AN ENTHUSIASTIC ATTENDEE response is always gratifying, says Tricia Baglio, president of Ipswich, Mass.-based Meet with Success. But sometimes it's guest concerns rather than compliments that lead to better events.
Baglio, producer of the “NMS Communications World Tour 2002” kickoff event for her Framingham, Mass.-based client, says it was the negative feedback she received in attendee surveys last year that resulted in positive changes in this year's program. “This is a worldwide company,” says Baglio, who has produced the global sales and management incentive event for three years running. “Very often it would come up in comments that [guests] felt the event was too U.S.-centric.” With a strained economy putting the brakes on travel, “we couldn't just pick up the program and bring it to Europe or Asia,” she adds. “Instead, we wanted to bring Europe, Asia and South America to the U.S.”
For the $71,000 event, Baglio filled Boston's Cyclorama venue with stations themed for the 10 countries representing the company bases of the event's 200 guests. Each station featured regional food, decor and entertainment. Raffle prizes included Amazon.com gift certificates, which “could be used anywhere in the world by guests so they could get what they wanted,” Baglio says.
According to Baglio, who provides corporate clients with written and oral attendee-response documentation for every event she produces, such efforts were critical to the success of this year's event. “Guests said [the event] increased their understanding of the company's business plan by 78 percent,” she says.
Calling Baglio “spectacular at what she does,” Jamie Toale, vice president of human resources for NMS Communications, agrees in the power of participant response. This year, he says, creating a more inclusive event resulted in “very good feedback, especially from non-U.S. employees.”
Meet with Success 71 Country Club Way, Ipswich, MA 01938-3000, 978/356-7144; www.meetwithsuccess.com