Site Inspections: How to Build Even Better Rapport With Your Clients
We all know the importance of a site visit prior to an event. Unless you’re completely familiar with a venue and know the sales and management team in place, there are obvious reasons to fully review a site in person, no matter what the event’s size or scale is.
But have you considered the benefits of a site inspection in terms of selling yourself, your event team, the venue team and the chance to build even greater rapport with your client?
Here’s how we think a site inspection can be an incredible opportunity to sell yourself and build even better rapport with your client.
Tip 1. Do your research then put your best foot forward
You might not have won the job yet.
The site inspection can therefore be another chance for you, as event manager, and the venue team to finalise your sales pitch.
You need to pre-plan, be prepared and hone your presentation. First impressions count so dress appropriately and be organised ahead of time by providing background to the venue sales manager about the client and what you think they’re looking for.
For example, if the client will be tasting from the menu, try to give the venue staff as much detail as possible about what the client wants to see on the plate for the event.
Do your research on how the venue has handled similar events in the past. Talk to your industry peers on their own experiences at the venue (organisations such as ISES and MEA in Australia are valuable sources of information).
Tip 2. Show the venue in its best possible light
The client’s experience at the site inspection is crucial to the outcome of the overall event.
An international client with 1,000 delegates arriving for a three-week conference may have a very short period of time to investigate each suggested venue and it can be a bit of a rush.
It’s therefore vital that the venue team are putting their best foot forward to promote their location or risk losing the opportunity.
And it’s not just the venue sales staff that need to get it right.
The floor staff, the chef, every piece of the puzzle needs to be polished and prepared because you won’t look good if the venue doesn’t help you look good.
Meanwhile, you need to examine every angle of the space and consider the specific needs of your client.
Look at whether the property is well maintained, if a particular room works better than another, and if any issues with the space have revealed themselves that weren’t apparent in the marketing brochures.
Tip 3. Adapt to changes and plan, plan, plan ahead
You might get to the venue and the salesperson suddenly has to rush off to take care of something else. Congrats because you’ve just become the sales manager!
Unfortunately, it’s a regular occurrence and I’ve learned to take the approach that “I will work with the difficulty”. This way, no issue seems too difficult to overcome.
The site inspection is also an opportune moment to investigate the back of house, assess the loading dock access, determine what else is scheduled for the day of the event, consider venue time restrictions and other limitations, such as noise or access, and plan ahead.
And with the client present at the site inspection, it’s not always best to also have your entire team on site.
Some things can be taken care of away from the client when the venue is locked in. Less is more and those uncomfortable issues that often crop up during a briefing or walk-through can be handled out of sight of the client.
The point of a site inspection isn’t just to organise a smooth event. A site inspection is also a great rapport-building opportunity where you help your client discover their best fit and you put your best foot forward.
Not every venue is right for every client and different groups look for different things.
But being there with your client at the site inspection helps you uncover the what, how and why. It also gives you yet another moment to build even greater rapportwith your client.
Take a look at what we do at Fabmosphere, one of Australia’s leading creative production companies. Our mission is to support creative marketing agencies,event companies and corporate client teams to create simple, inspiring and cost effective events and branding delivery solutions. We’d love to talk to you about your next big event so get in touch.
What advice do you have for building better rapport with your client? What could you add to the points above? Join in the discussion on our Facebook page - www.facebook.com/fabmosphere