The #FruitsOfLabor Story Pt13 – The Lesson of the #BluLagoon
Does anyone remember the #BluLagoon? Part I was a huge success. Part II was a Lesson. 3 Floors, 10 Rooms, 1 Elevator, Swimming Pool, and water front Balcony. The House was sick! The idea for an exclusive beach house party was fostered between my LB’s Jon, Antonio, Ashard and myself. There had been similar events held in the past by competing organizations but, the event had not been sustained for different reasons. The expectation and demand for this type of event at Hampton was sky high in November and the market was wide open. We took responsibility to fill that void.
I took on the role of event coordinator and created a #BluPrint. I realized immediately that an event of this magnitude was going to require meticulous attention to detail and the capable man power to match. I organized a #BluLagoon II chapter meeting and the plan was in motion. Next, Antonio and I drove to Va Beach. We shopped for a house that would top the previous year but hadn’t found anything. Just when we were about to call it a day we saw this beautiful blue mansion at the end of the block. It was perfect. We’d found the winner! When we returned to Hampton, Antonio had the tickets designed and printed. Jon and I attacked the social media marketing. The rest of the guys were leaned on for Distribution(ticket sales). I estimate that the capacity of this 3-storied house to be about 350 people. The initial goal was to sell 200 tickets and party comfortably. Then because of popular demand, we decided 300 tickets would be better to maximize campus experience. Then demand got so crazy that we capped it off at 350 but tried to detour people away by raising the price! That didn’t work. Tickets were completely sold out. No one could have told us that we bit off more than we could chew. We rented the house for 5 days and enjoyed plenty of time there throughout the week. The party was set for Friday night, so Thursday we began to move furniture and fail-proof fragile stuff. We even got creative with the upstairs by setting up a “VIP” area in the back. I made reservations for two 15-passenger shuttles that would carry classmates to and from campus. Nick and Steve chef’d up the #BluJuice. The anticipation was rising. Literally EVERYONE on campus was talking about the #BluLagoon. The stakes were high and we were ready.
The Climax came Friday evening as the sun was setting. I’m at U-haul picking up the vans with Ralph Johnson when I get a call from an unknown 757 number. It’s the Va Beach leasing office calling to let me know that if we have a party there they are going to shut it down. I hang up the phone at an utter loss for words. I played calm to Ralph but inside I was frantic “How did they find out??”, “What do we do now??”, “Do we call their bluff and party tonight?” Na too risky. “Do we cancel??” Na cant refund ticket money or afford the campus withdrawal. The shuttle is supposed to pick up at 8 and its 6! I called an emergency chapter meeting and rush to campus(the harbors). We deliberated on multiple options and decided that the best move was to push it back 1 day to Saturday, no turning back. We instructed the whole chapter to blast the new date and apologize for the inconvenience. Temporary relief. About 30 of us went to the house and partied that night anyway with no sign of authorities.
The next night we orchestrated as scheduled. Everything was going as planned and the house was filling up quick! It was the epic party we had envisioned. The #BluePrint had finally come to life!.. Until about 2hrs in when the shuttles fell behind schedule and were not at the pick up points. People were getting impatient and started to GPS the location from Twitter. They were driving to the house and it became a mess! People outside, Cars everywhere. It got rowdy. Everything was moving 100mph. Before we knew it there was a knock on the door, it’s the police and the Leasing Lady wearing a head scarf (Fresh outta bed are we?). The party ended abruptly. Disappointed that it didn’t go exactly as planned but I was proud of what we accomplished. We were able to pin point mistakes and learn from them. The skills I used for this event ranged from planning, delegating, budgeting, marketing, Public Relations, and crisis management. I never thought throwing a party could teach me so much about business. We executed a plethora of events during my time with Beta Gamma but the #BluLagoon was special. It was a Lesson.
So you’re probably wondering, “So how did the leasing office find out?’ A certain brother (that will remain anonymous) called the office to have house sprayed because he saw a bug…………… 1 BUG. #TheLesson
Invalid Displayed Gallery