I attended a very good procurement professionals networking event this week. Organised by the Blueprint Club, 20 of us took a tour of BBC Television Centre in London’s Wood Lane.
While in one of the Beeb’s "green rooms" (not actually green, but where guests go to relax before a show), we were told about some of the requests/demands made by celebrities to kit out the room for their visit.
Elton John’s plate of ginger biscuits was pretty modest, another request for a bowl of fruit was easily accommodated – and paid for by money from the licence fee. But other riders have to be met by the star’s own production company. For example, apparently Prince doesn’t like lifts or stairs (which is a problem when it comes to travelling from a basement room to a studio floors above). The solution? Hiring someone to… wait for it… carry him. Oh yes. Très diva.
And that’s not all. A waxwork model of the Pope was once borrowed (and sent by taxi - imagine how that looked) from Madame Tussauds to meet the needs of Madonna (before the Kabbalah became her religion of choice). Another superstar singer wanted an entirely white room, which included transporting some white sofas from their own Paris apartment to temporarily install in the room. And Mariah Carey apparently asked for a box of puppies to help her "chillax" before a show. The latter request was not met - it would have been unfair to the puppies and the individual who would have had to clean up afterwards, we were told.
Okay, so this blog isn’t strictly procurement-related, but it did make me think about demand management and breaking the bad news: who had to say to Mariah: “Sorry love, it’s a ‘no’ to the puppies thing”.