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Planner Resilience: Craig Dooley, SDI Meetings & Incentives

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April 16, 2021
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How were you able to adapt during COVID-19 when the meeting and events industry got disrupted?

As abruptly as travel and meetings came to a halt, we necessarily responded even more quickly and more creatively to keep our clients, their employees and customers connected and motivated through meaningful experiences. The first wave required quick tactical work to address every program and negotiate every agreement to future dates as well as strategic energy to steward our clients’ interests and identify effective alternatives to in-person experiences in the interim.

The SDI team dove headfirst into tech-enabled territory with the same goal-driven, quality-focused mindset that every program deserves – whether the venue is on a beach, in a ballroom or through a screen. Bringing the destinations and a custom experience to the attendee, wherever they sat, meant more than just a Zoom call… It meant live mix-along cocktail demonstrations from Los Cabos, motivational speakers sharing inspiring personal stories, and more, while attendees dipped into a tailored stash of goodies in a survival box delivered ahead.

The disruption also turned us inward, taking the opportunity to look strategically at our team, our services, our relationships and our skills – and how we define the value we bring to our clients. After 28 years of meetings and incentive travel, the SDI team retooled and refreshed our focus and offerings – setting us up for growth and continued success, no matter the pivots required. Our recently launched, refreshed brand reinforces our legacy as much as it defines our future, leaning into the simple truth that experience matters.

This post is part of the HopSkip Planner Spotlight Series where we celebrate the positivity and optimism shown by planners across the industry when navigating the turbulent waters that COVID-19 has brought the meetings and events industry.   Keep an eye out as we release more stories like this over the next few months.

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