You haven’t heard much from me lately as I’ve been eyebrow deep in working on several projects. One of them involved a meeting I had Wednesday morning at the Drury Plaza Hotel in St. Louis near the Arch.
I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t the Drury a chain of mid-priced motels usually located near airports or other business centers? True, but this Drury is different. They took an old downtown building and totally remodeled it. They have a cavernous lobby, well decorated, where they serve a free breakfast and a free evening happy hour. The hotel also boasts two really good restaurants.
I was facilitating a meeting with 12 other co-workers giving them a look at a new relationship management course. I needed to have the meeting room set just right. My only audio/visual requirements were that I needed a flip chart and an easel.
It’s The Little Things That Exceed Customers’ Needs
When I arrived several hours in advance of my meeting to prepare my flip charts and hang 17 posters (no, really) I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only had they given me a couple of extra markers, but they had supplied me with one of those inexpensive three-drawer rolling carts. Inside the drawers I found a battery operated digital clock set to the right time, a timer, numerous markers, a roll of masking tape, scissors, and other tools that a meeting presenter needs to have.
Those of you who have held meetings in hotels know that usually you get the flip chart, the easel, and two markers. It turned out that the digital clock came in very handy as I was able to keep the meeting on time without making it obvious that I was watching the clock.
In this small way, they exceeded my expectations. That, coupled with their excellent customer service, made this a memorable positive experience.
It probably cost less than $100 to buy three or four of those carts and to stock them with resources helpful to a meeting facilitator. It’s proof that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to set yourself apart from your competition.
If you’re thinking about conducting a meeting in the Midwest, consider the Drury Plaza in St. Louis. It’ll be even better during baseball season since the Cardinal’s stadium is within walking distance of the hotel.