What happens when the president of the USA holds a meeting in your hotel…
What do you do - apart from panic?
Firstly we had to consider our alternatives - the only viable option was to switch to an overnight set-up. Obviously we didn’t want our client to incur any additional costs for this, so we obtained a quote for the overnight get-in versus our original plan, and negotiated with the hotel that they would deduct this additional cost from our final invoice.
The only information the hotel had given us was that an important meeting needed to take place in the room we had contracted. It wasn’t until the next day that one of our colleagues suggested that it could be Barack Obama as she had seen on the news that he was conducting a tour of Asia, and was due to be in South Korea the same week as our meeting there.
Careful and meticulous planning is key to smooth, impactful events. But what happens when unforeseen circumstances rear their ugly head?
As soon as we arrived at the hotel we could sense the buzz of activity and excitement. Sure enough, there were US Security Forces everywhere, they were erecting bag scanners in the main entrance, and checking every car coming in and out. The presence of snipers on the roof was quite daunting! Immediately we were concerned about the disruption to our group – were the hotel going to forget about us all week? How was this going to affect our group after the weeks of pre-planning? We considered what could be affected – such as our arrival transfers from the airport and access to the meeting rooms (there were secret service all over the place watching our every move!). Although nobody at the hotel would confirm it we got wind of the time the President was due to arrive and ensured that our drivers were briefed on what to do and say to our delegates if they were stopped from driving into the hotel. Our client team were actually quite excited and most of them positioned themselves in the hotel lobby for most of the morning waiting for him to arrive!
Luckily in the end the disruption was minimal – thankfully the SWM team only had a couple of run-ins with Special Forces in the hotel service corridors where they had to be gently reminded that we had booked meeting space too! Perhaps it even helped make the meeting more memorable for the delegates - ‘you’ll never guess who was staying in our hotel…’
SWM can help you to produce a stress free, meticulously planned successful event in alall eventualities
This obviously isn’t an everyday occurrence, but having an experienced event planner on board to remove the stress, coordinate and manage every aspect of your meeting ensuring that everything goes smoothly on the day could be the best decision you ever made.