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The importance of the site visit

I have touched on it in previous posts, but in the current market and with a one off opportunity to make any kind of impression, the site visits that we conduct have become even more important. How to WOW our potential clients in the blink of an eye, and leave a lasting impression that reflects on the entire venue rather than one individual – and more so, doesn’t come across “cheesy” as you try and avoid piling the visitors with gifts, paperwork and information.

Is there a best way?
Is there a set way?
Is there any way that at the end of the day, it really “makes a difference”?

I will answer the last part first, after all, if we didn’t think that making the effort could make a difference, then why bother in the first place. I think I am referring more to the fact that, in the current market, where price is such an issue, and there are so many possible venues to choose from – what real difference does the WOW factor make? I think one answer could be this. There will always be clients who want to pitch their event at a certain level, those people who are willing to pay for a level of service, presentation, and overall quality that they can associate with their event and will reflect well on those in attendance. There may well be lots of venues offering similar products – but there is a big gap between those that offer a “mono” type of service against those who offer a “3D surround sound” type of service. At the point at which these events are there to be won, whether they be corporate or social, both the feeling created between those conducting the site, and how the site is self is conducted, may well be that difference that secures you the job.

Is there a set way? No – although mapping a route, setting out how to cover all bases whilst not walking for miles….and adding some touches of sparkle along the way, will make a site visit all the more exciting. Don’t forget, it is likely that you are meeting with people who have visited many other venues too. they may be at the end of a long day, or have less time before starting a run of double figure site visits early in the morning.

Is there a best way? – I think that in truth, you will find that each site will be tailor-made in some way to the clients you are having visit you. If that isn’t the case, it maybe should be. In most cases, you will have a certain amount of detail as to what the event is, who you are up against, and budget – thinking of the site in the same way as you would approach an interview, will have you think carefully about the additional questions that you need to ask, and examples you can then give of previously managed successful events that will give the client confidence in you and the venue.

As for the WOW itself…..I can but give you a couple of ideas, pointers in the right direction rather than outright “do this” – these are things that have worked for me in the past, that have left a good impression. Use the space that you have, the key onsite team members and departments that can help you and the venue look good and always make sure, if getting anything made, that you spell the company name correctly. A glass of champagne on arrival always goes down well, as does a small carry around tea or coffee + muffin option for a morning site. Having a venue / hotel manager pop by to say hi lets the client know that everyone at all levels is on the same page, and if you have an AV team on site, lighting and a gobo can really WOW on entrance to a Ballroom space. Hot day?, how about crushed ice slush puppies, or maybe the offer of a quick hand massage before a stressful journey onwards. Women love lip balm, gentlemen can always use a spare USB stick. Glass of wine at the end of the day, or how about afternoon tea…..the list is endless, the thought, if genuine and involving, can make all the difference.

How have you WOWed your clients in the past?


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