Prepare for the Worst and You May Find the Best!

February 16, 2011

This week I learned a hard lesson about being prepared.  I happened to be on the road in Prince Edward Island and got caught in a snow storm with some insane winds and white out conditions.  Pushing my luck I went through one too many whiteouts and ended up in a four foot snow drift.  With 80 km/h winds and bone chilling conditionsjf3 I jumped out of the truck and realized I had no shovel, little cold weather gear and no real way to get out of this drift.  I happened to be with a colleague Todd Lucier and upon jumping back into the truck to discuss our options we started talking about the need of being prepared, not just when driving in the winter but more specifically about our tourism industry. Our discussions led us to what businesses need to take into consideration in today’s globally competitive environment and how they need to be prepared for whatever gets thrown at them.  Let’s face it in our industry we seldom get a second chance with a visitor.  Given the explosion of social media, one visitor’s experience can now be shared with literally hundreds and potentially thousands of people.   So businesses need to be prepared!  What would happen in your business if you were delivering a tourism experience and there was a weather issue, gear problem, or technology malfunction?  What is your plan A, B, C, D to ensure that a visitor walks away feeling you did everything in your power to provide an incredible experience and in fact did!   Given all the work you put into getting someone to your business  how do you ensure that they leave with that wow memory no matter what?  The answer to those questions lies in being prepared and I have learned over time that those who generally plan for the worst often end up being the best!

PS Todd and I did get out of the snow drift thanks to the kindness and shovels of some local Island folks.  Apparently we were really bad scouts.