I went to the congress discussed yesterday. It was amazing to see how this great planning was actually working. Having managed a nice place, enough sponsors to make sure money is not an issue, and above all:every presenter was there. Not only there, but at the entrance among the attendees. Due to my visit with them last year, I had a good time saying hello, chit-chatting, etc [Yangson Ma remembered me right away, which impressed me since he meets way too much people]... Anyone else could have done it, they chose not to... This is makes the live presentation worth your dime....
The show was scheduled to start at six thirty. I was there at six twenty five, I was impressed by the screen. It was part of the sponsorship deals [i won't name the brand], and it was huge. They were running tests on it, getting it ready... five minutes before the show!
The screen never worked properly. First they moved ahead the opening cocktail, then the complimentary sushi... At the end the day was canceled, after we had been waiting for three hours! Everything will be rescheduled to fit in two days.
Everyone was disappointed. But the saddest part of it all was how unresponsive the managing group was. They could have gone out and buy a projector next door. They could have decided to postpone everything earlier. All they did was wait for the sponsor to try and take care of the problem. All the atmosphere that was building up outside the venue had now become anger. That is a recipe for failure. People won't trust you next time. All because no one would dare to go beyond management, and lead towards an emergency plan B.
Always prepare for a worst case scenario! That is part of being a responsible designer/architect/planner. Things can fail, if possible, always have a plan B ready, but that might fail too. Put someone in charge who is not afraid to take action into his own hands. And be sure to explain to him that the plan is actually a strategy open to feedback, open to action... And that the worst thing to do is nothing!
The big question is: what will they do tomorrow? Only delivering the lectures would surely keep everyone furious. They need to give the money back for one day. Or a coupon to visit the museum... But let's just hope they do have an interesting strategy... or at least a feedback-open-strategy!