. That’s why it’s important to offer healthy snacks between meal breaks during your meeting. Unhealthy snacks can make attendees feel sluggish versus healthy snacks, which pack more of a nutritional punch, fueling your guests with the energy and nutrients necessary to maintain focus and concentration.
In addition to being healthful, snack options for attendees should be tasty, fuss-free and easy to eat. Fruit, nuts and low-fat popcorn are all good options. Consider making snack breaks interactive with a popcorn bar or mini-buffet, or a make-your-own trail mix station. Snack “shots” and snacks on sticks are also good no-muss, no-fuss options.
Looking for expert assistance with your next event? Douglas County Libraries can help. DCL offers meeting and event spaces and services appropriate for everything from corporate functions to social events. Our experienced Event & Hospitality Services staff will work with you to accommodate the style, size and complexity of your event.
For more information about the library’s event spaces and services, visit DCL.org/event-services or call (303) 688-7605.