Think of an event that is geared towards the purchase of a particular product or service: Perfectly organized from start to finish, a consistent concept, flawless execution, excellent music, catering and venue, and the event’s logo features prominently. So far, so good. Then, I arrive as a guest. I notice how perfectly everything was set up, and savor the excellent sparkling wine  that is handed to me at the entrance. Clearly, the organizers spared no expense. But I don’t really feel comfortable in this bright foyer. I start wondering when the evening’s events will start.

This is the moment where the concept of hospitality comes into play. What do guests and/or customers really need in a specific situation? Rather than just having someone check my name on a guest list, I would have wished for a warm welcome and for someone to briefly tell me what the evening would look like. Someone who would introduce me to another, equally lost guest,  helping both of us move beyond that first awkward moment. At this point I should admit that I also used to see things a little differently. Objectively speaking, guests are spoiled and pampered at events like these, with the highest quality sparkling wine and other delicacies. If the guests need something or if something is bothering them, shouldn’t it be their responsibility to speak up and ask? Nobody is forcing guests to accept or like things that are offered to them. Whatever the guest or customer accepts must be good, right?

Wrong! After years of working in this field, I now believe that you really need to go the extra mile to make a lasting impression on your guests and customers and create an memorable experience. That being said, I also believe that sometimes less is more! It doesn’t need to be the most expensive sparkling wine—or at least, not just expensive wine alone. As a host, it’s my responsibility to create “hospitality moments” for my guests and for my customers. These are moments when my guests feel comfortable and at home, or when my customers feel like their needs have been fully understood, when they feel hospitality. Little moments like these are what make an experience, an event, or a point-of-sale experience unique and unforgettable. These are the moments that my guests and my customers will be talking about for a long time to come, because they were special and different from the rest. Creating memorable moments and experiences that stay with your guests and customers is possible in any field and any situation. Think beyond  big events. I believe you can create these moments in every individual interaction you have with your customers!