SITE Crystal Award Case Study: A Royal Tragedy

The death of Queen Elizabeth II tested this DMC team’s mettle

In the world of incentive planning, unexpected challenges are par for the course. But for Spectra DMC, a London-based destination management company, the death of Queen Elizabeth II presented a unique and unprecedented test. How they handled it earned them a SITE Crystal Award for Most Creative Solution Deployed to Overcome Adversity.

As news of the Queen’s passing broke during a pre-event meeting, Spectra’s team faced a daunting task: how to salvage a week-long incentive trip for 80 American guests amid a nation in mourning. The challenge was compounded by the fact that many venues and activities planned for the trip were suddenly unavailable due to the royal funeral and associated events.

Undeterred, Spectra quickly pivoted, rearranging itineraries and finding creative alternatives. Standard tours of iconic landmarks were replaced with excursions focused on British film and music, offering guests a different perspective on the city’s cultural landscape.

One of the biggest hurdles was finding a new location for the farewell dinner, originally scheduled to be held at Kensington Palace, a royal residence now closed to the public. Working closely with the client, Spectra secured an alternative venue that minimized disruptions to vendors and ensured a memorable experience for the guests.

Throughout the week, Spectra maintained open communication with both the client and attendees, keeping them informed of any changes and offering reassurance. The company’s efforts fostered a sense of camaraderie and understanding between the American guests and their British hosts, despite the somber circumstances.

“It was truly an experience that will last in everyone’s memories forever,” said Paul Miller, Managing Director of Spectra DMC.

The Queen’s death and its aftermath presented a “perfect storm” of challenges for Spectra, but the company’s swift action and adaptability ultimately resulted in a successful and meaningful experience for its clients. This demonstrates the critical role that destination management companies play in navigating unexpected events and ensuring the success of corporate travel programs, even in the face of national mourning.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0

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