The Pursuit of Happiness

Over the last decade, the global economy has seen an increase in consumer power, with the improving ability to access and share information, combined with a wider choice of goods, services, and experiences.

The emergence of new venues and suppliers has led to stronger competition, increasing the need to value each individual sale more than ever, to generate new and continued business development and growth.

As the market grows and similar offerings increase, consumers are able to differentiate preferences by standards of service and treatment. This has significantly increased the importance for operators and suppliers to place more emphasis on the delivery of 5* service and guest experience to every customer making a purchase – not only encouraging them to return, but also inspiring them to share their experience with others.

Every step of the customer journey is as important as the last, and this starts well before an event happens.

Planning

When planning an event it is essential to consider the venue. It must be easy to locate via all transport methods, and there must be ample parking for those travelling by car. The facilities available must be suitable for the event and attendees, and easily accessible for those with special needs. If you are offering food and beverages, ensure you are catering to special dietary requirements too, including gluten free, vegan and allergies.

Prior to the event, consider what essential information you need to give guests, such as directions, registration details and FAQs. Ensure your online presence is strong, cohesive and active, to create excitement leading up to the event and allowing guests to interact with you and with each other.

On the day of the event, it is important to ensure your guests are comfortable, relaxed and therefore happy to stay for the show. Room temperature, enough seating, break out areas and regular, well-timed breaks all have a significant impact on your guests’ experience so give these aspects careful consideration.

Personnel

Hiring and training the right staff is crucial. This can make or break any event. You need people who understand hospitality, who care about guest experience and want to deliver excellent customer service. Communicate your visions and values and ensure staff are motivated and engaged to deliver them. Professional, matching uniforms and name badges make staff easily identifiable, approachable and presentable.

With increasing security risks and the recent terror attacks such as the Bataclan in France, it is now more important than ever that Security teams are trained effectively to understand, spot and react to any potential risks. Guests want to feel safe, but they also do not want to feel intimidated. Security personnel must be smoothly integrated with the hospitality team, essentially a dual role. They must be approachable, and guests must be able to ask for directions and advice and be greeted with a polite and personable response.

Technology

Wi-Fi is quickly becoming a necessity in the modern world, with the number of smartphone users expected to reach 2.29 billion by 2017. Ensuring your event is set up to support smartphone users, increases connectivity and the ability for guests to interact and engage with each other, and build awareness of the event and brand.

Partnered with fast Wi-Fi, a strong bespoke app allows you to deliver a seamless guide for guests before and during the event, including all essential information, directions, interactive maps, and much more. By pre-planning the customer journey and integrating this with an app, you can ensure guests have all the information they need, right at their finger tips.

Analysis

Ok, so the event is over. But was your hard work worth it? What did people gain from the event? Would they recommend it to others? What did they learn? Would they come again? What would they change? You can only gain this information by asking, and if there is anything people love most, it is being asked their opinion and feeling like it matters. Collate this feedback and translate it into actionable points. Received some great reviews? Display them on your social media, website and marketing channels.

Shaunagh Durkin, Shopping Centre and Venue Management, Foundation Recruitment

Shaunagh Durkin 013 N355

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