“Destination Management” is a hospitality industry buzzword that refers to a “boots on the ground” go-to company that handles the logistics of meetings and events. For Lindsay Goneau, director of operations for Seaport-based Allied PRA New England, this requires being an expert on everything from airport arrival for a visiting CEO to hosting a convention party for a thousand guests.
We are more than just ‘event planners’. We partner with our clients to discuss their meeting objectives, program goals and demographic of guests; it’s not just pitching a clambake on Spectacle Island, for example, but acting as a professional services agency, mitigating any risks involved within the event. Luckily, none of our client events this month were impacted by the epic snow this year although we have some large décor installations that could have been impacted by the snow. Everything does have a Plan B. I was at a conference during the first big snow storm in Boston and the logistics were condensing all the content of the meeting before the snow fall and moving events into the hotel to keep all the guests safe and limit the risk of getting them to an off-site venue. As a destination management company we have vetted supplier partners which we work closely with to ensure a smooth program for clients. For example, ground transportation is typically a big concern – we usually use deluxe motorcoaches as well as livery vehicles – sedans, vans, SUVs – for comfort and ease. I like to do more than cross my fingers and hope for the best, so I have a checklist, form, and folder for everything. We record everything, even small facts that a CEO’s favorite drink is Knob Creek Bourbon. I always carry a disaster kit, which includes tape, markers, flashlights, extension cords and tally counters to keep track of people. If I’m doing a shuttle for 10,000 people, I will even go to the bus yard at 5 a.m. to tape informational signs on the buses as needed. We are in the business of making experiential memories and it’s fun to be a part of how Boston is welcoming and entertaining its many visitors.