Sometimes being too helpful is not helpful at all!
Our client chose the venue as it was closest to their offices, it had the size of rooms and adjoining breakouts we needed.
On arrival, we dropped our personal luggage (this was a large conference hotel in Europe) and headed off to the conference rooms for a technical set up and to get a feel for where we would be spending the next week.
The events team Manager who had the biggest smile on her face met us. I half expected to hear that she had just received news of a lottery win, but very quickly learned the reason for her smile…
With a theatrical throwing opening of what was going to be our main training room door, we saw a vast room with what appeared to be a horseshoe shape made up of tables and chairs in the middle.
This was the equivalent of a tiny horseshoe charm on an oversized lucky charm bracelet, but despite the grin on the Events Manager’s face, we were not feeling that lucky.
Whilst I was mentally calculating the time it would take for anyone to walk to the coffee station and back to the horseshoe, I failed to miss our excitable events manager dragging my colleague to a door at the back of the room. They had a head start on me and so I jogged to catch up – probably gaining on them at around 25 meters!
I discovered they were en route to our breakout rooms – which according to our contract should have led straight off from the main room.
Cue another theatrical door opening accompanied by;
“Ta da you have this- a whole business suite”
We looked around at a very nicely appointed lobby with breakout rooms off to all sides.
Just one of the rooms would have been sufficient for the main training session as they were exactly the size we needed.
It can be challenging to get delegates back to the main room in a timely manner after breaking out, so trying to factor this into our plans for the next few days we probably didn’t have the looks on our faces she was expecting. This probably disappointed her!
It turns out that our events manager wanted so much to help us, that she tried too hard, trying to be too helpful and swapped our room for a larger one.
Trying to get things done quickly sometimes takes longer!
Apart from the enormous training room and overly helpful Events Manager this really was a beautiful venue location, decor, furnishings, morning pastries and even little fruit smoothies it was perfect.
BUT all I wanted was to see behind the scenes.
You see I am pretty convinced that the conference and banqueting team operated out of a Bat Cave.
After we hiked back to the horseshoe and starting setting up, we realised that aside from a re-hydration drink and possibly one of those silver foil blankets they give to marathon runners there were a few things we needed.
I picked up the phone in the room and it was answered immediately – great start!
“ Good morning, we are running the workshops this week in the Malvern Suite
and we need an additional table and… Hello are you there? ”
Not as quickly as he answered the phone, but fairly promptly, Bat Man (as he will now be known as) appeared with a table –Great!
Before we had a chance to say where we needed it, he disappeared and left the table the other side of the room.
We still needed a tablecloth so I picked up the phone and thought this time I might get the chance to ask for the other items we need before he hung up.
It rang a couple of times – it was Bat Man again!
“ Hello, it’s Core Process in the Malvern suite. Would it be possible to have a cover for the table please and a …………hello, hello are you there? “
As before, he arrived with the tablecloth, dropped it on the table still at the back of the room and KER POW he was off.
I sprung into action ( not unlike Cat Woman) and dialed the Bat Cave number hoping that someone would answer before Batman had got back to base.
To my delight, Robin answered …
Robin was not in a hurry to get things ticked off his list, Robin wanted to listen to what we needed and make sure he had all the information before he set off from the Cave. He arrived with the cable floor protector, the extra chair, and the flip chart pad refill.
Don’t get me wrong, if you are in Gotham city being chased by the joker you need Batman there quickly, but when you are running an event you need a competent team.
An emotionally intelligent team equipped with the social and emotional skills to handle situations that arise.
A team that knows how to manage their strengths to deliver what the customer, client or guest needs.
As Robin would say