DISASTERS AND HOW TO RECOVER FROM THEM
We have all heard the horror stories of epic disasters that happen at events. Everything from having a hurricane take off a roof at a convention center to having a flood in the ballroom that destroys everything. Just remember these things when you are stressing about your appetizers not coming out on time or having issues with the rooming list. That being said there are times when you should ask for compensation for poor service or issues that occurred. In this post we are going to talk about how to approach your conferences services and sales managers.
The most important thing is to communicate any issues as they arise. If you are having issues with food at your opening reception talk to your Banquet Captain and make sure to communicate your concerns. There are people in place to make sure that your event runs smoothly and they may be able to rectify the issue immediately. This way your guests won’t even realize that there is an issue and everyone will be happy. They also might be able to compensate onsite for any issues that occurred. This means that if your appetizers were delayed they might still be able to add a dessert and there is no reason to escalate the concern.
It is important to realize that your CS or Sales Contact might have no idea if an issue occurred. Make sure to communicate any service issues/disasters directly to them if they are not rectified immediately. If they are not on site make sure to send a calm and detailed email. You want to make sure that you have as many details as possible but try to keep your personal emotions out of the email. We suggest an email because many people will check their email when they are off or on vacation but may not check their voicemail. If your concerns are not addressed correctly and in a timely manner this is when you pick up the phone and schedule a meeting either on the phone or in person.
When having this conversation make sure to have your issues outlined and detailed so that you can address them point by point and not be sidetracked or distracted. A written bullet-pointed recap of the problem as it unfolded is the best way to keep yourself on track in the meeting and not become too emotional. If the issues are extreme this is when you should request a meeting with the Director of Sales or General Manager as well. The Sales Manager may not be able to address or offer the amount of compensation that you are looking for, so going up one level may be helpful. It is also important to know what you are asking for in regards to compensation when you have this conversation. You may not receive all of it but it is good to be able to relay your requests to your point of contact. Sometimes GM’s are able to help your organization in others ways to offset your disaster.
The most important thing when addressing issues is to keep the line of communications open. You have to remember that the issue can’t be fixed if the issue isn’t known. This means that you should need to communicate with your contacts before just posting on TripAdvisor or Yelp. Also, remember it can always be worse and we want to hear your best event horror story!