If you are a regular reader, you know Nancy and I moved to Windsong Ranch in March. You likely also know that we have a full time Lifestyle Director. Her name is Lauren Stephen.
I have watched what Lauren has done to bring our community together. She knows her stuff. Recently we had a 5k race and a shorter race for the kids.
Later this month Lauren will have a Blues and BBQ event.
I asked Lauren to share her thoughts on making an event special. Here is what she told me.
I grew up spending my summers in Branson, Missouri. My aunt and uncle owned a couple of special event theatres that housed all sorts of wonderful entertainers.
As a child it was simply magical to see the behind the scenes work that created these memorable experiences for all who attended. Those experiences were the spark that grew my passion for planning and hosting events.
When hosting an event I always like to think about the outcome, the end result of all this hard work. What do I want my guests to take away from this experience? What will my guests be talking about and sharing with their colleagues when they leave? This is helpful because it gives me a goal to work towards when I start my planning.
I spent some time working at the Ritz Carlton in Phoenix, AZ. My experience at the Ritz Carlton gave me the key to success as an event professional.
The Ritz Carton has a credo that sets the highest of standards for customer service. I have adopted these principles as my personal philosophy on how to treat every guest that might attend my event.
These principles have given me a template for providing exceptional service that creates memorable events.
- Make your guests comfort your highest mission.
- Provide the finest personal service to each guest.
- Anticipate your guest’s needs and find a solution for those needs before they have to ask.
These 3 principles alone will set you up for a successful event.
Anticipating your guest’s needs is probably the most important key piece in planning a memorable experience. Once you know your audience and your desired outcome of the event it’s easier to anticipate these needs.
For example, suppose you are having an event where one of your lawyers will be discussing an important subject. Instead of holding it in a stale conference room, think of a better venue.
In our case, we held our homeowners association meeting by the pool at 6pm to give your guests time to get home from work and not feel rushed, comfortable seating for everyone, cocktails and appetizers to enjoy while they are listening to a presenter.
If you are planning to hold an event outside, consider the weather. If it is hot, plan on fans and cold beverages. If it is cold plan, on mushroom heaters or warm soft blankets for each attendee.
When you advertise this meeting the description would not say “refreshments” but it would be descriptive with enticing words to give your audience a taste of what they could expect. You want to build up the excitement leading to the event.
It’s true what they say; the devil is in the details.
It’s the small things that will separate your well planned event into a well thought out memorable experience. After you’ve planned your event, the details are set and you’ve anticipated everyone’s needs remember this-
Your target audience should see your invitation on three different occasions.
Constant Contact is a fantastic resource for email invitations. You can schedule the dates and times you’d like your invitations to go out so you aren’t forgetting to send that last reminder.
Constant Contact also offers a variety of customizable easy to use templates. Remember to utilize social media and have fun with your social posts! This is a place where you can show your personality.
Lauren has shared some really great ideas here. Keep those in mind.
You might also go back and read a couple of posts I wrote about McCarthy Tétrault law firm events.
I invite you to write a guest post on my blog about a memorable event your firm held for clients and friends.