In light of the recent horrific events that occurred with Hurricane Irma, we are reminded about how precious life is and how Mother Nature can strike can strike and cause havoc to our lives and events at any time.
Our own experience of this occurred after a major tropical storm in TNQ where we were forced to immediately evacuate from Port Douglas where we were operating a week long incentive for 90 guests. After news that the cyclone was heading to the area, panicked phone calls from our US based client at 4am, ID made an executive decision to evacuate the area. An emergency meeting was called for all guests where they were briefed about the situation and the evacuation plans. The ID Account Manager completely redesigned the remainder of the entire program, rebooking flights and arranging transfers for all 90 guests from Port Douglas to Cairns airport then Sydney, in a matter of hours. Our Sydney based team were instantly called upon for back up to secure accommodation and a suitable gala dinner venue at L’Aqua for that same day. In addition we had to rebook all dinner theming and entertainment. By 11am we had successfully rebooked 90 accommodation rooms in Sydney’s CBD over one of Sydney’s highest occupancy weeks in March and a gala dinner venue for their final evening. We relied upon our strong industry relationships to make things happen quickly, calling upon one of our key partners, Rydges Hotels, to swiftly contract rooms so that we could accommodate all guests at the one hotel. Similarly, we relied on our strong relationship with Dockside Group to secure a venue that evening for the final gala farewell dinner. Murrays also were quick to assist with the transfers and arranging a city tour of Sydney upon the guests arrival. The key learnings for us during this experience highlighted the importance of always having back up staffing resources available, the value of strong supplier partner relationships, the significance of working together as a team, the power of communication. And most of all – DECIDE, ACT and MOVE….quickly!