Imagine the shift that would occur if event coordinators stopped thinking in terms of “conference attendees” and began to see them as guests to welcome and host. One of the qualities of a great host is extending an enthusiastic and generous welcome. Follow these steps to creating a welcome team that will give participants the ultimate guest experience.
Bring in Knowledgeable Staff
Staff the welcome booth or lounge with people who are friendly, helpful and customer service-oriented. Members of the team should be knowledgeable about the host city, as their role will be to help first-time visitors navigate their new surroundings. Inviting representatives from the local CVB to help staff a welcome booth is a smart option.
“We often use our wonderful group of CVB volunteers to provide information in the welcome areas at large conferences,” says Kathy Reak, senior director of convention sales at the Colorado Springs CVB. “[Doing so] provides the guests a place to stop and find out where the locals eat, drink and play, especially if they have some extra time during or after an event to enjoy the area.” Some CVBs may also provide complimentary welcome bags and visitors guides to help guests enjoy the city.
Along with city experts, you should also have experts on the event itself at the welcome booth who can direct guests to restrooms, main sessions, breakout sessions, vendor booths, banquet rooms, transportation to off-site events and more.