This blog is the first in a series on the subject of your Guests’ Experience.
It is vital that you put yourself in the position of your guests to ensure you deliver the kind of experience you no doubt have in mind. We all intend to create an event that can be enjoyed by those who attend but it’s so easy to be side-tracked by all the details along the way and lose sight of the impression we leave on our attendees and future customers.
This blog is focussed on the information you provide about your event and it’s broken down into pre-event, on the day and post-event.
From the first time your potential guests hear about your event they are starting to build their expectations around what to expect on the day. First impressions count for so much and you want to make sure all the information you are putting out sets a tone and a vibe that is true to what you intend to create on the day.
Think about the wording you use in your emails, in your adverts and the imagery you are using. Are you using language that is consistent with your business and with the atmosphere you plan to create on the day? Will this language speak to the people who you are hoping will attend? Are you putting it in the right places for them to find? All of this makes a difference to the success of your event.
Once you have attracted a person as far as your ticket sales page, ensure you make it absolutely clear what the ticket price includes and try to avoid any complex pricing structures. You can easily lose sales if people have seen a price advertised somewhere and then find it is significantly higher because of booking fees, VAT etc. Having clarity at the point of booking allows you to start to build a trusting relationship with each guest.
Once they have parted with their money and made a commitment to come along, make sure you send confirmation of the booking asap. Why not create a short video thank you message so your guests see you and hear you well before the day of your event. You could talk about any key messages that you want to get across and this information is much more likely to be absorbed than in a written email.
Better still, you could create a series of videos so that you provide regular updates to your booked guests. This helps build excitement and momentum around your event and could get people talking more widely about it and encouraging their contacts to come along with them.
How about broadcasting live via social media – using facebook live for a Q&A session for example. You could ask for questions by email as well as inviting people to join live to ensure you have real questions to answer. You could even invite guests into your live broadcast and interview them to build the excitement and add some diversity to your broadcasts.
A few days before the event, be sure to send a communication about the practicalities so that guests have this all to hand on the day. Make sure they know whether they need to bring a physical ticket, where the nearest transport hubs and parking are, the address of the venue and a local map, what is included on the day and confirm the start and proposed finish times so people can make precise arrangements. Make sure you offer contact details for the day so that if they have any questions or can’t find their way they know who to call or message. All of this makes such a big difference to the attendance rate and to the personalised feeling of care and attention that you are building.
On the day
If you’ve set the right tone in all of your pre event communication, your guests should feel a sense of synergy when they arrive.
It’s important to think about the agenda of the day and whether you plan to promote any other elements of your business and pitch for further sales. You will know your audience by this stage so think about how this is likely to be received. If you’ve given away lots of value for a really low ticket price, they may be happy to sit through a half hour pitch. But this may not be the case. It doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the chance to offer further products or services, just ensure you do it with integrity so as not to damage the trust you have built up to this point.
Don’t forget to take the time to thank your guests for coming along! Encourage them to share their favourite elements and take-aways from the day on social media and make sure you give them a place to do this or promote hashtags so you can keep track of the feedback.
Keep the information flowing about future events you are looking to hold, or other products or services you feel could help your guests on an ongoing basis.
Encourage network building among your guests – perhaps remind everyone of where they can find you online and therefore each other. Start a facebook group or similar online hub so those who met on the day can continue to talk around the subjects they enjoyed at your event. Keep building the community that starts at your events and you will find the benefits to your business continue to flow to you long after the day itself.
As always I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject – do get involved in the comments below.
Check back soon for some other angles on the Guest Experience – and do let me know if there are any particular areas you’d like me to cover!
Thanks as always,