Do you know what a “crazy” morning looks like?
You wake up 06:30 a.m. stating: ”This girl did not get back to confirm me that everything is in place for today’s customer visit”. So you start calling her to check if things are going as previously discussed.
You call once.
Twice. Three, four and you start losing count. And you also start looking for options.
There’s an event for which you and your colleagues have been working for weeks (yes, you read well “weeks”).
Accommodation. Advance options. Align on the preferred hotel. Obtain discount. Pass over the contract that needs to be signed for the discount. Process reservations. Update reservations (period, names Etc.). And the list continues.
Transfers from/to airport. Get the flight details from all guests. Make sure everyone provides the details required (flight number, airline, arrival, departure Etc.).
Transfers once arrived. From the hotel to the event’s location. Or maybe back to the hotel. Or maybe for dinner location. Or maybe they change location. Etc.
Did I say restaurant location? Cool! Cause that also changes “because I recall that last time we’ve been to “x”, “y”, or I’ve just heard “z” colleague telling me about a new location that we would like to check out”. And here you are, starting all over. New restaurant. They want to stay outside. “But it might be cold. Let’s move inside.” (location, timing, number of participants – in/out of the initial list, Etc.).
You’ve aligned over internal actions that need to be in place (security aspects, final list of participants Etc.), catering (water, coffee, mini pastries, lunch, refresh Etc.).
Do you know what a disastrous event starts like?
You know you’ve aligned over the internal activities to be processed for the event.
And here comes the moment you realize that what you have confirmed what will be taken care of, it actually isn’t.
Yes, at 07:50 in the morning.
And your event starts at 09:00.
That moment, the only happy moment is when you realize that although you were supposed to wash your hair, you shout: ”Thank God I did not start to wash my hair. A pony tail has never been more perfect for the occasion.”
You grab something, get dressed, and leave the house while giving phone calls and looking for a confectionery that’s opened so early.
You get to the confectionery while your guests are already to the event’s location.
“Did you manage to have their names written on the visitor’s register?, you ask.”
By the time you receive the confirmation, you already wait for the tram to arrive while holding 4 bags in your hands and the cell phone near your ear.
The tram is having a delay. You manage to get the help of a guardian angel (always helpful, always there, always in time – your collaborators from Novotel Bucharest City Centre).
Do you know what a successful event looks like? Pullman does!
The partners from Novotel give you a contact person that might help out.
You have less than 3 hours to confirm that the guests will have lunch (confirm budget, menu, transportation, crockery Etc.).
Do you have table cloth?
Do you need spoons, forks, plates Etc.?
Do you have a protocol team to make the proper arrangements? Can we help by designating at least a couple of them from our side?
What’s the budget? Can we align over the payment type?
How about the menu? For how many people should it be? What should it consist of?
Can you check with the Chef what he can cook in the time being?
How about transportation?
How about the legal info to issue the invoice? Do you have the details?
Do you remember the pin card for payment transaction?
Breathe and show how a best practice in customer experience looks like.
Are you still with me?
I bet most of you are not.
Some might have found this article boring.
Some, might have found it too challenging.
Some of you might have recognized the job of an Event Planner (and that’s just a tiny part of it).
What I have seen and want to recognize, is the promptitude, availability, openness, adjustment, kindness and empathy that our partners have shown to us, one more time, although our collaboration lies normally in providing to our guests the best accommodation option, rate and other benefits Pullman provides to all of their guests.
They said yes, although the entire situation screamed for a “no” in the first place.
They did not forget me (although I might sometimes forget how wonderful this ACCOR family is).
They’ve cooked within time constrains a delicious food (as our guests informed me after the lunch break).
They’ve helped me and my dear colleague who joined me in the adventure, up until the very last minute.
So I breathe.
And remember that in all this fast forward situation, I have even been greeted by Patrick Carabin (Pullman’s CEO).
And as I breathe again and keep up with the next aspects to be taken care of for this event and the ones that will follow, I am grateful to have found, even after 8 years of personal and professional collaboration, humanity.
My personal thanks to Oana, Monica, Carmen, Raluca & Mr. Carabin of course, for being a family that I could count on, once more.