Customers are funny: they always assume they can change their mind and they don’t need to tell us, because after all they are paying the bill. They change the room setting, the menu selection, or the conference equipment rental firm. Now, your life is potential mayhem and everything is wrong. You start to get upset because you are no longer in control.
Sometimes we think we know the customer and the event so well, we can produce it with our eyes closed. We have used the same Powerpoint presentation equipment for the last 7 years, so why change? After all, the same meeting has been run the same way since you can remember, so let’s get on with it!
Customers are changing constantly! Their budgets change, personnel at the company changes, mergers happen, and their needs to communicate to their attendees change. We need to ask a ton of questions to make certain we are providing the best event meeting services solution for their meeting at this time.
Tip #3: Don’t expedite service.
The event & meeting industry is all about service, because ultimately, it is about the attendee’s experience. The customer isn’t renting a meeting room, they are renting the experience that goes on in that meeting room. So, how are we responding to our customer’s needs? Are we returning phone calls and emails within a specified time period? What about on site requests?
Your organization should have a communication plan that revolves around the customer’s needs. What is the acceptable amount of time to return a phone call? An email? A RFP response? When your organization is on site, how fast will you respond to customer requests? Make certain everyone in the organization knows your policy and abides by it.
Tip #4: Never apologize.
Let’s be real: we all make mistakes. We get busy and forget something. Or we forget to return an important call or are late for an on-site inspection. It’s human and our customer’s make mistakes, too. However, they do not want excuses or to be lied to. Or worse yet, have us get defensive about why something happened.
Just "fess up" and tell them the truth. Then sincerely apologize. Ask them how you can make it up to them. And then apologize again. Don’t blame anyone else, just jump under the bus yourself. Your customer’s will understand and develop a new level of respect for you. I have done this so many times. It hurts, but they keep coming back, because I mean it.
Product launching events set the tone about the company and its employees. AV Event Solutions can help make your next event very successful by offering state-of-the-art LCD projectors, screens, audience response systems and much, much more. Give them a call today!
Trade show booths are sold with the expressed purpose of:
With the demand by upper management to reduce costs and show better ROI at trade shows, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get the extra staff you may think you need to make your booth effective.
Below are some creative ways you can extend your reach to your prospects without breaking the bank.
"Hello, I am Joe Speaker and unfortunately I…
First, DO NOT panic. Listen intently to what the speaker is saying and try to do some creative brainstorming over the phone.
If they missed their connection or are snowed in, when can they get to your city? Can you move the schedule around to accommodate them?
If they are too sick or have any emergency, see if they can recommend speakers that are relatively close by and knowledgeable about the topic. You might be pleasantly surprised with their help. Write down the names, telephone numbers, email addresses given to you.
Second, quickly gather your team together. Tell your team what happened and ask them for recommendations. Put together a project list of who is going to do what. Reach out to the city or state chapter of the following organizations for recommendations:
Third, meet with or advise management. Tell them what happened, let them know what you are working on, and ask them for recommendations.
Fourth, if no speakers are available or they do not fit your audience profile, figure out your options. NEVER put a round peg in a square hole. Make sure the replacement is of the same caliber as the original speaker.
What about one of your attendees? Could one of them give the presentation?
Could you turn it into a networking event?
Worst case, cancel the session. It is better to air on the side of caution. Let the attendees know exactly what happened and let them know you did everything you could to secure an alternate back-up presenter, but were not able to do so on such short notice.
Fifth, make certain you have a "no-show" clause in your speaker contract. Things can happen that are outside of your control, like the weather, flight connections, sickness, and family emergencies. However, that doesn’t mean you need to pick up the bill if your speaker cancels.
If the speaker cannot make it for the allotted speech at the allotted time, you should receive your deposit back and not have to pay them at all. Speakers make their living on their reputation and availability. They should not expect to be compensated if they cannot show up.
Here are a couple of survey results that can help you justify that next business sales meeting or association conference.
Embassy Suites recently conducted a business travel survey with 709 American business travelers, 21 years of age or older. This is what their research found:
5 video conferences
10 telephone calls or
In another survey from Business Travel News of 177 North American business travel buyers, found that 86% of those businesses own the following technology:
However, only 5% required the traveler to use remote conferencing in lieu of travel.
What does this all mean for the event meeting services industry and how can you apply this knowledege to your next event, meeting, or training program? Here are some ideas you may wish to consider:
Right now would be a good time to look at all the meetings and events your association has over the next two years. Are they well attended? If attendance is dwindling, reviews are lousy, and/or turnover is great, maybe it is time to cut your losses and stop having certain meetings and events.
13. Turn every complaint into a positive customer experience.
27. Replace any fear of technology with the acceptance of it.
Are you a technophobe? Maybe your association staff is too. However, times are changing and now is the time to jump onto the technology wagon and get going. It is not going away. Ever. Bust out of your comfort zone and start to use technology at your next event. Find out what technology your attendees are using. Find out their biggest complaints and figure out how technology can solve your problem. Long check-in registration lines for the event? Self-service touch panel kiosks can do the job! They don’t want to carry around a thick binder and get tons of paper? An iPad rental or Tablet PC could be your answer! They don’t want to fill out paper surveys? Audience Response System rentals. An on and on. Embrace it, your life will just get easier.