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Interviews in the heart of the hotel #8: Meet the Entertainment and Decoration Department

Who does not enjoy a good show? And these special dinner and shows with a customized decoration? And how happy we get when our children have had such a great time with the activities and workshops organised in the hotel? And these aquagym lessons that we have aaaaall done at least once, because “I will try to do some sport while I’m on holiday because I don’t have time during the rest of the year”?

We all enjoy these sensations, right? Today, meet Catia, the manager of the department of the hotel Kings of the Shows: the Entertainment and Decoration Department!

PRINCESA YAIZA: Hello Catia! First of all, let’s talk a bit about yourself: how long have you been working in the hotel?

CATIA: Good morning! I have been working for 12 years in the hotel. I started as a decoration assistant, then manager of the Decoration Department, and finally manager of the Entertainment and Decoration Departments. Although those are two separated departments, they are brothers, as any activity organised by the Entertainment Department will need a specific decoration.

PRINCESA YAIZA: If there is no specific show scheduled in the coming days, what is your day-to-day?

CATIA: In this case, I supervise the hotel entertainment activities and check out the success they get. As far as the Decoration department is concerned, it is more difficult to measure the success of their work, as their is no objective indicator enabling us to measure it. This is not a “measurable” department like other departments which get comments, incomes, objective information to identify what we should improve.

On the contrary, this is something I can do for the Entertainment Department: by using the Hotel Experience programme, I check out how the previous night show went, and if there has been any complaint or incidence at Kikoland. Every day, we organise a different theme day at Kikoland. So, I have to check if all the necessary material is ready, and if the team have the costumes they need. As for the follow-up of the theme day in itself, Kikoland manager takes care of coordinating the activities of the day.

I also check how Baby Kikoland is doing. Baby Kikoland is our nursery service with two nursery nurses, for babies between 4 months to less than 3 years-old. Although this service does not specifically offers entertainment activities, but offers a baby nursery service, it is under the responsibility of the Entertainment Department. I have to make sure it is running properly, that it has all the equipment necessary, and I have to promote it to get new bookings – this is a relatively new service (2 years), which is why not everyone knows it.

Between this service and the rest of activities we organise, we cover the whole range of guests we have at the hotel, from babies to adults.

Then, I go to internal meetings, and I take care of the team’s briefing.

In the afternoon, I start to check the activities scheduled for the night, which are made by the night entertainment team. I make sure that all the costumes and accessories they will need is ready, and that as much the scenery as the music is set.

PRINCESA YAIZA: How many people work in your department?

CATIA: In the Entertainment Department, we have a team of 36 people at peak season, and of 26 people at low season.

PRINCESA YAIZA: And they are divided between the morning and night shift, right?

CATIA: It depends. Some people work in the morning shift, others in the night shift, and others have a split shift: 4 hours in the morning, and 4 hours at night.

PRINCESA YAIZA: We have just talked about your job when there is no special dinner show scheduled. And what about when there is a special dinner show? How do you plan a special dinner show?

CATIA: We have our own internal planning of events, with dates defined for the different special shows to be organised throughout the year: for instance, for Halloween, Christmas, summer, etc. Every time a special show is over, we take not of the good points, and of the ones that have to be improved to plan the corresponding special show of the coming year.

The special show scenario will depend on its public: if we are talking about a special show for children, the main character will be one of our mascots, and we build a story around this character. The scenario is created by our choreographer, and I tell him what I want for this particular show to give him some clues. Once the scenario is ready, we start to prepare the scenery, the music, and all the details necessary for the show.

PRINCESA YAIZA: And how long before the show do you start preparing it?

CATIA: We get the general idea for the coming year as soon as a particular special show is over. But, we only start preparing the detailed scenario and relevant material when the previous show in the planning of the year has been done, when it becomes a priority.

PRINCESA YAIZA: Who participates in the preparation of the special show?

CATIA: The choreographer, the Decoration Department, the dressmaker, the lights and sound technician, and myself as coordinator. Other departments are also involved: the Food & Beverages Department – to prepare the menu, the cocktails and take care of the service – and the Marketing Department for the event promotion.

PRINCESA YAIZA: How do you measure the success of an event?

CATIA: With the customers’ feedback. We are here on the very day of the show in order to ask the public for their opinion, and the Public Relations department then calls on the day after the show to get their review about the show, the food and drinks, and the service.

PRINCESA YAIZA: And what do you like most about your job?

CATIA: That it’s unpredicable. Coming every day to work and see what this day will be about, and there are always unforeseen events that happen, that’s what I call the X factor.

And within these unforeseen events, there are some nice ones. For example, if one of our children guests gets sick and ends up in the hospital, we leave everything we are doing to organise a visit of our mascots to the hospital. This is what makes my job interesting: I know how my day started, but never how it will end.

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