Background:

An international association of graphic artists arrived at Able with a major financial issue - $40,000 just missing, gone, went with the wind, no trace.  Clearly whoever had been handling their finances in the past had been either incredibly inept or outright dishonest.  Regardless, Able Management Solutions reviewed the rest of their operation and agreed to take them on, including an already-planned conference in Yellowstone Park in Bozeman, Montana.  The signed contracts already in place were less than ideal, with some truly hateful attrition clauses for rooms, catering and other services.  The conference was set to start on September 14, 2001.

 

What We Identified:

Major disaster hit.  With conference attendees coming from all over the world, the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on the morning of September 11 grounded planes and stranded passengers. Chaos ruled in both transportation and communication. A member from Tokyo was stranded in Las Vegas, other members were stuck in Canada and other places.  With the hotel contracts in place, this was going to cost the association a fortune, one they could ill afford.

 

What We Did:

Able’s meeting planner got on a Greyhound Bus the morning of the 12th and headed west. She got to the hotel, got down on bended knee and got the attrition clauses adjusted for the tragic and unforeseen circumstances. One member of the association was so impressed when he heard what Able was doing that he climbed on an east-bound Greyhound himself, and headed off to meet the dedicated Able staff member in person. 

 

“I’d like to say first how thrilled we all are to have you (Able) on our team. No exaggeration – I can hear the smiles on the phone. I think we’re lucky that you were interested in our account, and to have someone with your capabilities and experience gives us all a feeling of confidence. Thank you.”

- Elizabeth A. Day, American Society of Architectural Illustrators.

 

How it Ended:

It was a small meeting, attended by a few members and a certain amount of chaos. Still, the conference made money, including enough to generate good will among the members by offering partial reimbursements to those who’d already paid and had ended up grounded or stranded and unable to attend. 

 

In addition, after the conference was over and a certain amount of order restored, the association took Able’s advice on streamlining their bookkeeping and financial processes, strategic planning and negotiating better contracts.  They continue to thrive as of this writing.