Lessons from the Edge
There are a couple of personality types that, even I, cannot seem to find a path to symbiosis. Mostly these are due to either cultural bias or prejudice, and not really the personality itself, just it’s affectations, but some personalities just don’t mix. Believe me in these cases the feeling is very mutual.
In our business it is vital to get along with everyone you can. Event production, hospitality are all about the client, their guests and making them happy. So… what do you do?
The best solution I have found is to try and minimize direct contact with this person, use an intermediary if at all possible. When you do have to communicate directly, keep it professional, simple, clear and precise. Plan out what you will say beforehand so you are not improvising and possibly make the situation worse. Remember to breath. This person is temporary in your life. At some point the job will end.
Do not bad mouth this person to your crew or express publicly your real feelings anywhere near the event. It’s unprofessional and it will not help you, infact it will only hurt you. Save the bitching and venting for your partner or BFF when you either finish the job or at least get back to your room.
In this instance it is good that we are project based businesses!
Lessons from the Edge
Balancing emotional connections and measurable results in your events.
Something that is being lost in the top “whatever” lists, shortcut tips and the motivation to measure every outcome is that we as event professionals are HOSTS. Yes, I said it. We host events above manage, produce or coordinate. Our field of study is in the school of Hospitality after all.
The participants are our guests and it is our primary job to provide them with not only a measurable experience, but as Andrea Driessen (@nomoreboring) says, a meaningful and memorable experience.
The more the event environment is one of inclusiveness and comfort for guests the more they will be able to absorb the purpose and content of the meeting or conference. Your audience has taken time out of their busy lives, away from familiar comforts and family. This is especially true of those meetings that are required of them like sales meetings. Hotels and other venues are often labyrinth like and alien. Coworkers are not usually the preferred “hang-out buddy” and often there are large numbers of strangers. An uneasiness is natural. It has to be our priority to anticipate and have everything in place to help reduce or eliminate this.
Take a page out of the Ritz-Carlton’s Gold Standard as a place to start:
Three Steps Of Service
- A warm and sincere greeting.
- This is not only a greeter at the door, think bigger than that.
- Use the guest’s name. Anticipation and fulfillment of each guest’s needs.
- Personalized materials, noted room preferences, meal requirements etc. go a long way.
- Fond farewell. Give a warm good-bye and use the guest’s name.
- Again, go bigger than just a greeter at the exit.
“They (Ritz Carlton) understand that relationships precede financial results and rely on a robust data set that demonstrates the impact engaged employees and repeat customers have on the bottom line.” – Ryan Estis (@RyanEstis)
For more on the Ritz’s standards – http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/about/gold-standards
Guests who leave a meeting feeling cared for, inspired and valued will return next year gladly and tell their friends. That’s something you can measure!