Do you ever wonder what makes an ordinary event, extraordinary? Why do we remember certain moments in the past yet have a hard time recalling details of the last few minutes of the present?
Oftentimes when planning parties or gatherings with our guests, we get asked about details that might otherwise seem insignificant. “Should we add flowers to the tables? Should we change the linen colors? Do you think my guests would prefer salmon or steelhead…?” To be clear, we don’t know what your guests would prefer; we are indeed magicians, it’s true, but more like the birthday party type. The ones with rabbits in hats. We have many “party tricks” up our sleeves, however we don’t have limitless access to predicting if guests will remember something like flowers on the tables. Not like real magicians or mind readers. Wouldn’t that be nice though?
What I can tell you is that after years of planning events, we know what makes memorable guest experiences. Think about some of your most vivid memories. Think about the feeling you get when you recall that memory. What emotion is tied to it? For many people, the memories that stick with us are the ones strongly connected to an emotion. It may come as no surprise then that more than 60% of people surveyed about their dining out habits said they continually return to places based on how the staff made them feel. Of course, that’s tied to service, however a feeling creates nostalgia and in turn, memories. So, what does it take to create an unforgettable event?
An event must seize our personal attention and be characterized as something individually significant to us before the memory is intensified. For your guests to experience this enhanced sensation, it’s critical that they feel a sense of personal connection to the event that results in a strong emotional reaction. While the little details do still matter, the major details must have the capacity to feel individualized for your guests. Did you pick out elements that mean something to them, were the hosts warm and welcoming, was there a certain atmosphere created with the music and people that made it that much more enchanting?
Yes, it’s true, those little details are still nice and of course great food goes a long way, but it’s the feeling we get when we are in the company of others that ignite those good feelings. In short- the key to a memorable event is each guest perceiving a sentimental connection to their surroundings. And that notion gives us all the feels!
Come back for more monthly musings on parties and events!