In November 2019, Wallace Travel Group operated ground services for three back-to-back pharma meetings on behalf of Parexel, for one of their global pharmaceutical clients. Following a two-wave meeting the previous year, the client engaged Wallace Travel Group again in 2019 for an even larger event with greater requirements.
The brief was for 2,200 delegates, arriving in three waves for three major meetings. Each of the meetings had sub-meetings, and there were overlapping delegates across all. The basic requirements of WTG were logistical support, event management of numerous large dinners, and the provision of staffing.
The initial challenge was the increased size, as well as being a more complex and dynamic event than the previous year. The expectation level of the end client for the services was also top level, drawing on WTG’s wealth of experience in the 5-star incentive market.
The daily logistics of transfering delegates to and from the CCD and the network of fifteen hotels where they were staying, included using shuttle services and single transfers. In addition to these services, there were daily arrival and departure transfers between the airport, CCD and hotels – as delegates were arriving and leaving at all stages during the event, depending on the meeting they were attending. A dedicated VIP transfer service was also available and was managed separately to the main group.
One of the biggest challenges in delivering these logistical services was that only approximately half of the delegates had pre-arranged transfers, with over 1,000 delegates arranging transfers with the team whilst the event was ongoing. Another spanner in the works was a major marathon event, which took place in the middle of the event in the Docklands surrounding the CCD. This led to an extensive advance route planning - in close consultation with Gardaí from Store Street and Pearse Street Garda Stations - to enable movements of hundreds of delegates through road closures.
WTG also sourced venues and event managed three separate dinners for various sub-groups as part of the event. One dinner for 150 pax was arranged on the Monday night, with two further dinners for 350 and 200 pax, taking place on the Wednesday night. The venues were the Old Jameson Distillery, the Guinness Storehouse and the Odeon. All of these dinners involved dynamic detailing as well as custom menus, décor and entertainment – even down to providing vintage arcade games in one venue! Everything was managed and provided for, from umbrellas for delegates alighting from coaches to top-level security and badge scanning on entry. These were high-touch evening events, which drew on the experience of the DMC dealing with VIP events.
The final element of the services provided was staffing, with 65 staff engaged to assist with operating the event. From meet-and-greet at the airport to hotel hospitality desks, to shuttle/transfer within the CCD for management of badge scanning and break-out support, transfer desks, VIP assistance and speaker liaisons, the team worked hard to successfully streamline the events.
Of course, the best part of the event is the fantastic feedback from a happy client:
Thank you! You guys did an amazing job for us again this year – we threw so much at you and you never once said no to a request. Your pre-work was exceptional – you responded quickly to all requests and ensured we had everything we needed, when it was needed. Everything ran seamlessly onsite; the dinners received great feedback; the many transfers all ran smoothly – in spite of the road closures. Your work pre-meeting to ensure that the road closures would have minimal impact on us was second to none – we really appreciated the time you took to speak to local Gardaí, etc. on our behalf. And quite apart from the fact that you have now done an amazing job for us two years running, you are an absolute delight to work with. You are friendly, approachable and hardworking, all of which helped us get this massive meeting done successfully.
We very much hope we get the chance to work with you all again in the future, as we know you will deliver at 110% for us.