Saturday, May 27, 2006

Orange Shirt Welcome

Last week I was in Phoenix for a The BNI National Conference and some additional training. Several people were there from the Toledo area. On Sunday, the day we arrived, when we headed out from the hotel to find some lunch, a blast of hot air hit us as we passed through the doors. I had left 55 degree, cold, rainy weather that morning to having to deal with 105 degree temperatures just four hour later.

As we approached the first corner there was a gentleman in khaki shorts and orange golf shirt standing there. We stopped to chat and got to know Mickey McGuire. He is a member of a corps of volunteer ambassadors who help visitors find where they want to go. Not only will they give directions, but they will actually walk with those tourists who are directionally challenged. Mickey visited Phoenix in the ‘70s to run a marathon, having traveled from Maine. He said, “It was January and back home it was minus 10 degrees, here it was 70. I did the math. I’ve been here ever since.”

I thought about how immediately welcome Mickey made us feel and I wondered how well we all do not just for visitors to our city, but visitors to our groups.

How do you walk the extra mile (in 105 degree heat) to make your visitors feel welcomed?

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