I’ve just returned from the annual Christmas lunch of the Motor Industry Public Affairs Assocation (MIPAA) which I organised. With some 80 public relations practitioners in attendance, it can be daunting to pull off event management. But, I like to think I have a reputation of being a bit of a swan in PR terms – everything looks smooth on the surface, but my legs are paddling like mad beneath the waterline.
Fortunately, this event doesn’t need much paddling from me thanks to the team at the venue, The Crypt, in London. Jean-Louis who looks after us there is so relaxed and I am confident that everything will be perfect. It helps that the building itself is just magnificent with a magical atmosphere. I’m sure that there are plenty of swans making our experience so special – and I am grateful for every paddle. We’ve been there 3 years running – and the feedback from members means we’re going to be back for 2007.
I wish I could praise other venues so highly. The contrast with the likes of Hilton Hotels is chalk and cheese. There it is all contracts, guaranteeing minimum and maximum numbers weeks in advance, horrendous charges for everything and a total lack of customer care. I wish I could find anywhere for our CV Show reception but the NEC Hilton – it costs a fortune, they charge for parking and although the staff are pleasant, it isn’t a pleasure to organise. Too much leg work for me in retaining my swanlike demeanour.