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Case Study 7All Hail (Or, Oh Hell) to the Man Who Would Be King
September 5• Jake has a high-end client whose multimillion-dollar multimedia events present welcome creative challenges.• The team enjoys strategically designing and effectively staging these events, but the client, “The Emperor”, tests their patience, endurance, ethical business boundaries, and discretion.• The Emperor’s headquarters are overseas• Their goal is to be number one, making the team’s mission to use events as communication, marketing and sales tools.
• The Emperor has a solely male executive board at his beck and call.• Jake was brought in to run a different program for the Emperor but when the TWO previous event planning companies “fell out of favor” that’s when the team stepped in and won the Emperor over with a brilliant sample proposal, a summary of the company policy, and a breakdown of cost.• It also didn’t hurt that Jake was a “macho man”, since the Emperor and his team preferred dealing with men.• Jake served as a female-to-male interpreter
• As sexist as this was, the team was willing to put up with it because the opportunity they had to plan the spectacular themed multimillion dollar events made up for it in their eyes.• The team thrived under the pressure, it caused them to grow and produce events that exceeded all expectations.• The Emperor and his men were so delighted with the mock-up theme built around Inuksuks, which symbolize responsibility and dependence on one another, because it expressed what they wanted their company to stand for.
Imagine…• A room bathed in darkness draped in black from ceiling to floor. Steam rising from the floor creating an atmosphere of stillness like the Arctic Tundra.• Icy, almost neon blue and white accents in each table setting and light fixture• Native menu offerings• As drinks/coffee are served a pool of blue light will shine on the entertainment on stage• Each guest takes home a miniature Inuksuk figure and autographed CD as a momento
Over the years the team learned…• The Emperor favored destination that offered access to world-class golfing, gambling, water- skiing and deep-sea fishing and disliked locations where he would be obligated to spend time with family• The Emperor must be booked in the best suite at the hotel with no one on the same floor as him or any floor higher than him.• Sandy the Emperor’s “friend” was hired as a “freelancer” for each event and was to accompany him on his private jet or limo when requested. Mistress Sandy could do as she pleased and was to be at his beck and call and never mentioned to the Emperor’s wife. She sported a tramp stamp and was paid “salary”
• Once, a slipup almost occurred when the team had to try to delay the returning Empress on the escalator as Mistress Sandy was quickly shuffled out.• The Emperor appreciated when the casino dealers spoke his native language.• “Clean Rooms” must be specifically requested at some casino resorts they do this to get patrons down in the casino’s rather than straight to their rooms.• A car can explode in an underground garage when it reaches a specific heat while the windows are rolled up.• Fire can sometimes break out regardless of how much care was given in preparation… i.e. flammable confetti.
• The Emperor’s gift from Em and the team was misplaced in the airport by one of his very own, employees. Dee Dee, one of Em’s team members, was able to duplicate the very special personalized plaque. Teary-eyed Dee Dee was surprised Emperor’s employee was so grateful that she had rescued him.• In return for that kindness Dee Dee let us in on something we had suspected all along…the Emperor’s board room was bugged and had two- way mirrors so he can hear & see his unknowing staff/clients.• In order to get rid of the Emperor’s employees calling, Em and the team must stop what they are doing and answer the phone. The employees call to prepare themselves for questions that could be asked at meetings – desperate to save face.
• Em or a team member would fly where they were needed to, in order to get an entrée of the Emperors personal choice and standard.• The Emperor must meet all Private Entertainment Artists after their performance. One artist did not comply with the Emperor’s request for him to come to the room —they met half way courtesy of Jake’s negotiating skills. As a result, it is now included in the talent’s contact.• Expecting the unexpected is always important. A head Office elected to fly to the event; the whole company came, 27 name badges! Wow.• The Chairman will not go onstage to speak without a hair product that is rare now-a-days, good thing they were prepared for special requests! (American Express “don’t travel without it”).
• Every year there is a new employee who is eager to work for the Emperor for longer than one year, but never seems to make it. The new employee is not told about the bugged board rooms which may contribute to their short stay.• When you want to get away, like Jake tried to do (by turning off his cell phone, pager, and walky-talky) you may not. Jake had the obligation of ensuring the Empress was taken care of, to his dismay Dee Dee found him and escorted him to the Empress.• We must be able to budget an event down to the exact penny.• The many men we provided for the Emperor to communicate with us was a perk, when Jake was not in the vicinity.
September 14• We are preparing for the next event, with caution now that we are aware of how the Chairman likes to travel. We will place a tracking device in Jakes shoes just in case he attempts to disappear again.
Nature of the Problem• Difficult Client – SEXIST, temperamental, irrational, abrupt.• Intricate Event Program – Multimillion-dollar multimedia events – Theatrical special effects – Private top-name entertainers – Get people to attend their event over the competition• Short amount of time to impress client• Must work well under pressure
Potential Obstacles• The Emperors’ culture - planning an event that meets his cultural standards could be challenging• Pleasing the Emperor each and every moment might take the event planners’ focus off of the event itself• Having only a short amount of time to plan the event since the Emperor left the original event planner company• The Emperor does not like to deal with women and he had to have Jake be the “interpreter" to the women planners
Solutions• Setting ego aside and not letting the sexism interfere interfere with the job opportunity.• Using the male interpreter when possible, when not, showing the female strength and control within the team proving equality.• Being up front with the budget and remaining on task.