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Four Seasons Total Landscaping: an eventprof’s worst nightmare?

It was one of the strangest moments of a very strange US election.

On Saturday morning, the result of Tuesday’s vote was still undecided but looking like it was heading Joe Biden’s way, mainly thanks to results in Pennsylvania.

It was at this point that President Trump announced on Twitter a “Big press conference” at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia. So far, so normal. The world’s press started making a beeline for the hotel.

However things then took a turn for the unusual. The original Tweet was deleted and replaced with a message clarifying that, no, the Trump campaign would not be holding a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. Rather, the event would be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a gardening business located in the Philadelphia suburbs.

The hotel also tweeted to clarify that it would not be hosting the President’s press conference.

A bemused world looked up Four Seasons Total Landscaping. Google revealed it sat between an adult bookshop and a crematorium. Google did not reveal why the US President would choose to hold a press conference there.

To everyone looking on, it appeared that there had probably been a case of mistaken identity somewhere along the way. But, almost unbelievably, the press conference went ahead anyway.

By the time the event kicked off, the major networks had called Pennsylvania for Biden, thus confirming that Trump had lost the election.

And so it was that Trump’s personal lawyer, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, stepped out in the car park of a garden centre to detail the latest details of the campaign’s attempt to secure Donald Trump’s re-election as the most powerful man in the world. Adult books to the left of him, coffins to the right of him. Someone had fumbled?

During the event, Giuliani was informed by a reporter that Biden had just been declared the winner. “Don’t be ridiculous”, he shot back, which given the circumstances, seemed bold.

Twitter, predictably, had a field day with the news, with Four Seasons Total Landscaping trending worldwide ever since.

The Trump campaign has not publicly said how the event came to be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping and whether it indeed was a case of mistaken identity.

In a statement on Instagram, Four Seasons Total Landscaping said: “Our team at Four Seasons would have proudly hosted any presidential candidate’s campaign at our business. We strongly believe in America and in democracy. We hope that our fellow Americans can join together and support all local small businesses at this time.”

Whatever happened, the tale does neatly illustrate just how important the role of event organising is to a brand. Just one misplaced phone call, or event scheduled in error, and you risk global mockery. Who’d be an event professional?