When it seems like everyone is glued to their smartphones, there’s no better way to engage your clients and members than with exceptional, live experiences. A great event or conference in a creative location will create memories for years to come. For both the planner and destination manager alike, the venue is one of the key factors for a successful guest experience. Thanks to a positive experience on a recent Familiarization (FAM) Trip to Saint John, New Brunswick, we’ve developed some lessons learned for setting the scene for an unforgettable event, especially for out-of-town delegates.
I <3 Local Every venue or destination has something distinctive that makes it unique. Take advantage of the opportunity to highlight what separates your venue from any other. Is there a one-of-a-kind historical feature of the space you can use as a focal point for your event? Does the city have a local renowned chef? In Saint John, we experienced several local restaurants, like Italian By Night, a beautiful restaurant with an interesting history and creative fixtures.
#Views Clients are often stuck in an office all day, so fresh air and beautiful scenery can make a world of difference. Pick a space that overlooks a picturesque landscape, or include a walking tour through a city or a national park. The Discover Saint John team took us on an Uncorked Sampling tour of local breweries and wine bars.
Flip the Script Nothing stifles the energy of an event like a stuffy conference or boardroom. Try hosting your meeting or reception in an unusual place, like an art gallery or historical building. The most unique venue from our FAM Trip was breakfast in a shoe store – talk about keeping guests on their toes!
Live, Love, Laugh With the stresses of day-to-day life, laughter is truly the best medicine. Brighten up your delegates’ day by adding a bit of humour, even if it’s just a small dose, to the live experience. Some creative signage, or even live comedic performance onsite will create a story that guests can take home with them. At several points during the Saint John trip, a local comedian, dressed up in a character related to the venue, put on a short improvised comedy act and added a few minutes of lighthearted fun to the tour. Before adding humour to your guest experience, proceed with caution and make sure you have a good understanding of your audience.
Keep Them Talking Just because the event is over, doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Follow up with your delegates with a recap of the most memorable moments about the venue or destination. Make them want to stay engaged and perhaps even return to the location for business or leisure. Post photos and videos with captivating images of delegates enjoying their experience. These little steps will have guests talking about their experience at the water cooler in the office or at the dining table when they return home. The Discover Saint John teamed mailed us wonderful personalized card with an image from our trip that will have us smiling about our trip for weeks. If you create an experience for out-of-town clients that is anything like what the Discover Saint John Familiarization trip did for us, you’re bound to create an unforgettable experience and, most importantly, build meaningful connections that will last long after the event has concluded. At Redstone, we can help you accomplish this!
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