What I and my colleagues do happens in real time. In North America we are called ‘Meeting Planners’ (even when there are no meetings). In the UK we are Event Managers (even when an ‘event’ can last over several days).
The final stages of my current programme are in play, 74 guests, 1 client contact and 2 colleagues are either in the air back to Europe or are moving on to their own separate thing from our base in Vancouver.
Sitting the hotel bar at the Fairmint Hotel Vancouver watching some Americans playing a posh game of rounders whilst drinking a Vesper it is possible to reflect on the last 10 days and the previous months of planning, meetings and discussions.
What we do is complex, there are many different suppliers and even within those suppliers a range of different departments with different processes, procedures and practices, all of which have to be aligned in the way that we want, at the time we want and in the manner we want to deliver the outcome we need.
To achieve a seamless guest experience that delivers the intended outcome is quite frankly bloody hard. But it is what we do day in day out.
This week we were due to fly our group by floatplane north of Vancouver to a wilderness resort on Sonora island. We couldn’t – forest fires around the city prevented us. At less than 24 hours notice we had chartered a 737 to take the group to the closest city, arranged coaches from downtown Vancouver, access to the Tarmac at YVR, the jet, coaches on arrival the other end and water taxi’s to take us on the last 75 minute leg to the resort. All whilst remembering to organise chilled water on coaches, aircraft and boats as well as re-organising the arrival profile at the resort including rescheduling planned activities. As well as changing activities and a lunch in the city prior to departure and the needs of a couple of guests not ‘good’ on the water.
I have been doing this a long time and even I have to admit what we achieved in the manner in which we achieved it was pretty impressive.
The title of this piece is ‘In people we trust’. The client trusted us to get this done. We trusted the client to take timely decisions based on the reality of the situation and we trusted our partners to find a way to deliver the way we needed to deliver. It worked and in spades. Arguably the actual delivered experience was a better experience than the one we envisaged.
I don’t believe guests or even end clients truly understand the complexity of our supply chains, the differing priorities of people we need to deliver or the practicalities of real time actions. As I am sometimes given to say ‘the laws of physics do apply’.
So in closing this little gin enthused ramble I would like to name check John Philip at Rare Indigo Vancouver, Younghye Kim at Fairmont Pacific Rim and Robbyn McDonald at the Sonora Wilderness Resort for making things happen for this group this week. Thank you.
These three people were supported by what I calculated to be probably over 200 people. In these three people I trusted, I was not disappointed.
We work in an amazing industry that create life long memories and sometimes life changing experiences.
I personally believe I am blessed to be able to work with some pretty amazing people including I should not forget to say at this point my own immediate colleagues Clare Jackson and Mr Stephen Pope.
We are able do what we do because in people we are able to trust….and for the most part never disappointed.
Saturday 11th July 2015 – 9.40pm local