Thank Yous | CEME

Uploaded by BizTraining on 09.10.2011

Thank you and Goodnight from Your Strategic Event Planner
In the previous videos we’ve talked about all the elements that come together to make
events successful. These run the gamut from the plan and budget, to working with permitting
authorities and government agencies, and obtaining sponsorship to treating your attendees like
VIPs. After you’ve spent weeks, months and even years planning and executing your event,
you will have quite a list of people to thank. It is important that you do so. Everyone who
participated in your event deserves appreciation; without them, there would be no event, and
at the very least, you’d have to pursue a different career. More importantly, the
even management industry is a close-knit community of hospitality and venue providers, service
suppliers and other who do what you and your team do. It’s critical to the success of
each future event that you have a good reputation; not just that you are an above-average planner
and manager, but that you are exceptional to work with and you sincerely appreciate
all the people who help the event be a success and those who attend it.
It’s not enough to present many of your team and attendees with welcoming acknowledgements
and gifts; when the event is getting wrapped up, it’s time to get personal and give thanks
specifically as it relates to the successful completion of the event. In this video, we’ll
take a look at the people you need to thank and often reward at the end of an event and
some good ways to do so. Attendees and Guests—For the most part,
you show your appreciation for your attendee base throughout the event by providing them
with a stress-free and fulfilling experience. In many cases you will also have shown your
appreciation through a welcoming gift or package. By the time your event is coming to a close,
your attendees should feel that their experience was very much tailored to them and that they
were treated well and appreciated by everyone involved in making the event run smoothly.
Whenever possible, however, take advantage of presenters at final sessions and announcers
to verbally and sincerely that the attendees for participating and doing their part to
make the event everything it can be. If you budget allows for it, give your guests a small
parting gift as they exit the venue and you collect their name badges for recycling.
Your VIPs—Welcoming your VIPs warmly isn’t enough. We’ve discussed the importance of
special greetings taking very good care of them for the duration of the event in a previous
video, but they also need to be appreciated before or as they leave. Continue to extend
the transportation perks and personal assistance to them right up to the point they leave the
destination and head for home, but also thank them personally. Not only should you speak
with them before they leave, but also write them a personal note of thanks. Your sincere
appreciation, voiced in a handwritten note is the best and most indelible way to show
your VIPs how important they were to your event and how grateful you and your team are
for their participation. Your Presenters and Other Talent—In most
cases, you will have retained the services of these people by contracting to pay for
their contribution to the event. Even if you did, they are just as important to the success
of the event and the attendee experience as those who volunteered to educate, enlighten
or entertain. Make sure they know how much you appreciate they expertise and contribution
by giving or sending them a handwritten thank you that speaks directly and specifically
to their contribution. Always keep in mind that you may want to work with them again,
and your next event might have a smaller budget; you may need to call upon these folks to reduce
or comp their rates for a benevolent event. Show your appreciation, and you’ll build
a pool of people who will be willing to go the extra mile for you next time around.
Your Staff—Yes, you pay these people to do their jobs and make every event a success,
but remember that events demand long hours on site, constant interaction with guests,
other staff and suppliers, less sleep, plenty of stress, etc. Your staff should be appreciated
at the end of each event for their stamina and commitment alone! In most cases, the best
way to show appreciation to your staff at the end of and event is a personal thank you
note that contains a bonus check. If your finances simply don’t allow for such bonuses,
ad a day or so of paid vacation to their allotment or just give them a couple paid days off that
allow them a long weekend. For the most part, keep you staff thank yous bonus-based.
Your Volunteers—Gift cards are a great way to show appreciation to your volunteers. They
aren’t expecting to get paid, but the good ones work as hard as your staff for no compensation.
Show them how valuable they are to you by rewarding them with a meal at a fine restaurant,
a gas card if they drove to the venue every day, or even tickets to an upcoming event.
Again, nothing as a more appreciated way of showing appreciation than a personal thank
you note. With both staff and volunteers, always try to acknowledge them publicly and
by name at closing sessions or ceremonies if possible.
Your Consultants—Always remember that your consultants are part of your team for every
event. Chances are you paid them well for their services, and you probably will again,
but to get the best of the services they have to offer, you want to make sure they have
an inclusive sense of being on your team. Typically, a handwritten thank you will suffice
nicely, but definitely acknowledge their unique contributions publicly if applicable, and
let them know you couldn’t have done it without them by sending them a gift basket,
plant or some other office gift if you can. Sponsors and Other Financial Supporters—Any
individual or company that supported your event through cash or in-kind contributions
deserves you demonstrated gratitude. Make a heartfelt gesture of appreciation part of
your sponsorship plan. More than anything, these people deserve personal thanks. They
don’t really need bonuses or gifts because they are really the givers of these items,
so make it a point to quantify the positive impact their generosity had on the event and
tell them about it in a letter of appreciation. You may even want to send the a certificate
of appreciation signed by all the members of their team so they can proudly display
it in their office. Your DMC and CVB Point People—Without these
folks, much of your event may have been more time-consuming and expensive to develop. Once
the event is finished, send them s nice office gift and a personal note that simply tells
them how much you appreciate their help. Like the consultants on your team, their special
skills are invaluable and should be acknowledged and appreciated.
Your Venue Point People and their Staff—These folks essentially become part of your management
team and staff for the duration of your event. Obviously you can give them paid time off
or a salary increase, but you can definitely show them appreciation by giving them gift
certificates for a spa day, or a weekend all-inclusive getaway. Think about how you feel at the end
of an event, how you would like to be pampered and extend to these people—who worked long,
hard hours on their feet—the same thing you’d do for yourself. And, of course, thank
them publicly if there is opportunity to do so, and personally in a note, always.
Your Decorators, A/V Suppliers, Food and Beverage Providers, Florists etc.—Like the venue
people, these folks are all part of the well-oiled machine that made your event a resounding
success. Chances are you’ll use them over and over again for events in their area, so
make sure you let them know how much you appreciate the quality of their products and services.
All these people are constantly on the run so include in your thank you note something
apropos like a coffee or sandwich chain gift card; something they can use on the run to
help them keep going while they supply their next event.
Your Union and Non-union Labor Suppliers—Often overlooked for appreciation because you see
and work with them only at the beginning of the event, these people are integral to laying
the foundation for its success. Make sure to drop their managers or stewards a note,
thanking their team members by name and acknowledging any above-and-beyond service you may have
received. Typically their bosses will give them bonuses on your recommendation to appreciate
them. Everyone Else—Whoever they are, and whatever
they do, make sure you tell people who helped out that their contribution was noted and
appreciated. Saying thank you is a win, win. Both you and the recipient will feel just
that much better about the events success. And you’ll both go on to your next venture
with a great feeling of having taken part in something positive and rewarding.