How attention pays in the world of meeting professionals

As event strategists and experience designers, you create unforgettable, luxurious experiences and elevate every event to leave a lasting impression and provide lifetime memories for your attendees.

You know attention to detail is paramount. My book, “Attention Pays,” has many insights to drive profitability, productivity and accountability by paying extraordinary attention personally, professionally and globally.

Let’s explore practical strategies we can apply to elevate our events.

The Power of Names–Make Attendees Feel Seen and Heard

The most impactful, no-cost, attention-grabbing strategy is using people’s names. We instantly demonstrate extraordinary attention and make everyone feel valued and appreciated when you address them personally; this creates a customized and unique experience. Incorporate name badges with large, legible fonts, and encourage staff to address attendees by name. This small gesture makes us all feel special and sets the tone for an exceptional event.

The 15-Minute Rule—Prioritize Your Priorities

To set the stage for a productive day, allocate a strategic 15-minute appointment with yourself. List your top three, non-negotiable activities you must complete before your head hits the pillow! 15-minutes of dedicated, focused attention allows you to set clear goals and plan your schedule. This intentional practice significantly boosts productivity.

“We instantly demonstrate extraordinary attention and make everyone feel valued and appreciated when you address them personally.”

Incorporate this into your event planning routine. Spend the first 15 minutes reviewing your event checklist, addressing pressing issues and visualizing the success of your event. By starting your day with a clear focus on what needs attention, you’ll be better equipped to handle the unexpected and ensure that every aspect of your event runs smoothly. If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, give yourself the gift of 15 minutes to do a brain dump and prioritize all that you must achieve.

Pay Intention Attention

We know it is INTENTION that makes ATTENTION valuable.

Your intention to design memorable, luxurious event experiences begins by defining your event’s purpose and desired outcomes. What impression do you want to leave on attendees? What emotions do you want them to experience? With a clear intention, you tailor every aspect of the event, from décor and entertainment to food and beverages, to align with your goals.

Communicate your intention with your event team. Encourage them to share in your vision and infuse their work with the same level of passion and dedication. Creating a cohesive and unforgettable event becomes easier when everyone on your team is aligned with the same intention.

Activate All the Senses for More Luxury

Add luxurious touches to your event by knowing how to speak the luxury language of your guests with a sustainable gift marketplace so they choose what they want. Provide bite-size food portions to sample multiple dishes and eliminate food waste. Bring in puppies for energy breaks to make guests smile and play. Provide reusable water bottles and stations so they can take your gift home. Consider innovative gifting activations like permanent jewelry, and recyclable gift bags, support local artists and charities for your activities, offer morning yoga, rearrange room set up to include lounge chairs and soft furnishings, choose food items that are already gluten-dairy-soy free, vegetarian, so they are more inclusive for all guests and include music in every room.

Read MoreThe Secret to Team Building: Connect with Your Senses

Embrace B.D.A Process

Extraordinary attention can be paid Before, During and After your event.

Before your event, meticulous planning and preparation involves carefully considering every detail, focusing on what will captivate attendees’ attention.

During your event, leverage the power of mindfulness and presence, foster an environment that engages all senses, and provide brilliant networking and education. Attendees become fully immersed in the experience, making every moment count.

Even more magic happens after the event; the impact of the gathering lingers long after it concludes. From thoughtful follow-ups to nurturing connections, the B.D.A process ensures your event’s influence not only resonates deeply but endures, creating lasting memories for attendees.

As meeting professionals, we have a unique opportunity to make a lasting impact by paying extraordinary attention to the who, and what matters: using people’s names, dedicating the first 15 minutes of your day to focused attention, and infusing your events with genuine intention.

woman smilingNeen James is a keynote speaker who was featured at Smart Meetings Florida Extraordinary Experience. She is also the author of “Attention Pays: How to Drive Profitability, Productivity and Accountability.” Find out more at

This article appears in the December 2023 issue. You can subscribe to the magazine here.