In this blog, we’ll talk about some extra touches that will leave your participants with the feeling that your event wasn’t just good, it was awesome. These are some of the things that participants won’t necessarily even notice if done well, but they will certainly notice if not done, or done poorly. We’ll also touch on a few things that can really show your participants that you’ve gone the extra mile to make their experience unforgettable.
Clear Instructions and Signage
As a participant, there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find the venue. I have been to many events whose production value was high, but they neglected to include an easy-to-find address on their event page, or their emails. Having an event location like, ‘Park ABC’ is great if you live in the area, and know the park, but many GPS systems will need a specific address. I personally, have spent many mornings desperately trying to Google a venue address.
As your participants get closer to your event it’s great to have some signs to direct them through the last few turns, especially if your event is in a confusing area, or a rural one. Signs are a welcome relief, especially if a participant has traveled far to attend your event. That feeling of ‘I’m almost there, and I went the right way!’ is wonderful after a long drive.
You might be intending to serve food or refreshments at your event, but it’s still a nice touch to let participants know about some of your favorite local establishments that they can patronize on the way in or out. Participants may just opt to go to a chain for a quick snack or coffee because it’s easy, but if you’ve given them prior instructions on local spots, they will probably go to those instead, and be glad for it! It also shows that the event director really cares, when they add in this extra touch.
Recommending local places is also a great way to build camaraderie with the community and businesses, if they see that they get an uptick in business during your event, they’ll be glad to have you back year after year. Not only this, but if you take the time to go in and talk to businesses and food establishments prior to your event, they may even offer coupons or discounts you can give to your participants to encourage them to stop by.
Sending out an email a few days or even the night prior is an excellent time to include information on local spots. Personally, I would prefer to go to a local coffee shop before I arrive if it was recommended.
Clear Parking and Organized Registration/Check-In
This one may seem obvious, but having volunteers who direct parking, and having an organized flow through registration/check-in can be the difference between participants starting your event frazzled and stressed, or calm and excited. Take the time to train up your volunteers so that these processes run smoothly, and so that you don’t have to get in the thick of things on the day when you will likely be pre-occupied elsewhere.