ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Tanya Aguayo is the Executive & Administrative Assistant at Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón.
BEING A CORPORATE HOST IS NO EASY JOB.
Corporate hosts must keep track of everything that’s going on at the office while attending each guest that walks through the office door. That’s why we’ve put together ten tips to help you be the best corporate host.
1. EVERYONE’S A GUEST
Treat each person who you interact with as a guest. Don’t think of them as visitors or clients. Everyone should get the same treatment regardless of their profession or job role. Never judge a book by its cover and keep in mind that service is like a circle, what you give you receive.
2. BE ORGANIZED & FLEXIBLE
Get organized by always adding all meetings to the office calendar. This will help you avoid creating conflicting meetings and make it easier to verify that all invited meeting participants can assist. Additionally, know the calendar and all the meetings that are scheduled each week in case you have to reschedule any meetings.
3. KNOW WHERE GUESTS ARE FROM
Know where each office guest is from. You should know where guests are from in case any of them have other cultural customs that have to be known or attended to beforehand. For example, nodding your head may mean Yes in Western culture, but it means No in Greece and Bulgaria. Knowing where guests are from will help you prevent miscommunication and unwanted conflict.
4. FIND OUT WHO THEY ARE
Find out if an office guest has a personal relationship with an office employee like a relative, spouse or old friend. This knowledge can serve as a good topic of conversation in order to get to know guests better and help build a professional relationship with them. It’s also important to know if an office guest has a personal relationship with an office employee in case they would like to catch up before the meeting or go for lunch after.
5. COMMUNICATE BEFOREHAND
When meetings take place during meal hours, coordinate with meeting participants or with their assistants beforehand in case they wish to eat during the meeting. If so, ask what food they would like to eat so that you can have the meals prepared and ready before the meeting starts.
6. PREPARE THE SPACE
Have meeting spaces ready beforehand. This means setting up the necessary technology equipment, having meeting documents printed, having extra paper and pens to hand out, having business cards and the Wi-Fi password readily available for guests, etc. Prepared meeting spaces will save everybody’s time.
7. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LITTLE THINGS
Details matter. Small details such as saying happy birthday on guests’ birthdays, having their favorite foods or treats available, or simply smiling and giving them a warm welcome, go a long way in creating a great guest experience.
8. GIVE INSTEAD OF OFFERING
When attending office guests, give instead of offering. For example, always give water to meeting participants because chances are that they’ll drink it even if they don’t ask for it. Be accommodating and create a great guest experience in order to make them feel like they want to come back.
9. ALWAYS BE READY
Once a meeting ends, have everything cleaned up and ready for the next one even if there isn’t another meeting scheduled. It’s important to immediately disinfect meeting spaces after they’re used, in order to adhere to necessary COVID considerations. Often times impromptu meetings occur and it’s better to have the meeting spaces ready to go instead of having to urgently clean and set everything up at the last minute.
10. PRACTICE BASIC ETIQUETTE
As the corporate host, YOU are a reflection of the company. Since you’re usually the first person in the office that people come in contact with, you need to dress appropriately, use proper language, treat others with respect, and practice good manners because YOU represent the business.
As you can see, being the best corporate host is all about getting organized, accommodating, preparing beforehand, paying attention to detail, and knowing your guests. The key is to create a great experience for everyone who walks through the office door, so they leave with an amazing impression of what your business is about, and they can’t wait to return!