For a change this weekend I was on the receiving end of an event. The seminar was held in a well-equipped conference centre, in a beautiful setting, where I have both trained and been trained, so I know it well. However had this been my only experience I would have come away with a poor impression. Here are just a few of the things to get right so you don’t alienate your delegates.
- Ensure staff are consistent when quoting dinner bed and breakfast rates to different delegates
- Inform overnight delegates when the organiser has a preferential rate
- Quote prices inclusive of VAT or tax or make it very clear if tax isn’t included
- Ensure your coffee machines can cope with the volume of delegates all breaking at once on a 5 minute break
- Inform residents up front if the bar is closed for a private function (not after they’ve arranged to meet people there and ordered their first drink).
- Advise overnight delegates when booking if there are private parties and if the main restaurant is closed (we weren’t able to eat in the lovely main restaurant, but instead were redirected to the rather soulless dining room in the conference wing).
- Try to allocate bedrooms social gatherings away from those of your conference delegates (in our case the wedding party ran riot into the night and keep delegates awake half the night).
- Ensure your food offering in satellite restaurants matches up to the same standards as the main restaurant
- When outside temperatures were below freezing all day, serve food on heated plates so it doesn’t go stone cold in seconds
- Tell delegates before you run their card through the machine that there will be a £2.50 for credit card payments
None of these things on their own would cause a major problem, if you don’t get them right. But put them all together and it makes for a poor experience. And of course you’ll never know when it will be their turn to run an event and looking for that perfect venue.
This is one of the topics covered in Caroline’s interview series How to Give Your Hotel a Competitive Edge.