It’s hard to impress event planners with grandiose shows. They’ve seen a lot. But for venues that want to make an impression on them, it’s often the little things that do the trick.
Venue managers can try and impress event planners with food porn and impressive lighting displays, but sometimes the decision comes down to a place that treats you like the person you are and not a number. In those situations, it’s often not the grandiose that impresses but the little things that make you feel like you’re working with a partner and not simply signing a large check. If a venue wants to impress an event planner, the best course of action is through the little touches - like these examples.
Food Plates at the Event
Event planners are busy worrying about everyone else’s needs. They often don’t have time to eat. A venue that offers or saves a complimentary food plate for planners is showing that they care. And that makes a great, lasting impression.
Complimentary Room Upgrades
It takes no added effort to upgrade a room for an event planner. It’s a wonderful surprise at check in and is very much appreciated at the end of a hard day running round after everyone else. Let’s just hope that the event planner doesn’t need to use it to smooth over any unexpected issue with an attendee by swapping rooms.
Remembering Special Requests
If an event planner made a special request during the walk-through, or when they last held an event there, the venue remembering it without being reminded is a large bonus and builds a nice working relationship. For instance, if you know that the event planner likes the blinds to be raised throughout the meeting and the doors to the main room to be closed promptly at the advertised start time they will appreciate these little details being remembered and acknowledged.
Providing a Fix-It Kit
Most event planners travel with their own but occasionally things happen. A venue that has everything on hand that could be needed can be a lifesaver. Things like a small sewing kit, clear nail polish, post-it notes, safety pins, breath mints, a mini stapler and staples, a sharpie, and other useful pieces can be left at the registration table or in the event planner’s on-site office.
Under Promising and Over Delivering
No matter what the venue personnel is asked, under promising and over delivering is the only option when you want to make an impression and continue to grow the relationship. A venue should look for ways to wow the event planner, like a flower vase on a tray or an entire pack of markers in an array of colors, even if they only ask for one. Anticipate needs before they’re voiced.
Easily Accessible Charging Stations or Extra Cords/Chargers
Event planners are often looking after everyone else’s electronic needs. It’s nice when someone has theirs in mind. Extra cords, charging stations, or power banks are an added bonus for establishing any working relationship. When an event planner’s devices are dead, so is the event. A hospitality partner that understands that is one you want to work with again.
Easy-to-Understand Reporting on Room Blocks
Not only is it a benefit to have easy-to-understand room blocks and reservation reports but having access to these things online versus going through the sales department each time is a huge time-savings for any event planner. Efficiency goes a long way in building a good working relationship.
A Late Night Fruit Plate
Often event planners get back to their rooms after the event, not having had anything to eat and room service is no longer delivering. In these cases, a complimentary fruit plate or little snacks can be a nice end to a stressful day. A snack plate also gives planners breakfast the next morning as they’re often up and out before it’s served. Complimentary bottled water is also a nice touch.
Farewell/Check Out Goodie Bag
This is another pleasant surprise. At the end of an event, event planners are exhausted and just want to get home. A check-out goodie bag with a handwritten thank-you note can give them something to snack on as they drive or fly home and it’s a nice impression to leave on.
Having a Good Memory
It’s delightful when you don’t have to repeat something because the person remembered your request or asks after your dog or knows how you like your soda served. It’s also nice when someone inquires about an issue or topic you brought up with them in the past. But this is seldom the case these days. So often people are made to feel like numbers. If a venue staffer remembers something the event planner told them, whether personally or professionally, and comments on it, it’s a good indication they were listening and are taking an interest in their client. That’s the kind of stuff referrals are made of. But the vendor doesn’t need an expert memory. This “memory” can be accomplished through a touch log in a customer relationship management system as well.
A Handwritten Note
A handwritten welcome note is a nice addition to the hotel room and can go a long way in calming pre-event nerves. It’s also helpful to include contact information and schedules of the primary venue contacts. Event planners keep strange hours so letting them know who they can reach and when will help them get what they need.
A Welcome Text
If the venue manager is unable to meet with the planner when they first arrive, a welcome text and next steps can ensure everyone is on the same page before the event begins. If there are any final walk-throughs or tastings scheduled, remind the planner of the who, when, and where. Even though this may be redundant, it’s good to have all the next step information in an easily accessible spot.
Complimentary Access to…
If there’s a fitness center or spa that is an additional charge, providing the event planner with a complimentary pass is a pleasant touch. Chances are they won’t have time to take advantage of it but it’s another one of those nice surprises that could be used to smooth over a sticky situation with a disgruntled attendee. The same could be true of city tours or other tickets. Even if the planner doesn’t directly use it, it can be employed to help the planner do their job and thus will be appreciated.
Referrals and repeat business are gold in the hospitality industry. Venues that want to make an impression on event planners should look for little ways to surprise and delight them. Don’t worry about extravagant gestures. It’s often the small touches that have the biggest, lasting effect and attract event planners to return.
Here are 10 venues that put event planners first.