It’s true! Ask any delegate whether they got their joining instructions and they’ll look at you blankly. If you explain that we sent you a letter describing the event and how to get here; a small glimmer of light starts to burn. This piece of event jargon is one of the few technical terms that delegates don’t really need to know about.
To give your delegates complete confidence that your event is well organized and that their every need has been considered, it is well worth the preparation time to design comprehensive joining instructions. Not only should this limit the number of calls and emails to clarify small details about the event, it will also help to orientate the delegates to the venue and the overall shape of the event before they arrive.
Joining instructions should clearly describe all of the following:
• The title of the event.
• The date and programmed start and finish times for the event.
• The name and address of the venue.
• Telephone number(s) for the venue.
• Travel directions and approximate travel times for automobile, train and air travelers.
• Recommended accommodation within easy reach of the event.
• Recommended local restaurants and other facilities like gyms, spas, swimming pools, movie complexes.
• Any local attractions or places of interest.
• Dress code for the event (if appropriate).
• Any preparation the delegates need to undertake prior to the event.
• Any material the delegates should bring for use in the event (if required).
• A reminder to bring proof of registration.
If possible keep your joining instructions as one document to ensure that information is not lost. It may be easy to include the venue’s own details as part of the package but remember that the joining instructions are as important a piece of marketing as any of your published materials. If you can have them printed on good quality paper, branded with your event logo, clearly laid out and free from factual and typographical errors you will be reinforcing your professionalism, expertise and focus on delegate satisfaction.
Delegate information gathering
The booking process is also an ideal opportunity to learn more about your delegates and their reasons for attending. People will feel that they are getting more value for their money if the event addresses their pet issues. Your presenters will also welcome the opportunity to make the material come alive by stimulating audience participation through the additional intelligence that can be gathered at this time.
This, of course, means that your booking administrators need to be more than just box tickers. They should be personable, chatty people who can engage the delegates in conversation and who are able to listen actively to what they are being told. They may not be experts in the subject themselves but if they were that would be ideal.
So don’t scare your delegates with jargon; make them feel cared for and part of the process to get the most out of your event.
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