We’ve been out there planning and executing meetings in the field for years. Spend as much time as we do out there, and you are bound to have some close calls. If you are still around in this business, it’s because you know how to respond to these instances and make things happen under pressure. Whether it’s picking up the slack for a vendor who dropped the ball or going above and beyond to ensure a client gets exactly what they want, we’ve seen it all.
We’ll provide some anecdotes on some of the more unique experiences we’ve had, and we hope you’ll share some of your as well. Hopefully we can all learn a lesson from these experiences and be better prepared to deal with whatever may face us in the future.
This iteration’s experience: Always preview your venue.
No matter the timetable available to us, we’re always sure to preview our venues to clients. In one instance we were only able to show a particularly busy client the venue about 15 minutes before attendees were to arrive. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t what the client envisioned.
15 minutes, one unhappy client, and zero panic. The VIP team mobilized, went to the hotel gift shop and bought a bunch of fabric in the color scheme the client desired to fashion some new decor. Our creative services team improvised an avant-garde, hanging flower arrangement that made do with far fewer flowers than were anticipated, and in a quarter of an hour the entire venue was flipped to make it match the aesthetic the client wanted.
The moral here is twofold. First, always preview the venue so you know what client wants. Second, if the client isn’t happy, we aren’t happy. Professional planners stake their reputations on providing exactly what clients want and need, so you’d better pull out all the stops to make it happen for them. No panic, no excuses, and no option for failure. VIP exists to materialize our client’s dream events into reality, and we will work tirelessly to do so until long after the last attendee has left the building.