Marketing and events for customer engagement.


5 Tips For Getting Guests Who Equal ROI


1. Think “Bucket List”

You really can’t go wrong when offering guests a “once-in-a-lifetime” event. The most popular include: The Masters, The Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby, US Open Tennis, Olympics.

Equally important, make sure the services around the event are up to the grandness of the event itself.

2. Follow “What’s Hot Now” Travel Trends

Cabin Bluff

Build an event around activities for which your clients have expressed interests. Golf, hunting, fishing and wine tasting are all very “current” and popular.

Some of the top trending destinations for these types of activities in recent months include private clubs and resorts (Sutton Bay, Cabin Bluff, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst and the Boulders). Also popular are trendy, exotic locations (Deep Water Cay, Meritage Resort and Spa and the Dominican Republic).

3. Emphasize Guest Experiences

Guests should feel as though they are having an experience, not merely attending an event. Think “wow” factor.

Go Hollywood — bring in a celebrity, pro athlete, author or musician who has some connection to the event. In our Masters outings, for instance, we typically secure a current or former PGA TOUR professional to spend time with our groups. Also key: the “talent” should be aligned with your goals and your clients’ interests.

Go Exclusive — Limit the outing’s size. Smaller groups are easier to manage while also enhancing the face-to-face with each guest. Some of 54 Sports’ most successful events have been limited to just eight guests and included “inside the ropes” access. (Last year’s US Open was unforgettable!)

4. Ask the Right Questions To Get the Right Guests

Planning is critical when your event needs to deliver a positive ROI. Consider these questions:

  • How much business is the client currently doing with your company?
  • Is there a significant opportunity for incremental growth?
  • Does a prospective guest offer meaningful revenue potential?
  • And, importantly, are you negotiating a new deal with a prospective guest and could the invitation be a deal-closer?

Internally, ask yourself who is the right person within your organization to make the invite? For high-end VIP events, we often advise our clients to have the invite come directly from the CEO or another C-Level executive.

Furthermore, it’s a good idea for an executive to follow up the invitation with a quick telephone call. This extra effort adds a personal touch, gives you a chance to share other names on the guest list, and secure that RSVP.

5. Post-Event Follow-Up

Post-event efforts are as important as pre-event preparation to ensure guests are happy to attend next year’s event.

  • The event host, preferably the CEO, should place phone calls or send handwritten thank you notes to each guest
  • Prepare a personalized, follow-up email survey. (We prepare and execute the survey on behalf of our clients.)
  • Your sales team should consider scheduling sales calls with event guests soon after the event’s completion (within a month or two).
  • Track incremental sales growth from the invited guests post-event.

The Takeaway

Create an event that has appeal and meaning to your desired guest list, execute the event flawlessly, then leverage smart follow-up and sales tactics, and you’ll not only get the “right” guests to your event. You’ll realize a terrific return on your investment.

Until next time,

Robert Miller

No.29 Boats chartered.
No.54 Event dress code noted, communicated.
No.37 Translators vetted, hired.
No.21 Property map for guests created.
No.42 All deposits made.
No.30 Tours and guides vetted, confirmed.
No.24 Local food/restaurants identified.
No.22 Golf clubs/guns rented.
No.52 Handicap access located, verified.
No.05 All event tickets purchased.
No.17 Guests’ likes/dislikes recorded.
No.16 Traffic patterns studied, logged.
No.47 Staff uniforms delivered.
No.07 Local hospitals/urgent care identified.
No.12 Drivers interviewed, vetted.
No.40 Pick-up/drop-off locations scouted, confirmed.
No.18 Hunting/fishing guides vetted, hired.
No.38 Child services/nannies vetted, hired.
No.03 Chefs vetted and secured.
No.49 Reception halls booked.
No.28 Preferred beverages ordered.
No.34 Luggage tags confirmed.
No.45 Emergency air services researched.
No.08 Guests’ food allergies documented.
No.19 Security team vetted, in place.
No.51 Umbrellas/rain gear checked.
No.23 Golf pairings made.
No.48 Meeting spaces identified, inspected.
No.25 Homes inspected for cleanliness.
No.01 All vehicles fueled and serviced.
No.31 Linens inspected.
No.44 Tailgate party locations confirmed.
No.46 Extra sunblock ordered.
No.10 Event walk-through performed.
No.11 Wi-Fi availability/log-in directions confirmed.
No.04 Dinner reservations confirmed.
No.26 TV guides/local channels logged.
No.09 Weather forecast checked, proper gear secured.
No.32 Bathroom amenities prepped and placed.
No.33 Home amenities prepped and placed.
No.27 Community/hotel entrance codes tested.
No.13 Talent booked, arrival time confirmed.
No.36 Photographers hired.
No.41 Stadium maps delivered.
No.43 Aircraft seating preferences confirmed.
No.14 Agenda/itineraries double-checked, mailed.
No.50 Extra device chargers acquired.
No.15 Taxes, gratuities, service fees tallied and paid.
No.53 Event’s “items prohibited” list obtained.
No.35 Luggage transfer protocols confirmed.
No.02 Lodging standards verified.
No.20 Parking and passes secured.
No.39 Hunting/fishing forecasts checked/licenses purchased.
No.06 Flight info/arrival/departure monitored.