BRIGHT Travel Training Event – GATWICK

BRIGHT Travel Training Event – GATWICK

The autumn chill in the air was little compared to the industry chill experienced over the past 3 weeks with Ryan Air and Monarch. BRIGHT seemed to be a suitable name to give those that attended a little more hope for the period ahead.

It was a full house for the last BRIGHT event of the season. There is a real sense that the members are a large happy family, and we agents are welcome guests into their home for an enjoyable evening of banter and talk, topped off with a delicious meal.

Wine and canapes to start and travel gossip abound as agents turn up, and then on to the main event.

Each member is seated around the room, their tables adorned with goodies, brochures and useful information to help the agent understand and sell the product they represent. Small groups of agents (in my case just 4) spend 8 minutes with the operator. With passion and enthusiasm the operator launches into a well rehearsed speech. But despite the numerous times they tell the story each time it is slightly different really focussing on us the agents and our individual businesses. It is a rare skill that BRIGHT members have and is testimony to their knowledge and passion for what they do. These speed dating sessions are not a lecture but a marriage of ideas as agents and operators swop ideas, hatch plans and bring to life destinations and products that rise out of brochures and lap tops.

After just 6 minutes there is the familiar sight of Colin, our host, circling the room with two fingers in the air! Not as a gesture often associated with this hand signal, but a reminder to each operator they have just two minutes left. Just time for some last minute inspiration before we the agents move (in an orderly fashion) to the next table. Never is there a sense of information overload so often associated with these type of events.

After what seems no time at all and the ‘getting to know you better’ side of the evening is complete. It is on to dinner where there is a very relaxed and informal atmosphere in the room. Very fitting for one of the most excellent talks from the representative from Antigua (who flew in that morning) wowed us with images and information about the island and reassured us that the island is very much open for business.

A few prizes later, and a few pounds raised for ABTA Lifeline and the evening closes with a heartfelt short speech on behalf of the members by the BRIGHT Chairman Hisham from Kirker Holidays.

Was it the fond farewell or the fact that the BRIGHT family would not be together for another few months that led to a few tears in the eyes? Was that hug on my departure just a little tighter than the one on arrival? As blind dates go, this must rank as one of the best. I scored with all of them! And did the hotel lay a new carpet between arrival and departure or was it just the spring in the step as agents left with renewed hope for their businesses and a sense that although there are some dark days ahead during the winter months, there is a BRIGHT future for the retail travel trade with such great support from the family?

BRIGHT Travel Training Event – ASCOT

BRIGHT Travel Training Event – Ascot

My name is Marie Rayner and I am a Travel Counsellor and this week myself and 60 other agents from different travel agencies were lucky enough to be able to attend a BRIGHT Training Event in Ascot at the Beautiful Royal Berkshire Hotel.

The event was attended by 10 amazing BRIGHT members who were as follows:

Davis Holland (African Pride) Jonathan Whiteley & Katie Daniels (First Class Holidays) Hisham Mahmoud (Kirker Holidays) Maria Ersmarker (Hurtigruten) Andrew Schweitzer (Viking Cruises) Julie Franklin (Mark Warner) Dan Jackson (Exodus) Greg Thurston (Cox & Kings) Sue John (Sunvil) Matt Spiller (Inside Japan) and also Jean Marc Flambert from Antigua & Barbuda Tourist Board who sponsored this lovely evening for us all. Also a lovely thank you to Doug Goodman who was our photographer for the evening.

I found the training with the members was very informative and very rewarding. I found out information that I never knew which is great for my customers. The evening started off in a private bar area with a welcome drink and a quick mingle and some lovely canapés. After everyone had arrived we were then shown into a lovely room where 10 tables were set out for the members which had brochures and information about their product on them.

The travel agents were put into small groups and we spent about 8 minutes with each BRIGHT member listening to information about what was new and how we can help our customers with choosing the right type of holiday for them.

Once the training was finished we were shown into a room all set out for our lovely 2 course meal which was very yummy. During the meal we had a chance to carry on asking the BRIGHT members more questions as they sat with us, we also had a presentation from Jean Marc about Antigua & Barbuda. What amazing and beautiful places they are.

We also held a raffle for the ABTA Lifeline Charity who provides support for Agents and their families in time of need. The prizes were donated by the BRIGHT Members and we raised £193 on the evening which was very generous.

The evening was a great success and I would like to thank Colin Sanderson from Events For Travel for another great evening.