How to Prepare For a CEO’s Memorable Trip to Your Office
By: Jessi Minneci
Tidy up the office – you’ve got company coming! And whether the CEO is visiting from out of state, the higher-ups from another region are dropping in, or an exclusive guest wants to observe the office, there’s no denying that we all tend to get overwhelmed when we know we want to impress a visitor.
When the big wigs come to visit our office branch, we want them to be more or less blown out of the water – with our appearance, with our employees, and with our work ethic. From the second they step in the door, we want them to feel the company culture – the positive "vibe" that hopefully defines our work and team. But how do we create all of this good mojo? Well, a little preparation is involved, sure, but nothing is unattainable.
Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have impressed the higher ups so much so that they’ll probably be asking if they can make their stay more permanent.
Regardless of the situation at hand, we want to make sure that our visitors’ stay is as comfortable as possible. Outside of the office, ensure that your visitor’ travel arrangements are taken care of. Nearby, reliable hotel? Offer to book them a room. Send a car to the airport to pick them up. Better yet, if you can afford getting away for a bit, pick them up personally. You can also knock their socks off by going the extra mile and creating a list of cool spots they may want to check out while they’re in town – restaurants, theaters, local landmarks – things like that. Even if their trip is short, you’ll want to offer them some fillers for free time; don’t leave them relying only on Yelp.
Get everyone in the know
Before the higher ups arrive, distribute a memo to the entire staff explaining their background and any important or relevant facts: names, their positions, their home branch location, etc. Brief your employees on the reason for the visit to the best of your ability and encourage employees to greet and interact with visitors when the time is appropriate.
Because everyone will be in the loop, you can also work together as a team to make sure the office is in tip-top shape. Is the Xerox pile, well, piling up? Do employees tend to leave their snacks and wrappers astray at their desks? These habits may be fine on any other given day, but when there are visitors present, you’ll want to work as a team to do some tidying up. Organized work spaces give off a great first impression of organized employees.
Doll up the workspace
Take tidying up to the next level by adoring the office with things that radiate your company culture. For example, does your office have a lobby or area with a television? Loop a slideshow containing pictures of employees, birthday/promotion/life event/company milestone congratulations, or videos of recent company events. Decorate blank walls with images and objects that are along the same lines – frame a company t-shirt, flag, or banner; pin up images from company events; or highlight notes and mementoes that highlight company success.
Ask the right questions
When you and your team interact with the higher ups, first put emphasis on developing genuine rapport. Once the ice is broken, you’ll want to ask more pressing questions – ones that exemplify your knowledge of the company, its pain points, and its growth potential.
Do your research. Being able to provide your own insights to the questions you’re posing will show your business-centric knowledge. Bonus: this may also give you and your employees an opportunity to peek behind the curtain of how their success came to be. Some ideas:
- Do you think we could increase revenue by doing [X]?
- I see [COMPANY] is paving the way for [X AREA OF BUSINESS]. Do you feel that’s a big competitive threat?
- What does success look like for you… in a single day and/or over time?
- What questions do we need to be asking that we’re not already?
- What does [X DECISION] mean for our future? Is this a long-term, strategic decision for us?
Tantalize their taste buds
After traveling, you can rest assured knowing your visitors will be hungry. Don’t assume they’ve eaten. And don’t send them to the nearest McDonald’s, either. Make sure there is food readily available, whether you confine that to a meeting room with just you and the higher ups or decide to hold a company luncheon in which everyone’s involved.
Our suggestion? Opt for appetizers! No matter the time of day, appetizers are always a good bet, as they are small and manageable, less messy than full-plated meals, and they offer tons of opportunity, no matter what someone’s dietary restrictions and desires are. Unique Dining Catering offers a myriad of hors dourves, including:
- A splendid array of artisanal cheeses and crackers
- Dainty deviled eggs whipped up using the perfect recipe
- Fresh shrimp cocktail and sauce
- A delectable assortment of mini quiches
- Finger lickin’ chicken drummies with dipping sauce
- Mouth-watering baked ham, bacon, and cheese cups
Need we go on? With so many options, appetizer offerings will knock the socks off of your visitors and leave them full… but daydreaming for more! Plus, if there are leftovers, we’re sure your employees won’t mind taking some bite-sized babies to go.
The suggestions above highlight only some of our appetizer offerings. Browse our entire hors dourves menu here, and create the perfect mix of dishes to present the higher ups with.
Give them a gift
No one likes to go home empty-handed. To cap off a successful visit, send your guests off with something that is memorable to your branch, such as company clothing, logo-printed water bottles or stationary, or a homemade travel kit for their return trip home.
Follow the visit up with personalized cards thanking each of them for their time, knowledge, and willingness to visit. Send them snail mail! A thank you email is nice, but nothing shows personal gratitude like a good ole’ hand-written sentiment.
You’ve got this! By the time the big wigs get through with you, they’ll be so impressed that they just might ask you to apply for their position!