What Can Experiential Design Do For Events?

Concierge Desk at Le Meridien Panama City, Panama

There’s one underlying aspect of event production that many, many event planners overlook. From marketing to preorders and registration to presentation layout, one aspect above all needs to be taken seriously in order to craft the optimal attendee experience.

Is it giveaways? Nope.

How about reduced ticket pricing? No again.

Better marketing? Higher quality speakers? More content? Nada times three.

It’s experiential design. From the initial attendee contact at the venue to the location of the restrooms, how we arrange and present all that our events have to offer is integral for the overall experience.

High-end hotels do this very well. From the valet or concierge greeting guests at the door by name to the front desk clerk arranging for particular rooms without having to be asked, customers understand that it’s unlikely every employee greeting them doesn’t remember exactly who they are, but rather use systems geared to remind them (pictures, past room fees, etc.) what type of spender you really are.

While it’s certainly not possible to greet every single attendee by full name and occupation, we have a few tricks designed to make the experience more personal.

Checked-In Names On Screen
As part of our check-in process, we can use digital signage to display attendee names on screen when badges are picked up. We’ve seen a smile or two from spotlighted guests, as well as conversations started between people previously strangers. What’s better than that?

Staff That Know
When’s the last time you were at an event and had a simple question the staff couldn’t answer? Or, even worse, received an answer similar to: “Oh, I dunno, I’m just a contract employee”? We pride our registration staff’s ability to not only know how to get correct answers, but that they also have the authority to make something happen. Regardless whether they’re a full-time employee, temporary fill-in, contract worker or part of the marketing team, it’s essential they know how to problem solve attendee issues without a blank stare.

(Props to John Jantsch for inspiring this post.)