‘Assurance Through Alliance’ Creates Road Maps for Moving Forward with Events
As he watched the pandemic wreak havoc on the corporate events industry, Chris Greenslade, principal for the Charleston, S.C.-based CSG Meetings Management and Consulting, noticed that many of the suppliers involved in a planner’s traditional network either temporarily downsized or went out of business altogether. This left corporate planners without their usual support system as they navigated the challenges of either renegotiating their events or reworking them into a virtual or hybrid version.
The void this created led to a partnership between Greenslade’s company and two other Charleston-based companies representing important aspects of the event industry: Innovative Event Services and Unimedia Productions. Their combined knowledge base is now known as Assurance Through Alliance, which can help planners navigate each step involved in producing an event — from meeting and event planning to event and video production.
“We appreciate that the new normal is filled with enormous uncertainty, mass confusion and fear,” says Greenslade. “By focusing on these key areas, we can provide a road map for companies and organizations to safely navigate to the other side of this unique crisis.”
Services provided by ATA include restructuring and negotiating contracts for hotels, venues or vendors; reorganizing agendas to fit the new guidelines for meeting space and social distancing; reconfiguring audiovisual and production needs for all facets of a meeting or event; and overseeing the messaging and communication needs from the clients to their membership, employees or stakeholders.
Greenslade cites an example of a client who was planning a meeting in D.C. for a large pharmaceutical company. It had laid off 80 percent of its internal marketing team at a hotel that had furloughed its sales and conference services managers.
“This client felt abandoned, scared and was in a state of sheer panic,” said Greenslade. To help them, ATA created a plan that started with changes to the contract to reflect the client’s revamped needs when it came to meeting space, audiovisual, food and beverage, and guest rooms.
“We changed the agenda so that room set-ups and general sessions conformed to social distancing,” says Greenslade. The hotel’s AV company had been terminated because they were not up to speed on the new sanitization and security measures, so ATA provided a detailed action plan for both AV and event production that included the latest ultraviolet cleaning and sanitizing equipment.
“We were able to work together to restructure [the event] and present back to the hotel a workable solution for moving forward, so that when the hotel comes back to full capacity, the preplanning work has already been done,” says Greenslade.
ATA also advises groups on the production values required for a virtual or hybrid event. “We noticed that many companies were pivoting over to a virtual or hybrid meeting without considering the consequences to their brand,” says Greenslade. “Companies who traditionally produced high-quality live events have sometimes badly executed the hybrid or virtual versions and thus severely tarnished the integrity of the product or company name.”
For more information on Assurance Through Alliance, go here.