Before your group arrives:

  • Have all site areas cleaned, walkways striped in shop areas, and painted as needed.
  • Landscaping refreshed and serviced.
  • Have caterer for meals completely set up and ready to serve at least 1 hour prior to scheduled service time.
  • Order more food than the number of guests planned since unexpected VIPs show up and they need to be accommodated. Never run out of food and beverage.
  • Parking for visitors and entry/exit areas for buses should be completely cleared and/or taped off at least 1 hour prior to group arrival.
  • Have plenty of staff members assigned to the event for any needs your guests may have.
  • Have accurate, scripted and thorough rehearsal for all speaking guide and presenters-nothing ruins a tour experience more than an uncomfortable and nervous guide.
  • Have all A/V presentations fully vetted for any tech glitches.
  • Have clear, logoed signage for areas that you want highlighted during the tour to clearly communicate the tour stop or process to your visitors.
  • Ensure all transmitters and receivers are fully charged the day prior to the tour.
  • Plan a schedule for every element of the tour day. Make sure that if groups are arriving by bus, you allow 15 minutes upon arrival for restroom visits and refreshments, regardless of the length of the trip. Even a 10-minute commute to your plant will result in many guests requiring a break.
  • If guests arrive on their own, ample reserved parking nearest to the main entrance of the building should be available to them with staff to greet and direct when they arrive on property.
  • Restrooms should be refreshed very frequently as they are designed to accommodate staff in the facility toured, not the additional large group of guests who you are hosting.
  • If very large groups are to be hosted for a special event, portable restrooms may need to be procured.
  • Choose microphone type carefully for your guides and presenters. If tours are lengthy and products are being picked up and displayed, hands-free is best. For more interactive tours where Q&A is encouraged, add a Hand-Held mic so everyone in the group can hear the question as well as the answer.
  • Your guides and presenters must “buy into” their role as ambassadors of your company for your special guests. Smiles and genuine hospitality go a long way towards a positive and memorable factory visit.
  • Your staff who are greeting and speaking to your visitors on tour should be properly groomed and attired to convey the professional image that your company wants to project.
  • Have ample table space for tour guide system and headphones, PPE, gifts, goody bags, snacks, drinks, etc.
  • If pre-assigning guests to groups, make sure that their names are printed in large letters and if groups are numbers or letters, they are prominently displayed on each name badge.

Before the tour begins:

  • 90% of the tour’s success is determined prior to the start of any tour. Preparation, logistics, flow of distribution and rehearsal of content is crucial.
  • Your guests should follow this order (if applicable) to quickly prepare for and depart on the tour: 1) safety shoes 2) hairnet 3) receiver and headphone 4) safety glasses 5) hardhat 6) lab coat/jackets. Their headphones will serve as their hearing protection so no earplugs are needed. They would prevent the guest from hearing your guides.
  • Set-up all headphones plugged into receivers for guests and microphones plugged into transmitters for guides on tables with plenty of adjacent space for quick and easy distribution. If tours are in multiple groups, separate to distinguish.
  • Furnish guides with extra batteries in their pocket just in case. Tours cannot stop and guests wait while guide has to run across a 250K sq ft factory to locate extra batteries.
  • Wait to issue gifts or goody bags until after tour is completed. Guests would prefer not to carry additional items on a full walking tour of your incredible facility.
  • If safety glasses are required, remove them from wrapper prior to guests’ arrival and place on table. When you are loading groups for tours, unwrapping plastic wrappers just slows everything down to a crawl.
  • The Plant-Tours.com system serves as a built-in group organizer and safety tool. Additional staff are not required to follow behind the group “herding” the guests. Your visitors can clearly hear the guide and the guide can calmly issue instructions to them if needed — even if they are 150 feet away.
  • Ensure that equipment is powered ON and volume is set to ½ volume at least 30 minutes prior to group arrival. Groups can be early — be ready.
  • Test each receiver and headphone to ensure they are operating properly and audio is loud and clear.
  • Check Battery icon on the display screen to verify full charge
  • If using multiple transmitters for multiple groups, keep transmitters separated and set to the MUTE position until each group has been issued their receivers and is ready for the Guide to perform the sound check to begin tour.
  • There should be ample seating available for all guests prior to tour departure. Again, comfort for each guest is paramount to your image.
  • If multiple groups are touring your facility, make sure that distribution to each group takes place one group at a time with one person serving as expediter to keep the groups organized. This avoids confusion, congestion and a special guest being placed in the wrong group.
  • Once your visitors have been outfitted with their PlantTours system, make sure that each guide performs a sound check by asking “Everyone who can hear me, please raise your hand”. For those who do not, have them turn up their volume, make sure their headphone plug is firmly seated and that their receivers are on the correct channel.
  • Show each guest their volume control on their receivers and demonstrate how to adjust it. Plants have varying noise areas and people have the various hearing abilities.
  • All guests should wear headphones and headphones correctly for optimal hearing and comfort. The goal is that they truly enjoy their tour experience of your facility.

During the tour:

  • Let the system do its job. There is no reason to shout or over-talk. Use the Hand-Held microphone for questions, instead of yelling questions that no one in the group will hear.
  • Try not to “wing” an answer. If guide or presenter does not know the answer to a question, tell the visitor that staff will provide the answer to them before they leave the site.
  • Keep all head-worn mics as close as possible to the corner of each speakers’ mouth. Your guests want to hear your guide’s message, not machine noise.
  • Keep all hand-held mics at a maximum of 4 inches away from speakers’ mouth. While focused on their content, some guides become distracted and have a tendency to slowly lower the mic and the group will hear machine noise instead of the guide’s presentation.
  • Keep all Hand-Held microphones in OFF position while not in use. Ambient noise is annoying to special guests.

When tours are finished:

  • Whenever possible, return equipment to the same location as the tour departure point on the tables for easy pack-up and storage, avoid placing into bags, baskets, bins, boxes, carts, etc. This will only create annoyance, damaged headphones, radios, microphones, and frazzled nerves to all the work that will be added to your staff’s tour day responsibilities.
  • Have refreshments and snacks available to your guests after tours are complete as you gather and thank them as a group for attending your event before they depart.

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