Having been immersed in this industry for more years than I care to count, I can say that the area that has seen the most change is the event services department. Whether you know it as convention services, event management or event services, this role has constantly evolved to meet the needs of an ever-changing environment, customer, need or hot button du jour.
Why Event Services Matter
Gone are the days of simply arranging for some AV, an off-site reception or dinner, busing and perhaps an early morning 5K. Today's planner needs more support, and they need it earlier in the booking process. In fact, service offerings can be a differentiator during the early consideration stages of destination selection. Unfortunately, not all DMOs, CVBs, and cities are created equal, with some offering a more comprehensive variety of services than others. It's important for planners to gauge the support they will receive during the initial sales process so they can plan accordingly.
Event Branding and Promotion
Today's successful service manager is also a savvy marketer, social media manager, web designer and jack-of-all-trades. Destinations must help planners build attendance by marketing their city or town, and by tailoring that marketing to all four generations currently in the workforce. Providing marketing content to planners and assisting in the delivery of that content to the attendee base is one of the most sought-after service offerings today.
Service managers also need time to develop strong relationships with the customer base to effectively assess all of a group's anticipated needs and make introductions to community partners who can make the event shine. For this reason, we at GoProvidence introduce our service managers to our prospective clients early in the sales process. Often, our service team will partner with an event's marketing professionals to support each other's efforts. This has been a game changer for our award-winning team, helping them to earn a service score that is well above average at 9.85 out of 10.
A destination's service menu must be tailored to the precise and specific needs of each group, and our service team goes above and beyond to fulfill just about any request (within reason). We've had groups ask for permission to fly drones in an exhibit hall or for buses to be brought on to the convention center floor to pick up attendees. We've had a client ask to skip a site visit appointment to get a tattoo and another who wanted to rappel from the convention center roof for a charity event. We've even provided a "Muffin Award" to a group with just a few hours' notice.
Whether you need a custom micro-website for your event, social media coverage or even public relations outreach, our service team can assist with that and more at no cost to you. Visit our Convention and Event Services page for a comprehensive list of everything we have to offer for your next meeting.