I work with many organizations that regularly hold informational tours at their offices or program sites. Sometimes have fun names “Art Rocks” or “More than Meets the Eye,” sometimes they are called a Point of Entry™ event, an information session or they may be a hard hat tour for a capital campaign or a site visit for a pending grant proposal.
Whatever you call these events the intention is to knock-the-socks-off your guests and cause them to connect deeply with your mission and organization.. In my experience, that happens so rarely I created a checklist to help guide well-intentioned planners through the process of conducting these tours or what I call an “experience our mission” session.

Attendees of my first-ever VIP Event will receive a copy of the entire checklist but I thought you should have it too. You can download a PDF from my Free Resources section. Here’s a sample of what the checklist includes.

  • Personally invite people via phone or face to face.
  • Make sure to share that space is limited and their “spot” has been held but if plans change to let you know.
  • Share some startling, eye-opening statistic in your email reminder sent a day or so before. Example: 1 in 9 students in our school district are homeless and will sleep in a car or a shelter tonight. Your visit with us tomorrow will move and inspire you about what YOU and our community can do to shrink that number.
  • From the moment the person comes through your doors, captivate them with interesting visual displays, photos, eye-opening information and poignant, real-life stories. Example: At the Students Today Leaders Forever “Under the Hood” monthly events they transform their conference room into the inside of a bus with pairs of chairs and an aisle down the middle. Guests are taken through a couple of the same exercises the youth are asked to participate in. We experience feeling nervous, excited, proud, and finally finish the tour after 45 minutes of fun interspersed with questions that cause us to ponder combined with a few short “get to know you chats” with our seatmate.
  • Within the first four minutes of the tour/experience cause your guests to feel something powerful about your clients, your waiting list, or the need for your services.

This is only the beginning. Want the full checklist? You can download & print out a PDF in the Free Resources section.

After this is all completed and your visitors are sent on their way, be sure to make a follow-up thank you call to the single visitor or to everyone in the whole group to find out what they thought and get their feedback about what they experienced.

I promise you, if you remember to create “an experience” rather than a tour, you will cause your visitors to feel more and become more deeply involved with your organization.