Monday, October 15, 2018

Straight from the horse's mouth

If you hear something “(straight) from the horse's mouth", you hear it from the person who has direct personal knowledge of it.  Your customers are the best source of trust and enthusiasm in your brand, products, services. Does your marketing toolbox include testimonials? It should.

Correctly using testimonials is an art. Too fake and fluffy—you run the risk of not being taken seriously. Prospects can see straight through fake testimonials. Also, a short and sweet testimonial (such as, “I love this service!”) recommends your brand, but doesn’t say much else as to why potential customers should choose your brand. Ask your customers to elaborate on why they love your brand, and what sets your brand apart. 

Request that your best customers provide testimonials with details that definitively describe key and unique benefits of your brand. Customers should focus on addressing a pain points that your services resolve. Testimonials should answer the question of why someone should use your brand.

What are your best tips for curating testimonials?

Monday, October 1, 2018

Is Your Venue Safe?

The world is changing and so must meeting planners. If the past year has been any indication, no place is exempt from risk. Think beyond terrorism. Think about hurricanes, volcanoes, shooters, and military coups — anything that puts your attendees at risk. Today, meetings and events come with a specific set of risks. The factors in determining hotel safety alone are numerous.

The big question you should be asking your meeting planner: Have you assessed the venue from a risk standpoint?

Your planner should conduct proper due diligence when sourcing a location and venue. Then they should develop a customized risk assessment questionnaire to be completed by the venue ahead of contract signature.

The top 8 factors in determining venue safety are:

1. Hard-wired smoke detectors.
These are more reliable as they are connected to a power supply and will sound indefinitely until turned off. They have battery backups to ensure they continue in the event the power supply is cut.

2. Adequate emergency lighting.
Does the venue have a generator? Does it auto turn on? You certainly don’t want attendees using their cell phone lights in the dark!

3. Locking devices on windows and doors.
Do the windows and doors open outward? If so they can be difficult to barricade. Does the venue have active-shooter denial devices? If not, will they add and train staff to use?

4. Emergency operations plan.
The venue should have a plan for all types of hazards — fire, hurricane, earthquake, terrorism. The plan should among many things, clearly marked evacuation routes, and the locations of fire extinguishers. Ask them to share their plan.

5. Readily available AEDs, and a list of staff trained in first aid and CPR.
You’d be shocked at the number of hotels that respond with “no first aid/CPR training.” I recently received the response, “We usually just call 911 and they arrive pretty quick.” (Scary.)

6. Security training.
Who on staff is trained to recognize threats? Will those people be onsite for your event? Who is the go-to person to report suspicious activity?

7. Food terrorism.Does the kitchen have procedures to combat food terrorism? What’s their procedure for vetting kitchen staff and food?

8. Recent threats?
This should be the first thing you ask — have there been any recent (and define recent) threats to the venue?

Bottom line: work with an experienced planner. If you need assistance assessing the safety and risk preparedness of a venue, andgreat can help! We invite you to contact us today.