Calm in a last-minute storm

Event brief
Panorama Group has an annual management conference for their middle and top management. The three-day programme usually includes a conference, a themed dinner, and teambuilding and outdoor activities. This year’s theme was Truly Care.

The original plan was to organise the conference in Malang and the outdoor activities around Mount Bromo. However, the organising committee had to change destination from Bromo to Batu, as the volcano erupted two weeks prior to the event.

As such, there were last minute changes such as finding accommodation, and logistical planning and the adjusting the programmes had to be done accordingly.

Amanda Gunawan, director of human resources and building management of Panorama Group, who led the organising team, said: “With all set for the Malang-Mount Bromo event, hotels and venues were booked and airline tickets bought, Batu (an hour’s drive away from Malang) was our (best) choice.”

She also added a school in Bromo area had been appointed and informed that they would be receiving a donation as part of the company’s CSR programme.

Natalia Suwignyo, HRD & GA general manager of MG Group, who led the events team, said that there were things they had to sacrifice such as the Bromo outdoor dinner that had to be moved indoors to the hotel ballroom.

Moreover, incorporating “Truly Care” into the activities was a challenge.

Natalia said she was in Malang when the decision to move the event to Batu was made. She was then tasked to survey Batu for accommodation and possible event venues.

From there, the committee decided to conduct a one-day trip to Batu comprising an outdoor activity and a Museum Angkut tour.

Martini, personal assistant at Panorama Destination, who is in charge of logistics, said: “We decided to stay another night at HARRIS Hotel & Convention Malang and moved the theme dinner there as well.”

The outdoor Arabian-themed dinner was brought inside the ballroom and the concept changed to Indiana Jones Wild West.

“We incorporated the theme into the room through the décor, dress code, games and entertainment. We also brought some birds from Safari Indonesia Park, Prigen, for participants to pose with in our photo booth,” Amanda said.

Instead of visiting the school at Bromo, the headmaster and a couple of students came to Batu to receive the donation.

The committee also needed a local event organiser. Sadewa said: “We needed people who knew the area and could translate our concept into programmes in a blitz.

The committee then incorporated the theme Truly Care into the culinary race that was organised around Malang Square.

Participants were tasked to find culinary spots in the surrounding area with the help of a map and money supplied by the committee. The group with the highest points, were quickest to finish, and spent the least would win. What they did not realise was that the committee had set up booby traps in the form of three actors: a blind man trying to cross a road; a roadside cleaner; and a man with boxes scattered all over after bumping into participants.

Video cameramen followed closely and recorded how the participants reacted to the actors. Some merely ignored and moved on, while some actually did stop to help the blind man cross the road and pick up boxes.

“Here, Truly Care was tested. Sometimes, we are too busy with our work, trying to reach individual targets (hence) we forget things around us,” Amanda said.

Key takeaways
“The (tourism) industry is an industry of constant change. It does not matter how well we prepare, as there will always be improvisation and adjustments that need to be made as the programmes are ongoing. So we always need to be prepared,” Sadewa said.

It is also important to stay focused on the goal that the team sets out to achieve, and find ways around problems that emerge.

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