Well, it happened again. Nashville attempted to join the ranks of top tier cities with our own landmark New Year’s celebration, complete with a “ball drop” all our own, only to see the much celebrated musical note get stuck halfway down the track.
“We don’t know what happened,” said Nashville Convention and Visitor Bureau chief Butch Spyridon, “but we are working with our crews to figure it out for next year.”
Yes, I know that these things happen. I have enough history as an event manager to know that things don’t work the way they did in rehearsal. However it behooves any meeting planner to make sure that the centerpiece of the entire event, the reason in fact for the gathering in the first place, works as advertised when the time comes. You’ve got one shot each year to get it right, and for the second year in a row the CVB failed to pull it off.
This is, of course, not a particularly big deal. After all, this is simply a visual gimmick to signal the coming of a new year. Nashville’s karma as a city will not be affected in any way by the failing note.
But this is the same Convention and Visitor Bureau that suggested in the run-up to the Music City Center vote that there will be no problem keeping the facility busy. This is the same CVB head who suggested in the weeks after the floods that it was appropriate for area hotels to kick flood victims out of their rooms so that there would be room for CMA Fest attendees. Our Convention and Visitor Bureau wields immense power in our city, and as such it would be great to know that they could succeed in doing something simple like dropping a sign down a shaft without getting stuck.
I recognize that tourism is an important industry for our city, and I know that our politicians love tourists for the generate lots of tax income that doesn’t have to be assessed to citizens who actually get to vote. Accidents happen, and things don’t always work the way that we hope they do.
It just makes me wonder that if they can’t get this right, how can we trust them in believing they have what it takes to make the Music City Center a success?