The tide is high

Business Events News - - News -

(A small case-study in clever con­fer­ence prob­lem-solv­ing):

A MONTH ago I was MC’ing a con­fer­ence for MGA In­sur­ance Bro­kers on the Gold Coast. The con­fer­ence din­ner was held at the lovely McLarens Land­ing on South Strad­broke Is­land. For those who have not been there be­fore, it is a won­der­ful lo­ca­tion, ac­ces­si­ble only by boat and set up to re­sem­ble a very com­fort­able, well-equipped cross be­tween Gil­li­gan’s Is­land and a Sur­vivor Tribal Coun­cil. De­li­cious food and first rate ser­vice.

We ar­rived there by large boat. The event was go­ing swim­mingly (no pun in­tended given what was about to hap­pen). The ban­quet din­ner had taken place and the del­e­gates were hav­ing fun on the dance-floor.

While this was all go­ing on, un­be­knownst to the guests, a once-in-40-years King Tide oc­curred, to­tally flood­ing the jetty out to the boat. The is­land event area it­self was un­touched and the con­fer­ence del­e­gates were none the wiser.

But the sud­den rise in the tide brought with it a small dilemma: how to get sev­eral hun­dred del­e­gates out to the large boat with ab­so­lutely no jetty and no smaller boats to ferry them.

Re­mem­ber this type of flood is a once in 40 year oc­cur­rence.

Sim­ple So­lu­tion: Shut­tle the del­e­gates 20 at a time on the back of an old cat­tle truck across to the other side of the is­land (a 10 minute jour­ney), to board the boat from another un­af­fected jetty where the tide was much lower. Mean­while the rest of the del­e­gates sim­ply party on un­til the shut­tle re­turns.

End re­sult: A bonus, enor­mously fun cat­tle truck ride for all the guests, in­volv­ing much mer­ri­ment and laugh­ter and a mem­o­rable, en­joy­able end to the func­tion. The guests ac­tu­ally loved it.

A great ex­am­ple of lat­eral think­ing, prob­lem solv­ing and a won­der­ful can-do ap­proach to manag­ing the un­ex­pected.

A huge shout out to Jason and the team from McLarens Land­ing and the won­der­ful event or­gan­is­ers Dean, Ed and Hazel from Con­fer­ence Im­ages. Watch­ing them all keep a cool head and solve a po­ten­tially huge prob­lem (sev­eral hun­dred guests un­able to get off an is­land!) was great to see.

So next time you’re hold­ing a con­fer­ence on the Gold Coast, take your del­e­gates to McLarens Land­ing for din­ner but try and plan it on the night of a once-every-40-years King Tide, to make it even more mem­o­rable.

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