Helping Guide Guests Around Your Event’s Host City

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Some of you might be surprised to learn that, as an event management professional, your bailiwick extends well beyond the doors of your conference hall. We’re not talking about hotels, transportation, or trade show parties, either – though these are all essential components of a successful event. See, if you’re running a conference that takes place over multiple days, you’re certain to have guests interested in exploring their host city – and most aren’t likely to know a great deal about where they’re staying.

Even if you plan a party for each night many of your attendees will splinter off at some point and seek out something else to do with their downtime. As an event planner, not only do you serve as an emcee and master of ceremonies; you’re also an unofficial tour guide.

Your event guests will look to you for information about what to do and how to get around their host city during their stay.

Providing General Information Packages

You are, after all, playing host to attendees who are potentially visiting from all over the country – or even the world.  There’s a delicate balance, people want to be left to their own devices and have some freedom, but they’re rarely adverse to a few well-honed suggestions.

What are the must-see tourist destinations in your host city? Can they find a pickup game a basketball, where are the best restaurants for food and people watching, is there a great art gallery scene to crash in on or a boardwalk to wander, or luxury window shopping?

Create information packages for all out-of-town guests attending your event. These can be left in hotel suites or provided at registration. Again, highlight the primary attractions your city has to offer.

Hint: City tourism boards are a wealth of information for visitors, but tailor the information you directly provide your event attendees based on their demographics – like all details pertaining to your event.

Creating Custom Tours

Of course, you may wish to take your services a step farther and offer extracurricular activities your event guests may opt-into. You could provide additional shuttle service to a several must-see tourist attractions followed by dinner. You might arrange tickets to a Broadway show or play that attendee can purchase in advance.

Optional itineraries should be well planned in advance, arranged with the outside venues, and built into all transportation logistics, staffing requirements, contracts, etc.  Include these offerings on your event website, make mention in marketing materials, and include in attendee information packages.

Remember: optional events are an add-on and an up-sell, don’t lose out on the revenue opportunity if you’re taking on the planning cost and effort.

Simply providing information or customizing tours, either way, it’s important you provide your guests with options. While offering additional services and events opens your firm up to more liability and logistical work, your guests will greatly appreciate a first-rate run event. We guarantee it.

You’re job as an event management professional extends beyond the doors of the conference hall; beyond hotels and shuttle busses. You’re a host. What sort of host doesn’t show off their city!