Your executives and guests have great anticipation and expectations on arrival night.  Spend a large chunk of your budget on the welcome reception. Pull out the stops and wow everyone with set up and décor, lighting, entertainment and food.  As the days roll on everyone gets weary and is ready to go home; some leave early. By the time the closing night dinner takes place people are less engaged and won’t notice as much.

Think about how to surprise guests and get them excited and talking about where they are on social media.  For entertainment hire a famous person to welcome the group or a well-known artist to get guests geared up and ready for the next few days.  Don’t have the budget? Go local! There could be famous locals living in the city where your event takes place. Partner with the convention and visitors bureau to find out who lives in town & what options there are from a recognized sports figure to an award winning performer.  There are local choirs in every city who perform as part of their civic mindedness – talk about inexpensive and powerful!

This is the night where you serve the most unique and elaborate menu – lots of delicious and well-presented food stations & wait staff with trays full of superb bites.  Open bars without a long line is every attendees dream; spend more money and staff up the event with extra help. The tables and chairs and décor should say WOW, too. Ask the hotel for linen color options and dress up the event with candles and themed props the hotel has that add to the décor.

Hotels enjoy assisting you with unique “to go” gifts for guests to take back to their rooms.  It’s a fun surprise & not costly to have a take-away bar set up on a table near the exit area.  Something fun and simple like little cartons of milk varieties & house made packaged cookies, or glass jars filled with a variety of treats and snacks with small bags for guests to help themselves establishes a welcome statement with positive, lasting impressions for your guests.