The climate is changing. So, is this the next big challenge planning for unpredictable weather?
When our client at Healy Group tasked us with bringing 50 of their top performers to Spain for a winter incentive, we were happy to dip out of the online world and start planning an onsite event again. It felt strange to be planning an onsite, in-person event again. We almost became a little consumed with health and safety and ensuring we were adhering to all Covid-19 safety practices both here at home in Ireland, the UK and Spain.
We developed Covid-19 packs (branded, of course) with antigen tests (one per day), enough disposable masks for the entire trip, hand sanitiser and emergency contact info should someone feel unwell.
One thing we didn’t anticipate, was the real world outside of Covid-19. Thankfully everyone stayed healthy, but we had some other interesting experiences.
Arrival day. A storm descends on the Costa del Sol and the weather in Ireland and the UK ends up being better than in Spain (this is in November!)
1: A tree was uprooted in the hotel and came tumbling down into a guest’s room (they were at lunch, thankfully)
2: Three rogue waves came surging from the Mediterranean and washed out our beachfront restaurant for night one! Thankfully we booked with a well-known group of local restaurants, so their mountainside restaurant was able to take the group. We had 90 mins to turn it around.
3: On the way to the restaurant there was a bad car crash on the motorway and our 15-minute transfer turned into 90 minutes.
4: Our Tapas Trail the next day was spent bobbing in and out of some wonderful tavernas in Marbella Pueblo and by that stage, we had embraced our fate and everyone enjoyed the experience. Albeit a little rain-soaked.
The moral of this blog is that Covid-19 is one cog in a very large wheel. There are many other real-world scenarios we must remember when planning onsite events. We cannot let Covid-19 cloud us in the planning phases.
1: Reserve your offsite dinners/activities / basically anything non-hotel related with a DMC (destination management company). They will know the area a lot better than you and will have the local relationships to find solutions if things go wrong.
2: Always get busses with toilets on them – you never know!
3: Have emergency snack packs if there is a delay in your transfers
4: Invest in umbrellas, even if it is a warm country!
Lessons learned and we are glad to have had this experience to remind us, events and the climate are unpredictable as they have always been, pandemic or not!