S.H.E loves to create experiences where professionals come together to share, connect, collaborate and leverage. That’s why on Saturday, August 20, 2016 S.H.E and A Taste of Travel culminated their Summer Collaboration with a 2nd "Wine Tasting in the Hamptons" event.
If you are in the business of planning events, you know all too well that each event carries its own vibe, direction, and narrative. While most entrepreneurs only share what went well, S.H.E is about to share some things that went totally wrong. Still, no matter what unexpected experiences you encounter, a true professional pushes through knowing that the ultimate goal is to have guests walking away with a memorable experience they will cherish forever; memories they will tell their family, friends, and colleagues about.
Here we go...
Thirty minutes into the trip, our chauffeured-driven luxury bus became uncomfortably hot and then water started spilling from the vents soaking the driver as if he had taken a dip in Lake Minnetonka (yes, this is a reference from Prince's movie "Purple Rain". I’m a fan!). OMG, what was I going to do? To say I was embarrassed would be an understatement. All kinds of negative thoughts ran through my mind. What would my guests think about my event? About ME? About my Brand? Taking deep breaths, I managed to stop the water from spewing out. Although the stuffed rag in the vent looked a little declasse according to my normal standards, that was the only option I had.
Now that the water had stopped misting my guests, it was the perfect time to create a distraction by having them focus on something else. What better way than a chef catered brunch, unlimited mimosas and cocktails and interactive games with wonderful prizes? Perfect!
Two hours later, we hit traffic. OMG again! If you know NYC drivers, you also know they are the most aggressive people behind the wheel. Our luxury driver wasn’t any different but at least he had a goal: get my clients to their destination on time! I really couldn’t be mad at that. Until...he decided to cut off other drivers. One particular driver was driving a cute minivan with children's bicycles attached to the back of his car and when I tell you, he was not entertaining this foolishness on this lovely day in the Hamptons. With guests being jostled in their seats and perturbed looks on their faces, I had to think of something. Again. And quickly. Good thing the universe lined up and we pulled in to the massive Wolffer Estate Vineyard.
As if a light switch had been flicked, every guest began to ooohhh and aaahhh at the beautiful scenery outside of their windows. They were pleasantly amazed and whatever mishaps occurred was all forgiven.
Still, as one of the event's leaders, S.H.E was on the line. Escorting my guests to their seats under a massive canopy overlooking the vineyard, I excused myself and had a little sit-down with the driver who already knew what I was going to say. Being mindful of my tone and the intention of our conversation, the driver was VERY receptive and apologized for any inconvenience he may have caused. I was also able to renegotiate his fee. If I told you how much I renegotiated, you probably wouldn’t believe me. I had to pat myself on the back. Go S.H.E!! Feeling like I had just won the lottery, I returned to my guests who assured me they were having a fabulous time and because of what seemed like unending perks, my ability to quickly troubleshoot, welcoming and inviting demeanor, nothing and they reiterated, “Nothing could possibly blemish this experience.” One guest even shed a tear when we started sharing stories of triumphs and struggles as professionals. For me, this type of feedback was huge!
The lessons here are: 1) As an entrepreneur, you MUST be ready to jump in and solve issues as if you were born to do just that. Yes, some issues may seem embarrassing, but what's more embarrassing is an entrepreneur who doesn't take control of their brand. 2) When you’ve gone above the call of duty to provide your guests with an exceptional experience, the small things don’t matter.
That's all for now. This is S.H.E. Totally transparent. Totally in control. Totally perfect in her imperfections.
I'll be back soon with another celebrity experience/event. Until then, be sure to tune-in to my live interviews every Saturday at 12 p.m. EST. And repeated Wednesdays, 8 p.m. EST.