Ok, financial service peeps I need you to listen up. It’s time we get real about the events we hold. I just left a conference in Boston put on by MarketingProfs and I kid you not every interaction you have with their colleagues, with other guests and even the staff at the Westin Copley Place was what I imagined it would be like in a Pharrell Williams video for Happy.
I believe I was on perma-smile for three whole days…and THAT’S how you run an event #LikeABoss.
So how can we be sure our events replicate this experience? For starters, Ann Handley and her staff were not afraid to get up in your grill, be personal and touch you in a way that no other company has tried. There was no detail too small.
- Plenty of available and friendly MarketingProfs staff to direct and guide you through the conference. My first encounter was with Rob Zaleski before I even got to the conference. I tweeted about coming and he responded with a warm, inviting tone. When I got there, he was even better in person. Having staff stationed around the event, looking for antlers in the headlights folks (a/k/a me) to help us find what we needed or just to say “hello” and keep us smiling made that conference exceptional.
- The bathrooms were filled with baskets of personal items we take for granted. I can’t speak for the men’s bathroom for obvious reasons, but the women’s bathroom held tampons, hairspray, deodorant, breath mints, kleenex, bandaids, dental floss, etc. It was a basket of linen closet goodies…random things that in a pinch made all the difference. (I did use the breath mints!)
- The hotel staff was on board with offering friendly, courteous service too. The Westin Copley Place service from the check-in to the dining and everything in between was outstanding. There were times that you couldn’t tell the difference between who was a MarketingProfs staff member and the Westin Copley Place staff. They comingled so well; it was seamless.
- The exhibitors were friendly and not pushy. I’ve been to events where they are like goats at the zoo coming up and chewing on your personal space to get attention. Not at this event. The sponsors and their staff actually made you want to come up and visit to learn about their company. Lots of friendly smiles and a huge shout out to Oracle for their kick butt water infusers. (LOVE!)
- You could easily drown in food and beverages. There was plenty of variety and a lot of thought was put into those who had food allergies with well-marked signs on what the food contained so you could make the right decision for your eating lifestyle. I did eat literally everything they put in front of me and I will be in spin classes for the next month working it off, but it was oh so worth it!
- Surprises around every corner! From their awesome conference mobile app to an almost heart-stopping surprise speaker (I love you Seth Godin but wish I had been able to get a picture with you – – incredibly awesome and sad moment all in one!), MarketingProfs kept you guessing and delighted all the time.
- The activity and breakout choices were top-knotch. Between meditation, a photo walk, the tour of Harpoon Brewery, just so much thought was put into this and it was very smart to enlist the help of other attendees to help organize some of these extra events.
The list goes on as you can imagine, but I came away from this wanting every attendee of one of our events to feel this valued, appreciated, excited and overall….happy! We have to step up our game (this includes me for sure!) and follow leaders like MarketingProfs in making an event magical, memorable and meaningful.
Props to the Profs!
Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!
Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite