Engaging your guests for a successful event

Once all the event planning has been done, the tables set, food prepared, décor teased and perfected – there is a moment of quiet anticipation when the people who have been busy with all the final touches look to the door and imagine the faces of the people entering the room. The aim of any event is to impress the attendees so a voiced “wow!/cool!/nice!” or a smile and some appreciative looks around the room at the décor upon entering are high praise gladly accepted by the event organiser.

Planning and organising for a great event is merely the staging for actually having a great event. Events are ultimately influenced by the ‘people factor’ and as such can be fickle and affect the success of the event. The guests are led by the mood in the room and an early intervention can change the dynamic of the event from a bunch of wallflowers lurking near the snacks to a fully engaged crowd. Traditionally it was left up to the alcohol to take care of the ‘party spirit’ where guests are served a few ‘looseners’ to get the conversation going, the courage up and the function on its way to an eventful success.

Most events will have a welcome detail to help the new arrivals get their bearings, make them feel welcome and to send them smiling into the main function room (usually with a drink in hand). Having lots of people enter a room smiling fuels the mood of the room. Just as important is for the room to mirror that smile otherwise the new arrival is likely to take a few stiff swigs and head straight to the bar for some more ‘courage’.

A good host will make their presence known and orchestrate timely meetings with likeminded guests, keep the guests smiling and ensure there is no stoppage in the flow of the food, beverages, entertainment and the event program.

When fun activities are planned like a photo booth, casino, caricature artist, karaoke, etc. it will take a few braver souls to be the first and get the ball rolling. Don’t let the fun activities stand open for too long as this will diminish their intended function at an event – to magnify the fun. Be sure to have a few friendlies attending the event ready to participate and draw the crowds to the activities. Once there is a steady flow and the beginnings of a queue the activity will take off and achieve its intended effect.

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