Special Events are like Family Vacations

Posted by on Apr 3, 2013 in Blog, Business Events, Event Planning, Event Strategy, Non-Profit Events | 0 comments

Have you ever been on vacation trying hard not to think about work but ultimately, thinking about work?  That was me last week.  While lounging at the pool one afternoon, I thought about how planning a family vacation is a lot like planning a special event; both are planned for the people who will experience them … or at least they should be.

Scott and Ashleigh Joshua TreeMy husband and I took our three little girls to southern California for spring break.  It was a big expense so we wanted it to be successful.  Our strategy – plan most details for our daughters’ satisfaction.  Why?  When they are happy, everyone is happy!  For example, we traveled by plane on a direct flight during the middle of the day to minimize chaos; we selected kid-friendly activities that interested them; we scheduled these activities (including afternoon pool visits) for optimum enjoyment; and most days, we chose restaurants that offered fast but nutritious food.  The result?  “BEST VACATION EVER” cheered my daughters … and my husband and I would absolutely agree!

So how can successful vacation planning be applied to successful event planning?  Organizers must consider the preferences of their guests.  For example:

  • What day and time  is most convenient for guests to attend the event?
  • What location is most convenient?  Will they need metro accessibility or parking options?  Do they need ADA accommodations to participate?
  • What are their food and drink preferences?  Are they adventurous eaters or better with the basics?  Do they have dietary restrictions – i.e. vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or cultural foods to avoid?  Do they expect a premium full bar or will they be satisfied with a limited selection of beer and wine?
  • What entertainment will engage your audience?  Strolling entertainment has universal appeal and encourages conversation; loud music – regardless of genre – does not.

Once you have developed a list of guest preferences, then consider how to integrate your brand and budget into the equation.  The outcome will be a solid win-win strategy for your event success.  Guests will more likely attend the event and engage in your experience; in turn, you will achieve better results.

So, who’s ready to plan an event like your going on a family vacation?  What considerations will you implement for better guest satisfaction?  Please leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts.

Photo – one of our more generous considerations was leaving the girls with their grandparents while my husband and I enjoyed an afternoon canyon tour through Joshua Tree National Park =)