After a few holiday season hiccups, I got into the swing of things pretty quickly, enjoying the winter travel and the excellent company of Austrian, German and Swiss hoteliers representing a number of hotel groups such as Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental, amongst others.
The Holiday Inn Vienna South was an excellent venue, with superb management and staff ensuring our stay was top quality, often going above and beyond the call of duty to meet our needs.
Around 120 delegates attended the event, almost all of whom participated in the Personal Power workshops lined up for the afternoon of day one.
It was fast and furious; energy being high on the first meant we flew through physical exercises and a few questions designed to spark off a little introspection. Laughter was the dominant sound throughout a fun session, culminating with each and every person breaking through personal issues and their board, with the support and encouragement from everyone in the room.
The second workshop was slightly different as I shifted gear and made slight adjustments to the programme to fit better with timing and again, everyone left the room with smiley faces, eyes glistening with new-found power and chatting excitedly to new-found colleagues.
The energy in the room was remarked upon throughout the day and more than once I was asked where mine comes from. It’s difficult to say in this post but when you work through your personal obstacles (things which hold you back, right down to beliefs) you clear the energy pathways – opening them up and allowing access to more and more energy.
On the final session of the first day people were becoming tired; they’d been thinking hard all day and it was showing; so I quickly adapted the programme again to suit the mood. Before long the room and its occupants were fully energised and when the time came, they almost came charging at their boards with gusto!
I had only 10 minutes to prepare to leave the hotel for an IHG arranged bus tour around scenic Vienna city and a traditional Austrian dinner; but I managed it and was very glad I did too…
Vienna in winter is beautiful; the architecture is quite stunning, with buildings in pristine condition, and tradition has been maintained. I was assured that it is also very pretty during other seasons.
It had been snowing all day and the bus and walking tour, apart from being hilariously funny was also an education; my ‘tour guides’ for the evening were German and both had mischievous energy. More laughter was served as the evening progressed.
Dinner was superb and I un-ashamedly told my pflaumenmus story; of how my German friend and assistant had made it at home and presented me with a jar. I kinda knew it was made from plums but had been reminded that I might find it bitter so when wondering what to do with this ‘chutney’ I baked myself a lovely big potato, added salad, with a side of pflaumenmus.
Barbara laughed uncontrollably when I told her a few days later how I’d eaten it. No wonder; it’s a dessert! Served that night with a scrumptious selection of other Austrian delights.
Another late night was spent chatting about accessing personal power with delegates who were interested in finding out more, especially about becoming more relaxed and more able to communicate with colleagues.
The next day approximately 30 – 50cm of snow was forecast; already a few airports had cancelled flights or had closed altogether, due to severe weather conditions. I luckily had no delays or re-directions, so made it back to the UK in good time.
I returned home elated and exhausted with a bottle of Austria’s winter warmer; Stroh Rum, to be used on special occasions only, as it’s 60% proof!
As always, I screened the evaluation forms to see what the feedback was and if I needed to change anything; every one had been completed with extremely positive responses and comments.
It was obvious even if it hadn’t been written, that over the course of the first day in Vienna, communication and trust had been made stronger within hotel teams, across hotel groups and in the IHG group itself.
It seems everyone there found plenty to take away with them to think about and act upon.
A good time was had by all. Next stop Den Haag.