A masterclass in overcoming an internet and power outage in the midst of critical client events, by a cool and collected venue team.
You’re the manager of a busy corporate training and events venue preparing for what is to be yet another bustling Thursday of client events. But at 8.30am, just as delegates begin to arrive for their pre-session coffee and registration, you’re told the building’s power and internet are down for every floor of the building except ground level. Your entire venue is affected, and delegates are expecting to walk into their rooms at any moment to begin their day. Sound like a worst nightmare? Well, it actually happened to the Cliftons Perth’s venue team during a fateful building outage on an unsuspecting Thursday morning.
Here’s the timeline of how one resilient team defeated all odds to keep important events running and clients smiling in a crisis outside of their making.
8.30am: Disaster Strikes – the building’s power and internet go down
Venue manager Samantha Still is advised of a building power outage at 8.30am local time, affecting every floor of the building except ground level (inexplicably). With the Cliftons Perth venue split over two levels, this means half the venue’s power is out. But with the power down, arbitrarily internet service is also lost – for the entire venue.
Samantha and the team move all level four clients to the ground floor to enable them to work without interruption. Personal hotspots are used as a nifty temporary internet solution.
11.00am: No end in sight
The building cannot provide an ETA on power restoration, nor can they guarantee it will be fixed by the next morning when 200 aspiring General Practitioners, Obstetricians and Gynaecologists will descend on the venue to sit critical FRACGP and FRANCOG exams. All exams are to be computer and internet based, and every space in the venue will be required to host them.
1.00pm: The team prepare for the Worst
With the building still unable to guarantee repair for the next day, the team show great reserve. They begin the arduous task of moving 130 computers to the ground level where power still flows. There’s another caveat however. With Thursday’s clients still in the building, no computers can be moved until they depart the rooms.
“Imagine it’s last thing Thursday afternoon and you had to move and set up 130 computers on a new floor by 8.30am sharp tomorrow. Let’s just say you can cancel those dinner plans.”
Customers are kept updated at all times
The affected clients are communicated with frequently regarding the outage and the solutions that are being put in place. They are assured they examinations will go ahead at all costs.
3.00pm: Scouring Perth for alternate internet solutions and backup staff
What do you do when your building’s internet is down and you have just hours to find an alternate solution? You go shopping. The IT team scour Perth for the right equipment then visit six separate locations to purchase it, narrowly avoiding close of business.
As they do this, Samantha calls support staff to ask if they can work the next day to, in case greater assistance is needed getting half the examinees to a secondary backup site. Asking people to give up their Friday plans without notice is a phone call no one likes to make.
6.30pm: Configuring the new routers
The IT team work to transfer and configure eight 4GB routers, connecting them individually to each room to ensure bandwidth for the event.
9.00pm: Power and internet are restored! But…
The team still have lots of work to do. With the move to ground level midway, it cannot be abandoned or reversed now. They must continue into the night. Despite the intense pressure, everyone works together in harmony to achieve the solution in time for the client.
1.30am: Finally time to sleep
The team work into the night to finalise preparations and testing, ensuring everything works perfectly. At 1.30am, they finally head home.
After just a few hours’ sleep, the team are back in the venue to prepare for the day. The exams are delivered without incident and examinees are none the wiser.
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