A VIP event experience is a great way to market your event and create unique opportunities for those who want them (and pay for them!). Creating a VIP event experience goes beyond anticipating their needs or which services and products they’d reach for. It’s about understanding what your VIP guests are passionate about, what drives them to be more creative, excited about their lives, and most importantly–that their treatment feels exclusive and unique.
Here are 10 tips on creating a VIP event experience.
1. Don’t Keep VIP Guests Waiting
Knowing what to provide in a VIP experience, is in part understanding why your attendee purchased the VIP ticket as opposed to the standard one. For many, they just want to cut to the chase. They are looking for more value, more impact, and less waiting.
Provide a fast pass for your VIP guests so they can access the good-stuff sooner with little to no lines. The VIP event experience is all about honoring their time as much as possible.
2. Substantial Added Value
I’ve seen guests frustrated about spending almost $400 more for their VIP event experience only to receive the same treatment as all of the other guests with the exception of a loftier goodie bag.
Free merch is a great bonus, but it will never be worth the title of a VIP event experience. Similar to the first tip, one great way to add value is to spend one-on-one time with the VIPs. This could be in the form of one extra day at a retreat, a post-event private dinner with the speakers and VIP’s only, or a free consultation. There has to be a clear benefit that goes beyond a fancy VIP badge and the chance to bypass waiting in lines. And time with you could be the gem they paid for.
3. Recognize Your VIP Attendees
Being a VIP is a credential and these guests desire and deserve to stand out amongst the crowd. Including a different color name badge, better seating, provide services and gifts to these special guests that will have the others asking “how did you get that!?” and they can boast of their VIP status. This may seem trivial, but wanting to feel this level of significance is a basic human desire and not very hard to accomplish.
4. The VIP Lounge
It doesn’t have to be a lounge, but there should be a VIP set up that is exclusive and perhaps indicated by velvet ropes.
Those who purchase a VIP event experience are often more committed to gaining the most from what you and your brand offer. They are committed to solving the very problems that you provide solutions to. It only seems right that this exclusive group of event goers have the opportunity to network and socialize with others who are as dedicated as they are. Those who want more generally connect with those who want the same.
5. Quality Over Quantity
As I referenced with the goodie bag earlier, the VIP event experience isn’t just about having more stuff but better stuff.
Avoid low-quality handouts and no marketing pens-eek! Note the backgrounds of your VIP’s. What industries do they come from? If the variation is too great to make a personalized approach go for something classic and high-quality like a leather-bound journal. Here are some of my favorite gifts loved by every VIP.
6. VIP Host
As part of the VIP treatment, it’s good to keep familiar faces circulating in the VIP area. Let these special guests have accessibility to answers and materials at the event provided by a facilitator whose sole purpose at the event is to tend to the VIP attendees.
7. Shock and Awe
If it fits into your strategic event budgeting, throw in a grand surprise as part of the VIP event experience! This could be an early bird special price (or free pass) to your next event, a gift from your sponsors, or a signed book from your well-known event speaker. Since so many parts of the VIP event experience are revolved around them, a surprise is a great way to tie a freebie into the event theme. Perhaps an opportunity or gift that makes them remember this event (and you!) for years to come!
8. Create an Overall Seamless VIP Event Experience (for all!?)
From the venue to the food, everything else about the event needs to be up to par before designating a VIP experience. There is no such thing as a VIP experience at a below average event.
Does your event or retreat have what it takes to create an actual VIP experience? Find out here!
9. Indulge Them
As if a dedicated VIP host wasn’t enough, try going even more above and beyond for your VIP attendees. Some of the more unique VIP event experiences I’ve enjoyed included a post-event-event, a free spa experience with the sponsors (therapeutic oils industry–valued at $250!). This is honestly the best-of-the-best treatment and that’s not only what we all want, but what every VIP event experience strives to provide.
10. VIP Follow-Up
There’s nothing worse than a VIP one-night stand. Follow up with your special guests by providing them future opportunities to be your VIP along with a ton of gratitude and feedback.
A VIP event experience is a win-win for you and your attendees. Nothing is more “share-worthy” than being treated like a rockstar.
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