While planning a large meeting or conference, planners may not realize that they can make the biggest impact with the smallest touch points. At Disney, our Cast Members feel empowered to create moments of “surprise and delight” for Guests that leave a truly lasting impression of Disney’s exceptional service. Similar to our Cast Members, meeting planners can also create impactful, memory-making experiences that will “surprise and delight” attendees, such as Mickey Mouse ears personalized with attendees’ names, which can also serve as place markers at a corporate meeting or dinner. 

Let’s take a look at some of the customer service insights that meeting planners can learn from a Disney Institute training session (this content originally appeared on the Disney Institute Talking Point blog):

According to a recent Inc. article, “How to Kaleidoscope Your Customers (by Providing Innovative Service That Sparkles),” innovative service can trump generous service. This is good news because it means that an organization doesn’t necessarily have to spend a lot of extra money or offer massive upgrades in order to provide extraordinary service. In fact, it seems that the key to a great service experience is offering unique value as opposed to simply adding more value. 

The author goes on to use a kaleidoscope to illustrate this point – unlike binoculars or microscopes which simply enlarge or amplify, a kaleidoscope “enriches and entertains.” Essentially, instead of focusing on what you can add to the service experience, simply focus on 
enhancing it to make it more unique and memorable.

This idea sums up what Walt Disney Parks and Resorts strives to achieve daily in as many Guest interactions as possible. We know that delivering innovative “kaleidoscope” moments requires 
intentionally managing the customer experience beyond the obvious customer touchpoints.

Thriving on creativity, our Cast Members have devised numerous ways to offer unique value that delights our Guests and leaves a lasting impression, while prompting them to share their experiences with others.

Here are a few examples of how our Disney Cast Members create small, unexpected surprises that can translate into exceptional service experiences for our Guests:

  • Pixie Dust: “Close your eyes, make a wish, and with a little faith, trust and pixie dust may all your wishes and dreams come true.” That’s the special phrase you may hear as one of our merchandise Cast Members sprinkles pixie-dust over a Guest entering one of our retail locations. Yes, it’s a small act, but it represents so much more. Being “pixie-dusted” creates a magical moment that can transform a typical shopping experience into a cherished memory.
  • Bell Ringer:  Every day at noon, a Guest is chosen to ring the lunch bell at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café – one of our quick service dining locations in Magic Kingdom Park. With the clang of the bell, and the aid of fellow Cast Members, the bell ringer is encouraged to call out to passersby – “It’s time for lunch! Come in and eat!” Again, this simple touch provides a unique experience for the bell ringer, as well as for fellow diners and those who thought they were just passing by.
  • Celebration Buttons: We know our Guests love to celebrate, and one of the ways we help them do that is with celebration buttons. Providing a unique opportunity to connect with our Guests on an individual basis, celebration buttons send visual cues to our Cast Members that a Guest is celebrating a birthday, anniversary or their first visit to our parks and resorts, creating numerous chances for fun, spontaneous interactions with Cast Members and other Guests.

While kaleidoscope moments like these may occur organically, you may also be risking that nothing happens at all. Boring! Far better to be as intentional as possible and to look for opportunities to deliver something unique for your customers at each step in your service experience.

So, whether you’re planning an executive retreat, a board of directors meeting, or a conference for thousands, Disney Institute can inspire you and your attendees with key takeaways and new ways of thinking that can be adapted and applied to their own careers and organizations. To learn more about engaging Disney Institute for professional development content for your next meeting or event held at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, submit a Request for Proposal or Contact Us to speak directly with a Disney representative or Sign Up to stay in touch with Disney Meetings. 

Tell us – Where in your service experience can you create simple, unexpected surprises for your attendees? Let us know on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn using hashtag #DisneyMeetingsBlog.