10 Steps to Impeccable Event Hosting

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As ambassadors not only for their personal brand, but for the brand they represent, executives often feel stressed and out of their depth when asked to Host corporate events. Here we examine 10 steps to alleviate their fears and concerns and to turn them into confident and effective Hosts

1. Put the event in your schedule immediately you have accepted the role and block time a few hours before the planned start time to ensure you are not pressurised on the day and that you can leave the office in good time to arrive at the venue timeously. . 2. If the event is after hours, handle all matters related to personal issues, and inform everyone who needs to know, that you will be absent from the home and what time they can expect you to return.

3. Block sufficient time in your schedule close to the event for you to undertake research on the guests you will be responsible for, the organisation they represent, the current trends and news items that affect their sector and to check internally if there are any issues you need to be aware of in relation to each specific guest. The better informed you are the more comfortable you will feel.

4. Block time in your schedule on the morning of the day after the event. Clear meetings, and ensure there are no pressing demands on your time that may take your mind off your role as Host. This time, on the morning after the event, should be used to record the ‘intelligence’ you have learned from your guests (both personal and corporate) and to prioritise items that require swift follow-up and immediate action.

5. Be clear on why the event is being held and what your organisation’s corporate objective is in holding the event; what short term wins and long term goals are expected? In this way you can stay focussed on the desired outcome and ensure, through your actions, that you are able to contribute effectively to the overall goal.

6. Prepare your elevator pitch so that, when asked, you can clearly and concisely articulate how you and your department help to deliver ‘value’ to clients and focus on the ‘outcomes’ you deliver.

7. Remind yourself of the dress code, where to correctly place your name badge (if appropriate), the importance of a firm handshake with good eye contact, how best to introduce yourself with gravitas, the things you need to do to create a powerful first impression and ensure you will have sufficient business cards, and a pen, when at the event.

8. Prepare your questions in advance, so you are able you to traverse the 4 questioning zones with ease. What questions will you use to break the ice? What small talk questions will you use to establish rapport? What business questions will you ask to qualify your conversation partner, establish their role, to assess the current financial health of their business and to uncover the change and challenge that is coming within their organisation, in the near term, that will signal your opportunity to do new or more business with them. And lastly, what questions about their existing suppliers would you like answered?

9. Remind yourself to avoid giving an inappropriate response once you have uncovered an opportunity to do business (no sales pitches please!) and be clear on what process you will follow to record any information you have learned about your guest and their organisation, and how best to set up a follow-up call, where you can continue to pursue how best you may help them. Also, refresh yourself on the protocol for the professional exchange of business cards.

10. Find out from the person organising the event when the wash-up or debrief meeting will be held. Make sure you block time in your diary to attend and consider how best you will record the intelligence gathered from your guests during the event, with subtlety. Event ROI is all in the follow-up so ensure your record all potential opportunities on their business card quickly, clearly and completely so your efforts spent as Host can contribute to the ROI outcome

Following these steps will ensure executives are clear on their role, aligned to the desired outcome sought by their organisation and are more aware of the things they need to do to be The Impeccable Host.

Detailed info on sales process can be found on the main website.

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