Know your Target Audience
You might not have intimate details of their private lives. However, you probably will want to find out what role they play in their organization. Additionally, the experience level and training that your target audience has does matter. Remember also that conducting business-to-business tours will have a different focus than a business-to-consumer tour. Either way, identifying the demographic of your audience will help you give a successful tour of your facility.
Define the Purpose of the Tour
For example, a plant tour could provide potential clients an inside look at the facilities you would use to produce their merchandise. You could even show them samples of their products in the making, and you can emphasize the safety of your work areas. In addition, you can demonstrate how well and how efficient your machines work, and they will see that you have experience with similar inventory.
Investors also might benefit from seeing the inside of your plant as you guide them through what you hope they believe is worth the money they plan to offer you. In addition, you could satisfy the curiosity of tourists or pique the interest of school children who just love to see how items are made.
No matter what purpose you have for planning a tour, you need to address the questions your guests want answers to the most. These questions will differ according to each target group you have visiting your manufacturing site.
Another type of tour you may want to plan for, is one for facility health and safety. You might not always have much notice in this situation, but if you do, take advantage of it. It will help you portray your company as one that provides quality and safe service to the community.
This facet of preparing for a successful plant tour pertains to both you as the guide and the place where you work. Use this checklist to determine that you and your company will have its best foot forward on presentation day:
- Alert your employees of an upcoming tour. This will give them time to organize their work areas and repair items that might need maintenance. It also will ensure they have the proper attire before the tour date because your employees’ appearance is also your appearance.
- Perform a deep cleaning at work and break areas. This coincides with notifying your employees of a factory tour. Clean all areas of your workplace and even the offices if necessary. All the bathrooms, break rooms and outdoor picnic areas also need attention, and you need to throw away all debris and clear the aisles of all clutter.
- Choose your outfit carefully. You as a tour guide need to dress for success, especially when you have corporate executives, investors and clients making an appearance. Your company attire with branded logos are ideal. Neutral business colors and designs are best. Dress as conservatively as possible to portray yourself as one who takes pride in your work and in your accomplishments.
- Order enough safety supplies and have them ready. You probably have safety glasses, gloves, sleeves, jackets, and other personal protective equipment on site. However, make sure you have enough and have it ready for your guests when they arrive. Part of appearing professional includes keeping up with proper safety protocol.
- Provide your guests with free refreshments and samples. You can provide samples relevant to the products you manufacture for your guests to take with them when appropriate. Additionally, you will want to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Providing snacks and drinks prior to the beginning of the tour would be one idea, or have them ready for when the tour is complete.
- Double-check safety compliance. You usually can inspect all equipment while deep-cleaning your plant. Report all broken equipment and have it replaced or repaired as soon as possible. Having time to maintain your machines and work areas is one reason your need to plan your tours as far in advance as possible.
Prepare far Enough in Advance
The amount of time it takes you to prepare might vary, but you probably need to think about setting up and testing at least a few weeks to a month before your scheduled tour. Script and practice what you want each guide to say, and make sure all of your equipment works the way it should. Preparation can make or break your ability to impress future clients or current investors. In addition, it can even improve your health and safety inspection grades.
Test Equipment Before “Going Live”
Tour guide equipment testing will boost your confidence come time to lead a tour. For one, it will prevent embarrassment that comes from microphone and speaker feedback and noise. It will also confirm that the tour guide equipment you use will not result in static or broken speech. In addition, testing will give you time to determine a comfortable speaking level so you’re not too loud or too soft when speaking into the tour guide microphone system.
Learning how to work the equipment also will show you how it performs for the group sizes you plan to lead. In addition, it will show you if you have compatibility issues you need to address before going “live” in front of your group whose approval you want to gain.
Take a Deep Breath, and Just Talk!
On presentation day, take a deep breath and have confidence that you will give a successful tour of your facility. Introduce yourselves to everyone, shake some hands, and begin the tour around your plant where you’re proud to work. It’s showtime!