As event planners, we can sometimes take for granted full-service venues that provide complete infrastructure and our own personal “undercover magic unicorn” (that goes under the guise of a CSM). With a full-service venue, these services are just a phone call away and provide an extension cord, additional table, room service – any need we have just a few digits away from being fulfilled.
Imagine, if you will, an empty parking lot (let me make clear: outdoor venue) of a sports stadium in the suburbs of a major metropolitan city, with zero infrastructure – no gates, no electricity, no water. Now transform this parking lot into an automotive track to perform a ride & drive for Fortune 100 executives and top government officials, while dealing with an array of challenges (none of the least of which is weather). Everything you need to execute this event has to come from external sources. (i.e. we have to go make it happen).
Here is a recap:
- 4 weeks to plan – but really only 2 weeks due to operational delays
- Average 6 calls a week with each externally involved party/vendor – involving the entire team – as there were a myriad of moving pieces among all of the clients, sponsors, staff, and board members
- 16 vendors involved to bring ALL infrastructure to the track – power, bathrooms, catering, event staff, furniture, décor, tent, photographer, transportation, cleaning crew, etc.
- 6 sponsors investing in unique deliverables and functions in order for the track to come to life
- FCC Commissioner as one of the event participants, or “riders”
- 2 permits to pull (for tent & generator)
- 2 days of rain that flooded the track and tent
- Fulfilling last-minute requests of a professional photographer, additional catering functions, and extra transportation requirements to accommodate a consistently evolving agenda
- Rolling out the red carpet to Fortune 100 executives partaking in the experience
- Countless emergency store runs to resolve on-site challenges
- Catering delivery man driving right onto the track that was in active testing – halting all cars to a screeching stop (apparently the barricades were not enough to deter him)
- 40’ x 80’ tent testing its limits as a balloon due to crazy wind
- A one-day (main event day) total step count of 22,808 (= 11.10 miles walked!)
- …Not to mention an event at a parking lot with no physical address, making it extremely difficult for participants to find
- OUTCOME: I had the most fun I’ve ever had creating magic and bringing people together.
This opportunity was extremely unique and involved such a large and diverse network of vendors and stakeholders that it really did take a village to pull it off in such a short amount of time. Both our Washington and Dallas offices worked together, and our efforts resulted in positive feedback from all those who participated in the event.
This is the exciting part about what we do at MCI USA – each day we get to work on new and exciting projects. And to have the privilege to work on meaningful projects that impact people’s lives, whether about the future of automotive safety, or environmental awareness that changes the course of the status quo, or even yet being involved in the production of a meeting that could develop the cure to cancer… this experience is humbling in every way and we never take it for granted.
Thank you to our valued clients that allow us to be involved on their journey to making a difference.