The success of a corporate event not only hangs on things like key speakers, attendance, or an impressive venue. It’s often the way that guests are treated and looked after that they tend to remember, whether a good or bad experience. If hosting and hospitality levels are exceptional, guests leave feeling just that little bit special, and of course – they tell everyone they know about their experience, as well as coming back to the event year after year.
If you’ve got all the other details for your event sorted – an amazing event tent, renowned celebrity speakers and a full list of positive RSVPs – it’s now time to think about your hosting style. Here are some essential dos and don’ts to remember:
- Do get more help than you think you’ll need. It’s far better to have more stewards directing people to their seats and answering questions than not enough, so over-estimated when it comes to staffing.
- Don’t forget that you’re a brand representative. Your whole team needs to remember that you are representing the brand at all times during your event, so speak positively and confidently about it when talking to guests and especially journalists.
- Do mingle and break the ice. Part of your job as the host of an event is to introduce people to other people, to facilitate networking, so make sure you work the room and don’t talk to the same people all day.
- Don’t appear too stressed. You might have a lot to do, but you can’t be running about the event tent looking stressed and tired. Stay calm, appear relaxed and you’re more likely to stay organised and focused.
- Do keep the objectives of the event in mind. You need to ensure that your guests are comfortable and having a good time, but everything you do should still be with the objectives of the event – i.e. getting customers to engage with new products, networking, team building – in mind. Otherwise, you’re just hosting a very expensive cocktail party.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate. You can’t do absolutely everything yourself, which is why you’ll have a team to help you. Make good use of them and you’ll be able to manage the smooth running of the event efficiently.
- Do prepare answers to FAQs in advance. Guests will want to know things like where the toilets are, what the schedule for the event is, how to navigate their way around the event venue and other basic questions – make sure you know these answers or you could damage the professional image of the event.
- Don’t forget to smile! If you want your guest to have a good time, you need to look like you’re enjoying yourself too. Besides, you’re a brand or company representative as well as a host, so you need to present a positive and upbeat image to guests and members of the press.