Well just when you thought that it couldn’t get any better it got even better!!!
Spain managed to whip up an audience of over 60 people (and yes the vast majority were customers) – well done Jesus and Jacinto.
Format the same as before – it really is quite spooky to see the same charts day after day but always in a different language. The high number of customers led to a much more active Q&A and we got even better insight into what was at the top of customer’s concerns.
– there were the usual questions about where do bugs come from, how often do they feed, is there risk of disease transmission and then the meeting took a very interesting turn…
– it started with a question about how long bites might remain visible and then took off down the line about liabilities. It is clear in Spain that there is a major concern about the potential for litigation etc.
We then went off on a whole track of crisis management which really expanded our conceptual thinking around training customers. Original thoughts were all about training house keepers and maintenance folk on what to look for so they became part of an early warning process. What emerged today was a clear signal that hotels want a blow by blow account and process of how to cope with every element of what they see as a bed bug crisis including how to deal / reassure customers (FAQ’s, discussion on compensation, how to minimise spread, specific things to do and say etc etc.
We heard stories about how other PCO’s had recommended to destroy everything which clearly cost a lot in replacement fittings – all of which could have been saved with a little thought; this again showed a lot of ignorance out there and the discussion really did position us as professional experts.
Some interesting discussions on time to allow re-occupation of rooms and when to conduct follow up treatments.
PR front went well with Mike Potter and I giving an interview to Plagas Urbanus – a Spanish Pest Control magazine, and Jesus giving a live radio interview. Two more interviews planned for tomorrow.
Closing thought tonight originated from Randolph as we left the bar this evening (yes Caroline the bar) – 2010 world Cup is in South Africa – this could be a great programme for SA in 2009 to control existing infestations and to prepare for the likely onslaught of new ones with the sudden influx of visitors.
International bed bug week concludes tomorrow – as will these nightly blogs; thank goodness I hear you say.
Buenas Noches from Madrid.