The Global Events industry generated a turnover of $1,135 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $1,553 billion in worldwide sales by 2028, according to a study by Allied Market Research.
The industry has been severely affected by the Covid pandemic, but is now set for rebound and growth because the business of wedding parties, social events and business conferences produce unforgettable magic for their clients and guests.
So, if you are in this business and you wish to surf the forecasted wave of growth, you have to think strategically and plan to delight your affluent target audience.
Treat them like royalty! Make them dream!
Five Steps for a Magical Customer Experience
Society evolves, consumer needs and desires change and as a consequence the market is becoming increasingly polarized in almost every product or service category. More and more you find either
premium brands or low-cost offer. It is the Nespresso effect versus the Ryanair effect.
But who wants a low-cost party or event?
A memorable experience in any occasion is made of a subtle balance combining emotion, excitement, impeccable look of the location and service providers, good music, enticing fragrance, elegant service, some mystery to add sparkle to a surprise, engaging stories and zero mistakes in a flawless experience.
Stefan Thomke, Professor of Management at Harvard Business School, puts it a different way and suggests exploring a five-step formula for creating a magical customer experience.
Stimulate the Senses
Walk in the lobby of The Ritz Paris, The Raffles Istanbul or get on board the Orient Express train and all your senses will be stimulated with surprise and refinement.
Think of creative, elegant ways of stimulating the senses of your clients and their guests.
Turn Disappointment into Delight
I arrived exhausted at 9 a.m. at the Ritz-Carlton in Singapore after a 14-hour flight, to be the keynote speaker in a big, international convention happening in that hotel. While checking in I asked whether I could have breakfast. The lady smiled and explained: Mr. Paraiso, perhaps by mistake, your reservation was made with a rate without breakfast. However, I shall offer you your favourite breakfast during your stay.
That lady’s attitude made it a nice, surprising experience, that I have never forgotten and which cost the hotel a negligible amount.
Anticipate problems, make a list of what may go wrong. Think of solutions to quickly fix them. Plan small giveaways as forms of compensation to erase the negative memory and replace it by a pleasant one.
Plan to Surprise
Chef Grant Achatz at the three-Michelin-starred Alinea restaurant in Chicago is the Master of Surprise. Watch on You Tube the videos of his famous desserts and you’ll understand why his guests are speechless.
Tell Compelling Stories
A good, authentic, well-told story is a powerful tool to create emotional connections with clients.
The Metropole Hanoi is Vietnam’s most iconic hotel and was a secret meeting spot for politicians during World War II. Charlie Chaplin spent there his honeymoon and British writer W. Somerset Maugham wrote The Gentleman during a long stay at the hotel.
The Pol Roger champagne house sells their Sir Winston Churchill limited edition bottle with a booklet, telling stories of the friendship of the Roger family and the former British Prime Minister.
Genuine stories add tremendous value to a product or service. Think of creative, elegant ways to design an event which tells a story to the guests.
Run Small Controlled Experiments
Consumers of luxury normally have a propensity for taking risks and are willing to embark in new experiences as long as they fully trust that the service provider offers extreme quality and uncompromising safety.
Molecular cuisine in some Michelin-starred restaurants and the above-mentioned desserts at Alinea in Chicago are just a couple of examples.
Don’t be afraid to experiment in your events, as long as you create sensorial, delightful, surprising experiences built upon stories that bring emotion, innovation and excitement.
Clients under a strong emotional status buy more, spend more and are happier.
Treat them like Royalty!
Make them dream!