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American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)

American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting

Conferences & Exhibitions

Disaster recovery — like clockwork


Working overtime to open a meeting on time

Location: Las Vegas / USA

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) needed to quickly and completely recover from a late-night fire that took place less than 36 hours before the opening of its meeting.

We quickly enacted our contingency plan, and extra labor and supervisors were called to work through the night. By late afternoon, there was no evidence a fire had taken place.

Late on the night of November 12, when the AAO Annual Meeting was in the final stages of move-in before a November 14 opening, a fire broke out, damaging 40,000 square feet of the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.

Once firefighters had extinguished the flames, Freeman’s team immediately began assessing the damage and preparing a corrective action plan that would allow the event to open — on time! Members of every department went to work notifying exhibitors and replacing damaged carpet.

Extra labor and supervisors quickly arrived and worked through the night and into the following morning, helping exhibitors to reinstall booths and replace graphics and audiovisual equipment damaged by fire sprinklers.

By late afternoon, there was no evidence a fire had taken place!

Despite the disaster, Freeman’s experience, resources and all-out effort allowed us to open on time and without a hitch!

Debra Rosencrance

Vice President, Meetings & Exhibits

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