Ok. You are in Vegas and you have 45 clients coming for a user’s conference. What do you need to do?
1. Be organized.
Make sure all your ducks are in a row. Have a binder handy with all the important information such as hotel reservations, catering contracts, shipping info, etc. oh yeah make sure you have contact info for ever person touching your conference. Hotel staff, co-workers, event personnel, or even the bus driver, you have no room for error!
2. Plan your days step by step.
I call it a run of show. It’s my daily task list. Did I confirm the bus for the dinner Monday night? Check. Did I book a room for one of my clients who registered last night? Check. Did my brochures arrive? Check. Follow your list and adjust on the fly if necessary.
3. Once you double and triple checked everything, its implementation and execution time.
Has your demo equipment arrived? Is your LCD projector functioning? Are your speakers and their presentations ready to roll? If so, its showtime!
4. After the daily meetings have adjourned, make sure your attendees are reminded of all planned social activities.
I recommend an email prior to the conference and daily reminders at the conclusion of the meeting are always helpful. Make sure you communicate all the who, what, and where’s. Too much info is never bad especially after a long day of mental acrobats.
5. At the social events, gather intel.
See if your clients are having fun or rather be doing their laundry. I try to read facial expressions and their interaction with other attendees and staff. You need to mingle people! You will never know what it’s like in the trenches unless you get a little muddy!
6. Your attendees/customers/clients or whatever definition you have for the folks that make your business successful, they must feel that you and your staff are on their level.
They need to feel comfortable chatting with you or sharing a drink. My strategy is that I am here for them. I want to make them happy and feel they are amongst friends. EVERY client is important to me whether they are VIP’s or have only spent $1000 with my company. It’s all about relationships! Business relationships expire after time, but friendships endure!
7. Thank you! Thank you!
Tell your attendees this at the conference and after the week has concluded. A simple email thanking them makes the client feel warm and fuzzy all over again. Wow this company really cares about me! There is no room for the out of sight, out of mind mentality in business. Customers must feel important at all times, as they should. Good customer service skills are paramount even at a user’s conference!
8. Getting praise from your external and internal customers makes the long days and nights worth it all!
Nothing like executing a successful event! You get that instant gratification and you can look back and say “I hit the ball out of the park!” When someone takes time to thank me, I can take time to go one step even higher. I usually send them a cool premium as a “you’re welcome” gift. Go above and beyond!
9. Always think ahead to next year.
Take notes on what worked and what didn’t. We all want to get better right? Keep plugging and polishing those skills! Time for batting practice so you can hit that ball out of the park again!