Last week I provided a list of everything that I like to have in my Event Toolbox. This week’s Post will show you How to MOBILIZE your Event Service Desk!
When I first got started in the Trade Show Industry, my first desk consisted of a 6x30" draped table and side chairs. I eventually stepped up to a 42" high table and bar stools. My initial signage included a simple banner identifying my space. This set up worked for a while but I eventually decided that I needed a bigger presence on the floor.
Next came a Registration Counter with simple graphics and furnishings. As my events grew in size, so did my Service Desk! I eventually grew to having five counters with custom furnishings and full-color graphics. I really stood out on the floor then! A lot of GSC's (General Service Contractors) will generally place their desk behind the trade show drape; therefore, making them hard to find. I always selected a prominent position and became an actual booth space on the floor plan.
I've always been very service-oriented and attribute that to my years of being a Restaurant Server. After all, Service IS what it's all about, right! My goal became to step up the level of service being provided, and I eventually created my mobile services!
In my early years (as I was still learning), I would go around the show floor (usually dressed cutesy with the wrong shoes!) with my Event Binder and service the Exhibitors in their booth space. My goal was to go to them instead of having them track through the 100,000 square foot trade show hall in search of Event Services. This worked for a little bit but needed help.
Then there was the year of the Segway!
I tested these out in 2008 for myself and staff members. After completing a five minute training and signing a liability clause, we were on our way. Mine consisted of saddle file boxes which was great as I usually had so much stuff to carry. I found “parking” to be a challenge for me and eventually learned that it was easier to park against a wall!
I soon learned the importance of the clause we had to sign. It was 2 o'clock in the morning and our day started at 8am. This was the day of the removal which always makes for a long day. I had just finished confronting a group of temporary labor help as they were rummaging through all of my stuff at the Service Desk. The physical desk had been struck but my belongings were put together in a neat pile.
After my little confrontation I headed over to where my Segway was parked...against a crate without the kickstand in place. Or so I thought. Without my knowledge, a fellow worker decided to "do me a favor" and position my kickstand in the down position. As I was unaware of this, I jumped on my ride and started heading out to the opposite side of the hall. The Hotel carpet was covered in Visqueen to protect it from any damage during the removal.
As I began making my way over, my kickstand got all caught up in the plastic. This of course was not looking good for me and I knew I was going down. I started doing a 360 and was totally freaked out. One time, maybe two, and then there I was...laying on my back in the middle of the room! I can't recall a more embarrassing incident in my event experience. Feeling like an idiot, I put both of my feet and hands in the air and started laughing uncontrollably. I was grateful to a Union employee who quickly came to my rescue and pulled me to my feet! Thankfully, I didn't incur any major physical injuries, only my pride took a hit! Never again, I thought! And here's the comic that my Mom found and sent to me after the show (click on it to enlarge):
It was comforting to me when a coworker later came to me and shared his own "accident". He literally got run over by his and was too embarrassed to tell anyone! I can still see our silly mishaps clearly in my head and it makes me laugh thinking about them.
Needless to say, that was the last time I ever rented one for myself. They scared me! Moving forward I upgraded to a golf cart. I can't go wrong with four wheels, right! I loved this mode of transportation and always liked to pimp mine out! I would have custom license plates made with my logo and that of the event. I've had them decked out with Boa's and always had an iPod player so that I could crank some tunes while on my mission! I found this to be a very effective mode of transportation during move-in and move-out. Once the carpet was in place, I couldn't utilize it as it would make it buckle.
Now, you certainly don’t need to pack all of the Trade Show Tools that I mentioned in last week’s Post to provide great service, but these were always on my cart:
- Event Binder
- Service Forms
- Sign Hooks
- Box Cutters
- Shipping Tape
…and a HUGE smile!
These are just a few items and I'm sure I've had a lot more at times than what is listed. This was the way to go for me! I had created a mobile Service Desk and was assisting Exhibitors directly and realizing my goal of keeping them away from the desk! First-class service on the go! They thought I was silly but always appreciated the concept! That's just me being me! I'm all about having fun while I work and it always showed! :-)
How have you customized your service levels to better serve your clients? Please share with me below!