The “WOW” Factor – how to make the right first impression at your event – even with a small budget

The “WOW” Factor – how to make the right first impression at your event – even with a small budget

by Terri Yanke

If you have a big event budget there should be no excuse to not have an eye catching grand entrance display set up to “WOW” your attendees upon their arrival to the venue.  They will forever have this special image in their head and it will definitely set a positive tone for the entire event.  But what if your event budget is small?  No matter what size of budget or what type of event – first impressions are extremely important to kick off the start of any event the right way.  In the case of smaller budgets, instead of the big grand entrance display, great “WOW” first impressions can still be achieved in a more personalized way.  Here are some ideas that can be customized to your type of event and are good whether you are having an employee or client event:

  •  Personalized welcome at the venue when they arrive – Have the CEO/President or other VIP be present to shake hands and personally welcome their attendees.
  • A glass of champagne or a localized cocktail/mocktail handed to them while checking in will make your attendees smile.
  • A small gift waiting for the attendee when they check in with a personalized note of welcome and any updated information for the event will make them happy.
  • If there is an overnight stay, see if your event planner can negotiate an upgrade to the rooms or get your attendees other special hotel amenities so they feel like a VIP when they walk into their rooms.
  • Have a welcome reception and buffet the first evening of the event. This is an easy and relaxed way to welcome everyone when they are tired from traveling and need to make it an early night to have a fresh start the next day. Have your event planner work on adding some local flair from the area which will help make this special.  Your attendees will appreciate that you thought of this.
  • Incorporate a photo op area into the welcome reception – a fun place to gather with colleagues and take photos to remember the occasion which can be sent to friends and family, posted on social media (set up a special hashtag) and put the photos up in the office after the event…
  • Announce a surprise like a special speaker or a fun activity that was not expected – everyone likes a good surprise.

Even if your event budget doesn’t allow a grand entrance display, you can still “WOW” your attendees in a more personalized way.  This will make them feel like a rock star and make a great first impression that will set the tone for the rest of the meeting and at a much lower cost.  Eventful Advantage has a lot of ideas for event budgets that are both big and small.  We customize our role to fit your needs.  Our ideas and resources help you achieve a better ROI on your event budget spend by elevating your events to a new level and saving you and your team time.  Let’s have a conversation!

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