Sarah Halfpenny Events

Delegate Joining Instructions; A great tool to help support your delegates on-site experience

by Sarah Halfpenny

Providing good customer service is crucial to the success of any event and it shouldn’t be forgotten or underestimated. Providing your stakeholders and delegates with a positive customer service experience will ensure they not only talk favourably of their experience with you but it will also bring them into your community and help foster future engagement with your product, service or brand.

I do think that when we speak about providing good customer service within the events industry the immediate thought is providing a big smile and warm hello upon arrival to the venue. Whilst this is undoubtedly important, we must also ensure that this approach is extended to every touch point we have during the lifecycle of an event.

Being aware of the journey of each stakeholder is critical to providing excellent customer service. Understanding what they need and when and anticipating this before they ask for it, is a bit of an art. The journey a delegate makes to attend an event means that they will receive a number of pieces of communication from information about the event, the call to action through to the registration process and acknowledgment. The key to providing a seamless customer journey is to ensure that all messaging is consistent, clear and easy to navigate.

As part of this customer journey, I have always been a strong advocate of producing Joining Instructions for all stakeholders. This document brings together all the important pieces of information that will help your stakeholders and delegates plan and manage their time with you.

For suppliers these Joining Instruction focus on logistics. So providing;
• Date, time and location
• Clear directions to the venue as well as a map
• Information about access to the venue, room layout, power supply, equipment
• Clarity on arrival times, set up and pack down times will ensure suppliers are able to manage their staff and
transport needs
• A copy of the final event program often provides the bigger picture and will help each supplier understand
where they ‘fit’ into the proceedings
• Information about food and drink provided for them is also important
• A delegate list or delegate information pack may also be useful depending upon the supplier’s interaction on
the day itself
• Not forgetting key contacts and phone numbers for them to contact you on the day.

For event delegates, Joining Instructions are collated and sent approximately two weeks before the event date. The aim being that each piece of information provided will help them to prepare for the day and thus avoid stress and worry.

The following information is typically included for delegates;
• Date, time and location
• A map of the venue location, clear directions travelling by road, train and foot
• Parking information including parking charges, and distance from venue
• The final program including key timings. Make it clear when delegate registration is open
• Delegate list, this will help delegates identify who they would like to connect with before they arrive on
• Information of participation, so what’s expected of them during their time with you.
• Stakeholder, sponsor and partner information
• Food and drink information. Although the full menu does not need to be included, the food service is often
worth mentioning, i.e. buffet style lunch therefore no formal seating provided etc. This will just help
manage people’s expectations on-site
• Dress code if there is one. This may save embarrassment as you don’t want someone turning up in jeans when
the event is formal business attire.

Through providing these key pieces of information beforehand, you will receive less enquiries, all participants will be clear on what they need to do and when and the tone of the event will be established. Upon arrival the net effect is that people will be more relaxed, prepared and able to enjoy the event.

By providing consistent, quality customer service thought-out the event lifecycle you will be building a reputation for being a reliable and trustworthy organisation which is one that people wish to engage with. So when you are organising your next event, remember to make every interaction count, anticipate queries and create the most robust (but relevant) set of Joining instructions for all involved!