Tips for Successful Evening Events

October 30, 2010 No Comments

Smithsonian National Zoo:

“Lighting is probably one of the biggest challenges. While it’s important to set the right mood, it’s even more important that your guests feel comfortable and safe.” – Dan Pierron

“It’s important to think ahead so guests aren’t disappointed when they come across a quiet enclosure. The reality is that many animals may be sleeping, but having knowledgeable staff on hand to interact with guests can turn this potential disaster into a memorable experience those guests will share with others every time they think of the zoo.” – Dan Pierron


“Be flexible and plan just a few scheduled activities. We find more of the attendees just want to amble around the zoo at their own pace. Having the zoo to themselves is a real treat.” – Dale Snyder

Rosamond Gifford Zoo:

“Think like a guest and plan the event accordingly. Make people feel taken care of and make the event seamless.” – Sarah Moore

“Spend money on things that matter.” That could be a gift for an event host or chair, or valet parking if the venue is far away from the lot. Or a red carpet photo shoot that gives guests a reminder of the zoo as well as a conversation piece after the event is over. – Sarah Moore

Sell exclusive zoo experiences at silent auctions, such as Be a Zookeeper for a Day and Sleepovers at the Zoo. “We sold ‘Pancakes with Penguins,’ an opportunity to have breakfast with a dozen friends or family members outside the penguin exhibit before the zoo opens. The experience included the opportunity to meet our penguin keepers and one of the penguins.” – Sarah Moore


“If we have cold or rainy weather, our [evening event] attendance really drops, regardless of the amount of advertising or promotion. We do a lot of in-house marketing year-round for our special events to save on advertising costs.” – Laura Brennan

“We also have incorporated e-mail marketing into our special events in the last few years. We’ve accumulated quite an e-mail list by partnering with a few other local businesses and can very inexpensively send e-mails about our special evening events.” – Laura Brennan

Wildlife Reserves Singapore:

“Our recipe for success involves providing the guest with liberal servings of excellent service. This, coupled with a unique wildlife experience not found at any other tourist attraction in Singapore, makes for a memorable event.” –  Isabel Cheng


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