A few weeks ago I wrote about how knowledge yields real power. So what happens if those “in the know” don’t share the knowledge you need to do your job properly?
I’m in Ottawa this week for a client program we do on an annual basis. It is a good piece of business for any hotel and the “spend” on both bedrooms and food & beverage is substantial for a 3 day conference in mid-August.
Our pre-con with the hotel was professional, run of the mill standard stuff…..nothing unusual…well at least nothing unusual at the time was mentioned to us.
A short day and half later, we noticed the first of what was to be a series of blips:
- RCMP security dogs sweeping meeting room space-a sure indication that a dignitary is soon to visit.
- Dozens of tall, burly men with ear pieces talking into their sleeve and roaming around our registration area
Still, we were only told minimal details from the hotel which led to further disruptions for us:
- Elevators being interrupted without notice for various lengths of time
- Our registration desk dismantled from right underneath our feet
- Traffic in the porte-cochère being stalled for mysterious dark glassed limousines
- Dozens of traffic police officers on motorcycles (stopping both pedestrian and vehicle traffic)
- Road closures around the whole perimeter of the hotel
- Our buses diverted indefinitely
Without prior knowledge, we could do nothing. We were limited in our reaction to rectify the challenges thrown at us and could only take direction from the dozen or so officers on security detail in front of the hotel.
This was not some top-secret mission. Coverage from all the major news outlets featured headline photos and video clips of the visiting dignitary every day this week. So -why the lack of disclosure?
Listen up to all the hoteliers out there – this is the type of thing you should share with your client in a timely manner to ensure that there are no surprises!
Lesson learned – add the following question to your pre-con checklist (especially in Ottawa) – Will there be any disruptions caused by any visiting dignitaries? (Room set-up, slow-down of elevators, traffic out on the drive-way, potential road closures and security sweeps)