Special events are remembered when guests feel welcome from the start. From parking and registration to finding their seats and enjoying good food, a seamless flow ensures comfort and ease.
As the privileged venue for the Declare Conference, we admired how purposefully the conference was planned. Their theme “Sweet as Honey” was threaded throughout the space with honeycomb backdrops, a bottle of honey at every seat, and lovely signage that drew you in. Food trucks for lunch was a delicious touch and a surprise ending in the sky made everyone leave with a smile on her face!
We caught up with Declare team member, Eryn Hall, to hear more about Declare Conference and why it was so important to their team that every attendee not only feel welcome but known. Enjoy!
The Laurel: What is the Declare Conference and why is it important to you and your team?
Eryn Hall: Declare started 8 years ago with the annual conference for Christian women bloggers. Over the years, the Declare ministry has grown to year-round classes, events, and ongoing community connections. The conference is important to us because it's the one time a year that we all gather together for incredible teaching, to be encouraged in our callings, and to see "our people" and make new friends.
TL: How do you attract attendees? What do they hope to find at a Declare Conference?
EH: Social media is our primary tool for marketing and attracting attendees. Because our attendees are Christian communicators and online influencers, it makes the most sense to reach them online. Our hope is that conference attendees will learn the latest communication techniques and trends, will be encouraged to know God and make Him known using their platforms, will partner with conference sponsors as brand affiliates and ambassadors, and will get connected within the Declare community for lasting relationships.
TL: What are the details of the day that you know make your guests feel special?
EH: The registration and check-in process should be easy — not stressful. I like to make sure there are plenty of team members and volunteers around to answer questions and welcome attendees. It's important to us that every attendee feels welcome and known. A big smile from our team members and volunteers goes a long way.
(Cont.) Many of our attendees are from out of state, so we like to make sure they get true Texas hospitality when they are at Declare Conference. When they walk in, we want to meet their needs and let them know they belong here. Pretty signage and decorations set the scene, but servant-hearted people greeting guests is what will truly make them feel special.
TL: When you begin planning for the next Declare Conference — what are the most important logistics you tackle first?
EH: After deciding on the date of the next conference, we tackle finding a venue to accommodate our needs. Declare Conference is three full days with dynamic speakers and multiple sessions, and 300 attendees coming in from all over the world. There are a lot of details to consider including airport access, hotel, transportation, audio/visual equipment, and space/square footage.
(Cont.) We fell in love with The Laurel at first sight. The venue is beautiful, inside and out. We loved the natural lighting in the conference room, the chandeliers, the chapel, and using the bride and groom suites for team and hospitality. It is very "Declare," we said. The proximity to DFW Airport and hotels also made it an obvious choice for 2017 Declare Conference. It was a picturesque backdrop for the beautiful work God did there!
TL: What were some of your personal highlights from the Declare conference when it was held at The Laurel?
EH: There was one afternoon when I stepped outside to get a latte from the coffee truck and when I turned around to go back into the Laurel, there was a full rainbow directly covering the building! It was incredibly vibrant and perfect! I'll never forget feeling like that was God saying "I'm here, daughters, and I love you." We were also very grateful that Tzahia was on site for the duration conference. She seemed truly invested in our event and cared about the needs of our attendees.
Thank you, Eryn and the entire Declare team, for hosting your beautiful event at The Laurel!
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