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Depending on your position, it may be common or uncommon to have people (insider or outside of your company) visit your office. It may simply be for a meeting or it may involve a tour around the office.
This scenario is often overlooked in terms of demonstrating professionalism and establishing your brand. When you know that someone is coming to visit your office, you must carefully plan and organize the experience. Even if the person has no direct control or authority over you, their perception of you contributes to your overall professional brand. As we discuss in our material on opportunity, you never know where an opportunity will arise.
Here are some tips to handle these situations efficiently.
- Logistics – What are the logistics for how the person will arrive (method of travel, passes or permits, parking, office access, map or building layout, etc.)? All of these are procedural aspects of making the business happen. They may fall under the responsibilities of others to carry out; however, it is your image that will be tarnished if they are not carried out professionally.
- Reception – How will your visiting be received (greeted, accompanied, etc.) upon arriving. For example, will your visitor be met in the parking lot, at the reception desk, or not until they arrive in the office space? Assuming they are to be met before arriving at the office, if not you, who will meet and guide them around?
- Schedule – What will be their schedule or agenda upon arriving. You should take care to plan their agency and layout the expected time frame for everything that will happen. Of course, you should always factor in contingencies. This could mean planning what will be left out if any part of the visit runs behind.
- Third Parties – Who will need to be made aware (who will be affected by the visit)? You should make certain to give these individuals a heads up about the meeting well in advance. You should also remind them immediately beforehand. Try to figure out what coordination with third parties is necessary. Just ask, who will need to take part and how? Once you identify this, you can undertake the steps necessary to coordinate with the key individuals.
- Materials and Resources – Determine what materials or other resources will be required in support of the visit. This might include making copies of material, reserving meeting space, planning for food and beverage, arranging technology support (wi-fi access, computer login, access to a copier, etc.).