I was reflecting on a couple of my trips to visit friends in the US back when I was based in Singapore.
Even though that was 10 years ago, the warmth and hospitality sticks in my mind. I still laugh at the memories we shared during those trips.
A big part of those memories can be summed up by the following hosting tips:
- Treating your guests to a sumptuous local meal is A BIG DEAL and a huge part of their experience. Trust me, they will remember it for a long time.
- Picking them up from the airport or even waiting at the location where you said you’d meet them and making sure they are able to find their way may seem small but it speaks volumes about making them feel welcome.
- Ask them about their plans and if they don’t have any, take them around and spend that extra effort to make their trip enjoyable. This might be a small “disruption” to your plans but it is so worth it in strengthening the relationship in the long run.
- Offer to take pictures for them and send them the pictures. Most people won’t ask but would be happy to have their candid trip memories captured.
- Telling stories of how you enjoy and experience the place, and also sharing some of the local traditions with them helps them to experience the place in a more intimate fashion.
- If possible, take them to a nice dinner . Not a deal-breaker but it is one of those experiences that stays with people for a long time.
You may be asking right now — what has all this touristy stuff got to do with one’s professional persona? A lot! You will have suppliers, customers and job candidates visit your campus. You will have friends and friends of friends visiting your campus and/or location and taking the time to bring them around is a great way to make friends and grow your network organically. I am very grateful for my friends who showed me how it was done. Being an introvert growing up, I never got exposure to this set of skills until I started working.
So go out today and host a new person + show them around! You might end up meeting your next business partner, colleague and/or friend for life!