When it comes to events, there is one that leaves the others marvelling in its jingly wake and brings joy to millions every year. But how’s it done?
You have to admit, as event specialists go, Santa, the irrepressibly avuncular white-bearded man in red (or green in certain locations), seems to hold all the cards. For example, the ability to subvert the rules of space-time is a distinct advantage, particularly on Christmas Eve. So too is all that carbon-neutral air travel provided by eight to ten flying reindeer with an impressive work ethic.
Although some might put it all down to fairy dust or simply the presence of large numbers of loyal elves, as people with a professional interest in how events happen, we thought we’d take a closer look at how Santa actually does it. Even though we’ve put on some rather big global-scale shows in recent years, we have to admit that he makes our efforts look just a little modest.
Delivery and installation across the world in millions of different places on the same night. You’ve got to admit – that’s impressive.
Nurturing client relationships
This is probably the most important thing to get right if you want to stage a successful event. The better you understand your client’s environment, needs and ambitions, the better you can do your job and the better the result. Santa, like all the best Senior Project Managers, knows his clients and their priorities well. The Children of the World have high expectations, and he’ll always go above and beyond for every one of them – even the naughty ones.
Implementing effective logistics
Logistics is ‘the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation’ and it’s part of everything we do, whether we’re implementing a physical or virtual show exhibit, or fitting out an interior. We’re proud of our logistic capability but, frankly, Santa is in a class of his own. Who else can personally deliver individually-requested items on a specific day to clients wherever they live from a secret production base at the North Pole? Besides, airborne sleighs will always have the edge over white vans.
Dealing with challenging venues
In the events business, we’ve all been there: exhibit space hard to get at and far too small, with an inadequate power supply, and accessible only within strictly limited hours. On Christmas Eve, Santa and his trusty elvish crew face many of the same problems only magnified to an extent we can hardly imagine. Not only does he often have to gain access without the assistance of a handy chimney, he may have to avoid waking sleeping dogs or even discovery by bleary parents who are still up having binge-watched Netflix.
Manipulating time and place
Here’s where things can get Einsteinian, or Timecop-ian if you prefer B-movie references. We’ve been faced with some demanding schedules in our time, when a client has asked us to manage a rolling series of roadshows on several continents, for example. Our global network of offices gives us a major advantage here. But we’ve never been expected to carry out delivery and installation across the world in millions of different places on the same night. You’ve got to admit – that’s impressive.
Fostering team spirit
To say people are our most important asset has become a corporate cliché but it’s still true. Skilled individuals, from Account Managers to Fabricators to Installers to Administrators, will always be at the heart of our business. While you could argue that elves aren’t actually people, Santa looks after his workforce well, whether they are carefully selected local elves or an elite squad sent in from North Pole HQ to help out. Good team morale is essential because, as we all know, there’s nothing worse than a grumpy elf with a hammer.
Managing Elf and Safety (with apologies)
These are uncertain times for any business and we’ve been working hard to help our clients develop fresh approaches. Today, the Health part of Health and Safety has become especially important and so we’ll be maintaining protective measures for as long as necessary. Santa may have started out back in the 4th century in his Saint Nicholas persona, but he’s always kept his organization right up to date. Sources tell us that mask-wearing is now part of the dress-code for all elfin employees, along with green uniforms and pointy hats.
Setting world class standards
Our clients are reassured by the formal standards we hold. It gives them confidence that we have systems in place to manage their projects effectively and in compliance with legislation. We’re not sure if Santa, like us, is certified with ISO 45001 to ensure workplace Health and Safety, ISO 9001 for Quality Management or ISO 14001 to cover Environmental Impact. But then, with magic on his side, he can avoid all the paperwork.
That concludes our slightly envious look at Santa’s Ultimate Private Event. While we obviously can’t compete on equal terms with the Great Man and his elvish helpers, we greatly admire the delight he brings to so many and hope that, when his reindeer have returned him safely to base, we can spread a little happiness to our own clients in the New Year – even the naughty ones.
Have a Great Holiday.