“Tuesday Tips” is a new blog project from The Event Team that will share our advice on all things professional and personal. We want to share our industry expertise, and we want you to get to know the team, so each week we’ll feature a new set of tips for your reading pleasure! Feel free to comment of make suggestions for new “Tuesday Tips.” We love to hear from you!
This “Tuesday Tip” comes to you from our National Sales Manager Dick Burson. In our industry, we’re always wondering how to make site visits effective and memorable. Dick is an expert people-person so we asked for his advice on:
How to Plan & Execute the Perfect Site Visit
The San Diego’s Convention & Visitors Bureau has done a great job in identifying the bricks of planning and conducting successful site visits: Know your client’s program – ensure you’re up-to-date on changes – what’s hot and not; own the account throughout the RFP process; be hospitable and personable; make sure all suppliers are ‘dialed-in’; support your ‘sell’ with relevant tools – pictures, descriptions, maps, layouts, and diagrams; vive la differrence – tout why your products, services, and location are clearly the best choice. But wait there’s more! In our line of work site visits are wonderful opportunities to show our clients that we can make them as well as their participants feel welcome and special. Here are some tips in creating that extra-special experience:
1. Site Itinerary: Plan It!
–Base the itinerary on conversations with your client. If the client tells you the CEO got seasick on a yacht at last year’s meeting, you probably don’t want to waste anyone’s time scheduling a site on a yacht.
-Include all the spots your client has requested to visit. Figure out the best route possible to see all venues in the most time-efficient manner.
–Provide an electronic hard copy with snapshot information on what’s going to be seen including an actual road map showing each location – clients love this part! It gives them an area overview.
2. Be Prepared!
-Confirm by phone with all of your vendors a few days before & the day of the site. Make sure you all have each other’s cell phone numbers.
-Get your client’s cell number – make sure your client has yours!
-Ask for Help. We always ask our Operations Managers to come with us on sites if their schedules permit. Their logistical expertise is an added bonus for the client and for us!
-Have a “Virtual” Site Visit prepared- just in case! Sometimes a site visit gets shortened at the very last minute, forcing you to reduce the number of venues you can show. Don’t let the omitted venues fall completely by the wayside- bring an Ipad (or laptop) with a photo presentation of each venue. That way you can at least give the client an overview of one venue on the ride to the next space.
3. Kindness Counts
-Greet ‘em at the airport! EVERYONE likes to be met when they arrive. Greet your client with a sign displaying their name & company name and/or company logo (Make sure to ask permission first). Transport their luggage to your vehicle. Take the scenic route from the airport to your client’s hotel, pointing out landmarks and current local news and/or events along the way.
-Prepare a snack pack with a bottle of chilled water.
4. Day of the Site
-Greet your client inside the hotel lobby
-Bring along all contact info including cell numbers. If your schedule slips let the next stop know you’re running behind
-Be expert on all the venues you’re visiting and the most expeditious routing to use in driving to them. You may need to pre-drive the route to familiarize yourself.
-Invite your client to a creative lunch. Perhaps a new restaurant or a water’s edge picnic
-Be flexible – you’ll learn more as you drive and a venue may ‘pop-up’ that you had not previously discussed. Do include it!
-Share enough info on San Diego to show that you’re a local expert . . . but don’t be boring!
5. Après Site
-Follow up on getting all the information you promised your client during the site. Edited pricing, photos, etc.
Sites should be fun for both your client as well as yourself. They’re a great time to sell the destination, the venue, and of course you and the services your company has to offer. Good luck!