Friday's Big Event


February 8, 2013.  

It’s only 9:30AM.  One of my junior designers just got in but my assistant and I have already been working since 8AM to set up a board meeting for a corporate client, dealt with a caterer, fought with a florist.  No, I didn’t really fight her.  More like expressed my frustration and disappointment. 

For the past few days, I have been busy preparing for this big day, the first Board of Directors (B.O.D.) meeting of one of my corporate clients whose office we had just finished designing.  They had asked me to help them set up the room and make it picture perfect.  Although it can be a lot of work, setting up is actually like icing on the cake.  All the detailed working drawings and dirty construction stuff is out of the way.  It’s the time to buy nice things from fancy stores to make the room look pretty.  Simply put, it’s just decorating!

Since there is a level of sophistication to this corporate client, I had to make sure I got them all the finest items locally available in a week’s notice, from the serving platters to drinking glasses, caterer to the florist.  In the past, my office would order flowers from one of those regular flower shops along the streets.  But for this special client, I thought of using the premier flower shop in the city used by my friends who know how to throw fancy parties.  

The big event was today, Friday at 9am.  So Wednesday night, I personally dropped off some vases I had handpicked earlier in the afternoon.  The owner was at the flower shop so I felt I was in good hands.  I told her what kind of arrangement I wanted for each vase, the kind of flowers to use, the colors, etc.  She assured me that everything will be delivered to the corporate office by Friday at 8AM.  I wouldn’t say this was last minute since they had the entire Thursday to prepare for it.  Friday came, things were starting to take shape but the flowers weren’t on site!  Turns out my order wasn’t properly turned over to whoever was in-charge.  So it was only when we started calling them asking where the flowers were that they had started to arrange them.  I felt embarrassed for being unable to deliver on time.  Funny thing was the owner was more upset at her staff than I was that I couldn’t get myself to be angrier than she was.  She stole my thunder.  Long story short, flowers arrived 45 minutes late but everything turned out fine.      

What were the lessons learned from this big event:

1.    Set up the night before.  When B.O.D.’s set a meeting at 9AM, they start at 9AM.  Sharp.  And the directors are in the office way before that time.  So lesson learned, I should’ve just worked over time and made the place look picture perfect the night before. 

2.    That includes floral arrangements.  Have them in the night before and not the morning of. 

3.    Follow up suppliers the day before just to send out a reminder.  No harm in over-following up, right? 

4.    People make mistakes and miscommunication happens.  I’m willing to give this florist a second chance.  After all, they have known to deliver really wonderful arrangements in many parties I have been to in the past.  Perhaps this was just a freak accident and let’s hope it will not happen again. 

When the B.O.D meeting adjourned later in the afternoon, I got a call from one of the directors personally thanking me for setting up the place for them.  Except for a few minor comments from the Board which we will address next week, they all loved their new Board Room. 

Nothing gives me more joy than hearing words of appreciation from a client.  It’s like a pat on the back for a job well-done!  J

The lobby.  The reception counter is made from old VECO posts.  

The pantry was designed to be fun and colorful to allow the employees to relax and take a break.  
The closed doors of the Board Room at the end of the hall.  
The curved hallway leading to the executive offices and administration area.  

The powder room.

The Boardroom - taken after Friday's Big Event.

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