We are thrilled to announce that author and award-winning event planner Trace Kingham will be joining us as an NLC Trainer this year and has developed a 3-part series: Standout Events for Nonprofits 101, 201, and 301. Join us for this brand-new series that will help your nonprofit produce outstanding events!
For just a sample of what he'll bring to the NLC curricula, read his second guest blog post below.
I was talking recently with a group of event planners at a local university, and we touched on the topic of inconsistent attendance from year to year. Many of us have been there—one year you have 500 guests and the next you have 300 RSVPs.
How do you retain and gain guests? When begin the event planning process, take on the perspective of your guests and you’ll automatically start planning an experience that guests will love—and they’ll want to come back for more next year!
Here’s a simple, 5-minute process to boost your guest experience and have them returning – with friends and colleagues!
The 5-Minute Experience Booster
- Who are my guests as individuals?
- Why would they want to attend your event?
- What do they need?
- How can I solve a challenge for them through this event experience?
The Human Factor
“I’ve got 150 plates and 150 meals to order. We’ll need 150 chairs…” As planners we can get caught up in the checklist and forget the human factor. Throughput your planning process–from concept through invitations to décor and menu—take a moment and to put yourself in your guests’ place. You’ll automatically start planning things differently, because you’re thinking about the personal side of your guest.
First, it’s important to remember that your guests are taking time out of their busy schedules—away from friends, family, and their own hobbies—to attend your event. What is it about your event that excites them? Think about what your guests like and dislike. What motivates them? What problems are they facing in their lives? If you can solve one of their problems and deliver a fantastic time at your event, guests will flock.
When you plan an event, make sure there’s a purpose for it. Figure out what action you want your guest to take and what it is you want them to leave with.
You get one chance to make a lasting, positive impression. Surely that’s worth 5 minutes of your time.
Trace Kingham, President & Chief Experience Officer for Kingham Signature Events and author of STANDOUT: Place Your Business in the Spotlight with Results Driven Events, has planned events for more than 20 years for large corporate and nonprofit organizations. Trace has received national and international recognition for his work. His designs have been featured inInternational BRIDESmagazine, and he was named one of Tampa’s Outstanding Voices in 2016 by theTampa Bay Business Journal.