Last week I attended ASAE's Annual Meeting in Dallas, TX. This meeting brought about 6000 associations executives to this conference which had events in multiple venues around Dallas.
While I was participating in the Twitter stream, I stumbled into a discussion with ASAE's community manager, Mandy Stahl (@MandyStahl), about how it's always cold in convention centers. We joked about the temperature being 100 degrees outside, yet we needed to wear sweaters.
It turns out that Mandy and I weren't the only people in this discussion. Listening to our conversation was Dustin Bodnaryk from Think! Social Media. Think! was hired by the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau to listen to the chatter and to create experiences for a handful of people. Dustin, under the Twitter handle, @Visit_Dallas, gave Mandy and I one of the special experiences.
Mandy and I received a tweet that we were being summoned to the Dallas booth on the trade show floor. Upon arrival at their booth, we were given blankets to keep us warm during the conference. Wow, what a nice surprise!
My New Blankie!
As it turns out, we were one of five people who were surprised with experiences.
- They had a car waiting for Shane Feldman (@shfz) at the airport on Friday night, after hearing that he was looking for someone to share a taxi and no one responded (everyone was already at opening event).
- Christy Jones (@christytj), was given a manicure after we heard that she had broken two nails on her arrival to Dallas.
- Stephanie Reeves (@sjreeves) and few others booked a VIP tour of Cowboys Stadium. When she asked what was the most economical way to get to Cowboys Stadium, Dallas sent a limo to pick her up at her hotel.
These all made solid impressions on the people who experienced them. But there was more... Upon landing home after my flight, I received the following tweet: "@JessicaLevin Hope U enjoyed #Dallas! Special Thank U from our CEO http://www.tout.com/m/r38h5q?ref=tw17fojt" The link is to a video personally thanking me for attending ASAE. Another wow moment.
It didn't take an army of staff or a huge budget to create these moments. It took a little initiative and some creativity to have a huge impact.
What do you think of what Dallas did to make people feel welcome in their city? What can you do to make clients or attendees feel special?