Planning what type of food and entertainment you’ll have at your event is important, but the enthusiasm and hospitality you show your guests are almost more important. When the event begins, it’s time to stop being a planner and start being a host. Here are a few tips to become the perfect host.
Arrive early with your team and take one last look around the room before the first guests or participants arrive to catch anything you may have missed. Make sure that there are enough signs and that important areas are clearly marked. Also, don’t forget to create an atmosphere with music and prepare snacks and drinks to welcome guests. Make sure you are familiar with the event schedule, as the host should have this information when questions are inevitably asked.
Be sure to meet the artists or speakers in person before the event. Make yourself available in case they have questions or comments before or during the event.
You should also take care of their needs; you don’t want them to be hungry, thirsty or confused about their role.
The key to being a perfect host is to put the comfort and enjoyment of your guests first. Be sure to create a warm atmosphere and make sure your guests feel as welcome and comfortable as possible. In fact, it’s your responsibility and your chance to make a good first impression. So do a good job. Welcome your guests and ask for the names of those you haven’t met yet.
Make sure you know exactly where the washrooms, elevators, coat check and smoking areas are as guests will often ask about these things. Always put your guests first and make them feel special.
You didn’t work so hard for your guests to get bored and quickly lose interest. The last thing you want is for them to be glued to their phones or checking the time. Start the evening with an effective opening statement with a positive and energetic vibe. Before an event begins, the public always wonders how things will unfold. If you don’t answer these questions right away, they tend to become distractions that keep your audience from paying attention. If you have guest speakers, plan a Q&A period. If it’s a casual event, try organizing an icebreaker game or a friendly competition between your guests. Set up some areas with activities that can be done while walking around the room.
Today, social media is a forum where people share everything that happens, including events. The day of the event is the perfect time to create a buzz around the ongoing event. Set up a photo booth or another designated area for photos with your event name and hashtag clearly displayed. When people take photos and share them, they will automatically promote your event to their followers.
Hire a photographer to capture the highlights of the event. Seeing someone walking around with a camera makes your event feel glamorous and inspires and encourages your guests to participate.
Talk to your guests and listen to their comments. Obtaining direct feedback from guests will help you understand not only their logical opinions about the event but also their true feelings.
Most events require good time management. Those involved most likely have a set schedule. Your DJ/group may have to go on stage at a specific time. Food and beverages should also be served at a set time. Your guests must be guided/seated on time for the next part of the event. You need to be flexible, try to manage the time as well as you can, and adapt to circumstances beyond your control.
Say goodbye and accompany the last guests on their way out. Once everything is back in order, be sure to reward your team and volunteers for a job well done. Perhaps plan a small celebration to highlight the success of the event. Make arrangements for your entire team to get home.
And remember, on the day of the event, things rarely go as planned. But don’t worry about it too much! No one will notice, and if they do, people are generally forgiving (our beautiful ballrooms should definitely help them being forgiving). Remember that people are attending your event to have a good time, connect with others and possibly learn something. On the day of the event, your role should change from planner to friendly host. The Windsor team is here to help you with planning, so take a break and contact us.