The expectations of the modern delegate
Today’s conference attendees have very high standards, because they’re used to attending functions in some of the best facilities in the world. You can no longer get away with slapping a name badge onto a delegate’s lapel and ushering them into a crowded conference room. The modern delegate expects high quality service and a comprehensive professional experience.
So, what can you do to meet their expectations? Here are some pointers:
- Superfast Wi-Fi. This is no longer a luxury, it’s an essential for conferences in Leeds or any other UK meeting venue. It needs to be reliable, incredibly fast and easy to access (no complicated sign-in process) or your delegates will soon be complaining.
- Healthy, energising snacks. Delegates want a choice of snacks, not just vending machine chocolate, crisps and other rubbish. You need to offer them something with health benefits, to get them through the day – fresh fruit, cereal bars, freshly baked blueberry oat muffins…these are all the kinds of snacks you need to be laying on.
- Great quality coffee. It used to be the case that if you could get an edible cup of coffee at a conference venue, you’d be very lucky – but all that has changed. Conferences now offer great quality coffee, essential for getting through long sessions and lengthy meetings. It’s also a great networking tool – if no one wants to drink the coffee, they are less likely to make new contacts in break-out spaces.
- Gourmet food. If meals are included in the conference package, stand out from other conference planning professionals and make sure that the food is sensational. This is a sure-fire way to ensure that delegates return year after year.
- Informative surroundings. Some conferences can involve a bit of waiting around between speakers, or in break-out spaces during lunch breaks. Don’t just blast music channels or worse, advertising, at your delegates – put on BBC News 24 or another informative channel to help them catch up on the news.
- The latest newspapers. Your conference isn’t a dentist’s waiting room, where the magazines are always at least a week out of date. Your delegates expect the most up-to-date reading material, from industry magazines to the day’s newspapers. It’s a small touch, but it makes all the difference.
- Attentive, helpful staff. You can’t just leave your delegates to it when they attend a conference – you need to make sure there is a visible staff presence just in case they need help. It’s all about providing great customer service and making delegates feel special.
- Comfortable break-out areas. The design and furnishing of these spaces should never be an afterthought. Delegates need somewhere comfortable to relax and also to network and make new contacts, so make comfort, space and good design a priority when choosing a conference venue.
If you’re on the hunt for a venue, consider holding your conferences and meetings at Weetwood Hall in Leeds – widely known as one of the best facilities of its kind in the area.