Pouring in Peru!

When booking a high standard property in an upmarket area of Lima, Peru, you would tend to expect everything from top class facilities and service to great ambience and food; however, even in the best hotels, you can’t control unforeseen circumstances. What you can do is respond to these circumstances as a team and put into practice some good old crisis management!

This is indeed what happened to SWM in April this year. After a full day setting up the main plenary room, complete with staging, lighting and sound we retired for the night.

Arriving at the meeting floor early the next morning, the elevator doors opened up to a loud gushing sound, with hotel staff rushing around on their hands and knees with towels and mops clearing up lots of water!

30 floors worth of water from one side of the hotel was pouring onto the meeting floor corridor through the ceiling. At this point, we were uncertain what the cause was; all we needed to focus on was what the impact would be on our meeting and how long until it could be fixed.

SWM plus our audio-visual technicians met in the meeting room to discuss the plan of action. We had 1.5 hours before the meeting and had to undertake the following emergency measures:

  • Even though there was no flood inside the meeting room and it appeared undamaged and accessible – Could we be sure that the electrics were safe to use? We needed the safety ‘go ahead’ from the onsite electrician.
  • Presenters/client needed to be made aware of the situation and reassured that everything was under control.
  • Delegates needed to be communicated with in writing to advise them of changes to the meeting room access via a different set of elevators and that the meeting would be delayed by 1 hour to implement the necessary checks/changes.
  • We positioned one of our team in the lobby and breakfast area to advise delegates of the new meeting time and the revised access route (in case they hadn’t received the emergency communication)
  • We were in close contact with the hotel staff to ensure that anyone affected by the lack of water supply to their bedroom could use the spa facilities

At SWM, we understand that delegates judge the success of an event not just on the meeting content, but on every aspect of the experience.

By working as a team and getting things done in an efficient, timely, calm manner, the only impact on the delegates was a 1 hour delay. We managed to make up time, received great feedback from the delegates, and the rest of the day and event went ‘SWiMmingly’!!

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