Strategies for Engaging VIPs at Events

Whether it's your clients, prospects, speakers or other special guests, every event has VIPs. In the commotion of event day, it's easy to let your high-profile attendees get lost in the shuffle. Don't let that happen! Follow these four tips to impress your VIPs:

1. Greet them at the door
Meeting your VIPs at the door makes them feel important. That said, you probably don't want to wait around at the registration table for your important guests to arrive. Consider using event-management software that has VIP alerts. These alerts allow you (or anyone you choose) to receive a text message or email the second each high-profile attendee checks in. You can set up the alerts to notify specific members of your team for specific attendees. For example, if your biggest client is attending, you may want to notify both your CEO and the account manager on arrival. Your VIPs will be impressed when executives greet them within a few seconds of walking in the door.

2. Stay current
After making a great first impression with your VIPs, you want to make sure you have up-to-date information on who they are and what matters to them. Building and maintaining relationships with your VIPs requires you to stay current with their interests. Check out their social media profiles and leverage information from your database to understand on a deeper level your most important customers, prospects or special guests. Because time for one-on-one interaction is limited on the day of your event, you'll want to make the most of each conversation by having this VIP information easily accessible.

3. Facilitate connections
Introduce your most important guests to other VIPs who share an interest or profession, and use the commonality to start a conversation. This will serve as another great opportunity to flatter your VIPs by introducing them as important. In addition to letting you mingle with your guests, these introductions allow VIPs to feel comfortable even if they don't know many other attendees. It can also be helpful to introduce a VIP, such as a top client, to a prospect to allow your VIP client to put in a good word for your organization.

4. Stay in touch strategically
Interaction with your VIPs shouldn't end with the conclusion of your event. Make sure your post-event follow-up message is personalized for each VIP. While a bulk follow-up email can work for your main list of attendees, personal email follow-up is best for your VIPs. When it comes to inviting VIPs to future events, tracking event attendance with event-management software will allow you to see which events your VIPs find most valuable and choose to attend. This information will allow you to determine which events to invite VIPs to in the future. Using email tracking will allow you to see whether your VIPs open or ignore your email event invitations.

Garrett Huddy is the content marketing manager at Attend, an event-management platform based in Boston. Garrett writes eBooks, articles and blog posts on event best practices. More event management tips can be found on the Attend blog.