We (Jeremy and I) were sitting in a small bar outside the main square in Prague having some after dinner drinks and talking with the other people at the bar. Ironically the bar that we found was a mix of tourists like ourselves and people who had moved to Prague to profit off the tourist industry. It was our last night in the city so we had done all of the tourist site seeing that we were going to do. Like other major tourist cities, there are all kinds of tours that you can do such as walking tours, bus tours, history tours, beer tours, and so on. Each company had their own branding, their own flavor, and their own tour guides. While there was a chance that the tours would have been interesting, none of them caught our eyes in a way that made us want to commit the time and money to make them happen.
Until that night in the bar…
That night we started talking to a guy who moved to Prague and started Riverside Parties Prague and we were hooked. If I am honest we were disappointed that we had not learned about the tour earlier. The guide was personable, funny, and it was clear to see that he was passionate about making sure the people on the tour had a good time. While we may not have seen all of the sites that Prague had to offer, we would have seen some pretty awesome things, had drinks, laughed the whole time, and had a blast.
Why this tour over the others? Because there was not a doubt in our minds that the tour guide was going to make it worth our investment. In fact, as we talked to him we were grateful that we had not done a tour because we learned that most of the guides were college kids who had learned just enough to get the job. There was no real passion for the city or the people they were leading, it was just a job. While we had run out of time on this trip, Jeremy was planning on going back with his family in a few months so everyone exchanged information so they could connect next time. Turns out, when Jeremy went back they did the tour and had a great time.
Jump forward a few months and I am on vacation with my wife Kelsey in Florida and we decide to hit up some local breweries and distilleries. One of the distilleries we went to offered a behind the scenes tour and tasting package deal. We had agreed that tasting was a must, why else would we go, but we have also always enjoyed learning about the process and seeing how different companies make their product, so we pulled the trigger and signed up for the tour. From the moment the tour started I knew that I was ready for it to be over. The distiller loved what he was doing, was extremely knowledgeable about the topic, but delivered his information in a very unorganized and monotone way. To say that the 30 minutes we spent on the tour was miserable and really made me crave the tasting would be an understatement. While I would recommend stopping and trying this establishment’s selection, it is safe to pass on the tour.
If you have traveled at all, there is a chance you have found yourself in a location where you have the opportunity to see something on a tour. Based on these two stories I have already shared, and other experiences I have had in my travels, I can confidently say that it’s not so much the tour that makes the experience but the tour guide. Just like a good tour guide can make the dullest tour awesome and exciting, a bad tour guide can kill an amazing experience. The truth is, this fact is not limited to tours but can be applied to any social experience we attend. The difference between a good experience at a bar and a bad one normally comes down to the bartender. It doesn’t matter how good your food is at a fine dining restaurant, if the service is awful you won’t be going back. Attending an unorganized wedding reminds you that there is a reason people vet their wedding planners carefully. The point being, when it comes to social experiences, the host of the experience often has a lot of influence on how you remember the experience.
It is for this reason that LetsVidya takes pride in the professionalism that our hosts bring to the experience. We would hate for anyone’s experience to be affected by a bad host, and if it is, we would like to know about it. Professionalism looks different in different situations, here are the guidelines for professionalism that we have created for our hosts:
- Having a proven track record in the experiences they are hosting. While not all of our hosts hold certifications or degrees, they have exhibited extensive knowledge in their area of expertise.
- Being passionate about what they are doing. The joy of LetsVidya is that it allows people to share their passions with other people while getting paid to do so. This is not a job for our host, but a chance for them to share their passions with participants.
- Being prepared and on the call 15 minutes prior to the start of the experience so hosts are ready to welcome you as you join.
- Have a completed background check on file with LetsVidya. Our customers’ safety is very important to us and we want to ensure we are taking every precaution to protect them.
- Looking the part for the experience being hosted. If, for example, you are participating in an experience where you are encouraged to dress up, then to help ensure the experience is awesome, the host will be in costume as well.
- Appropriately engaging with the participants. It is the host’s job to make sure everyone feels welcome, included, and engaged in what is happening. LetsViyda will not accept any form of harassment or comments that make you as a participant feel degraded.
- Having a timeline for the experience you are attending and sticking to it. You have committed for a set amount of time and we want to ensure we respect your time as our guests.
- Stepping in when a participant crosses the line and makes the experience less than enjoyable for everyone else. The LetsVidya hosts reserve the right to remove people from the experience if they deem their actions as detrimental to what is going on. Prior to removing a participant from the experience, the host will issue a warning and start recording the experience. Once someone has been removed, there is documentation that will be filled out and the event will be reviewed to ensure everything was handled appropriately.
- Engaging with you, both prior to the event and once the event is complete. We want to make sure you have everything you need and answers to your questions prior to the start of an experience.
- While we encourage you to tip your host if you had an amazing experience, you will not be badgered with a request for a tip. This will be mentioned in the emails before and after experiences and the host will mention it once at the end as they give you their venmo information. We never want you to feel pressured to tip your host, but if you want to show them some appreciation know that the tip goes 100% to them.
Does this list encompass everything that we expect out of our hosts? Absolutely not, but it is the foundation that we will be building our experiences from. As you participate in different experiences we would love your feedback. What host did you love? What host missed the mark? Are there areas of professionalism that we need to focus on? Where are our hosts excelling and where are they falling short?