Accommodating event VIPs requires a delicate touch. You want VIPs to feel special, but you don’t want to alienate other attendees in the process unless you want to call out a VIP to motivate other attendees as part of an employee rewards event. Here are some tips for accommodating VIPs without alienating other guests:
- Surprise them. A surprise, delivered discreetly, makes an event more memorable. For example, introduce a VIP to a celebrity guest speaker behind the scenes, or involving them in an unexpected activity, such as a private tour of a local landmark. Even little surprises work well, such as an bouquet accompanied by a handwritten note awaiting the guest in their hotel room when they arrive.
- Create VIP special events. VIPs love to meet other VIPs and network; so introduce VIPs to each other via special dinners or cocktails set off from the rest of the event. There are a number of ways to discreetly make the special VIP event exclusive. For instance, you should manage invites carefully and ensure the VIPs understand the special event is an invitation-only experience. And hold the special event away from the regular event functions so other attendees do not feel slighted by the appearance of a roped off area or signage that projects an air of exclusivity.
- Make the event easier to manage. VIPs appreciate little actions that add up to a more user friendly event, such as having a ride with greeter ready for them at the airport, offering expedited check-in at the hotel, or providing valet parking if they drive themselves. VIPs often have exceptionally busy schedules. They appreciate the actions that give them back more time to their days.
- Assign team members. Assign VIPs their own dedicated team members to manage their appearance from start to finish. Consider the designated team members to be VIP valets, on call to handle any special requests and generally to make them feel taken care of by managing business needs that arise.
- Personalize the experience. VIPs appreciate the personal touch. To the extent that you can, research their likes and interests, and personalize the experience accordingly, such as through your choice of event giveaways exclusive to their interests. For example, if you know your VIP streams music through Spotify, create a Spotify playlist with music you think they will appreciate and share the link with them when they arrive.
- Recognize them. There are times when you do want to make VIPs stand apart, such as the top-performing sales people at an employee sales meeting. When someone is designated a VIP because of an achievement, you want to reward them in a very public way that motivates others to achieve the same reward, especially for recurring events. There are, of course, many ways to reward VIPs, including giving them recognition onstage, public presentations of gifts, or gifts they can wear, such as a new Apple Watch.
The key to pulling off these tactics is to manage a personal experience in a discreet, exclusive way. If you manage a VIP experience with the right combination of exclusivity and personalization, everyone wins.
Image source: http://www.munich-airport.de
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