Kerala Workshops – Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester

Since World Travel Market last week. Here at Events for Travel, we have been very busy indeed running our last event for 2017. And what a fantastic 3 day event it has been. A wide range of exhibitors from Kerala Tourism have been touring the UK to meet with the very best travel agents.

Kerala is a destination known as one of the 10th paradises of the world, where travellers come in search of peace and contentment. Wedged in between the Western Ghats on the East and the Arabian Sea on the West, the narrow strip of land known as Kerala is a destination of a lifetime.

On Thursday 9th November we were in The Copthorne Hotel in Gatwick. We arrived at the hotel nice and early to start with the room set up and get the welcome desk prepared for all our guests to arrive. All 24 exhibitors started to arrive at the hotel and they arranged their space with brochures, and little freebees to give out.

Arriving guests are greeted with a friendly welcome, they each received a traditional Kerala scarf, a booklet with all exhibitors’ details and a tote bag filled with a variety brochures and pamphlets for them to take home and peruse at their leisure. Drinks were served and the networking commenced shortly after.

 

After the weekend, we made our way to Birmingham and to the stunning MacDonald Burlington Hotel, with its traditional décor and large function room, we were even able to have a large stage set up for the presentation and videos.

Each exhibitor was able to give a short presentation about their products and services to each guest, in a business style of ‘speed-dating’, each guest moved on to the next table. This is a great opportunity to exchange contact details and to form and build working relationships. Once everyone had been to each of the 12 tables and seen each of the 24 exhibitors, a short presentation was given by Shree Dinesh Patniak, Deputy High Commissioner of India.

 

 

The next morning we got on the train to Manchester. This time we opted for a very different venue, The Refinery Restaurant in Spinningfields. The ‘L’ shape really complimented to the style of this training session. In the bar area we had our theatre style seating where guests were shown the ‘Live Inspired’ video and in the back of the restaurant we had the 12 ‘speed dating’ tables set up, which flowed seamlessly.

Kerala Tourism gave away a fantastic prize at each event. A Holiday to Kerala including flights with Oman Air for 2 people!!! 3 very happy agents received these prizes. I would like to thank everyone that attended and to all who were involved in making this event a success. We are very much looking forward to next year’s events; hope to see you all there.

 

 

 

 

WTM 2017 by Beth Purdue

 

Monday 6th to Wednesday 8th November 2017 are a very important few days for everyone in the travel industry. The Excel in London is host to the World Travel Market. A place where trade professionals can conduct business deals.

 

We have had a very successful visit with back-to-back meetings on Monday and Tuesday. It was a great opportunity to see current clients but also to meet with new contacts and form new partnerships. Our events calendar for 2018 is already getting booked up and these meetings are essential for us to speak face to face with our clients as part of our ongoing support.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Beth; I am the new Events Manager here at Events for Travel. My role will be to continue and develop the Events for Travel brand as well as to attend and oversee all of the training events.

 

This was the first time I have been to WTM and it did not disappoint. I was blown away by the vast amount of exhibitors representing countries and regions from around the world, presenting a comprehensive range of products and destinations.

After a very quick and fuss free entry we left our coats at the cloakroom and made our way to our first appointment of the day over on the Canary Islands stand, where we met Jaime and Alicia from Jardin Tropical in Tenerife. They will be attending our Luxury Hotel Roadshow in February, March and May of 2018. They informed us of a new luxury apartment complex that they will be showcasing at our events, Las Terrazaz Abama, Tenerife. Which looks fantastic and we can’t wait to hear more about it.

 

We had the pleasure to also meet with Moises Naranjo, from the Fuerteventura Tourist board. He was so impressed with they way we ran our event in 2017 that he has now secured two more events with us for 2018. Also, the same with the Tenerife Tourist board where we met Pia and Cristina, who have some exciting new ideas for their next events.

 

 

A new contact from the Azores, Pedro Salazar from Bensaude Hotel Group is joining us for our three day Luxury Roadshow in February.

 

 

On this particular stand we watched a short presentation about this beautiful island, we then got the chance to sample some of the very tasty local delicacies. Traditional biscuits and chutneys and our favourite…. The liquor! One made from milk and the other from pineapples.

Our last events for 2017 is of course our Kerala Workshop. A state in Southern India, Kerala is known as a tropical paradise of waving palms and wide sandy beaches.

 

On Thursday 9th November 2017 we will be hosting this event in the Copthorne Hotel in Gatwick. On Monday 13th we will be in Birmingham and Tuesday 14th Manchester.

 

Sissel Thorstensen who is the MD of Axium Marketing in Paris, looks after the Kerala Tourism, and enlisted our professional service to organise these exciting events. While at the WTM we had an important meeting with Sissel, here we were able to discus final details. We are very much looking forward to these events, which will have an Indian themed ‘flying buffet’.

 

LUXURY Hotels Roadshows By Lawrence Peachey

 

 

 

I took part in 9 LUXURY Hotel Roadshows with Events for Travel this year. These events take you all over the country and have been partly responsible for my improvement in pub quizzes on the subject of United Kingdom geographically. Despite the many miles involved it is a really worthwhile experience for both the exhibitors and the many travel agent attendees.

 

So, what do we get on one of the evenings. There are two types of format depending on the size of the room and number of agents. One involves agents moving to the different tables of the exhibitors and the second involves hotel presentations taking place between courses of a delicious meal. Both seem to work very well and are well received by the Agents. The Luxury Hotels Showcase offers painless training.

 

There is usually a widespread product base and we offer agents local knowledge, an intimate insight into the hotels, resorts and most importantly a contact/face that they can identify with the hotel. For us, agents offer us feedback on what’s selling, what clients are looking for and feedback on how we perform and are perceived in the holiday market. Luckily for me most only have positive vibes about the hotel and the island of La Gomera.

 

So, if you’re looking to improve your Luxury Hotel knowledge, want a well-organized entertaining evening in a nice hotel, great food and even better fantastic prizes then please register your interest for the roadshows.

 

 

Whistling is taught in schools in La Gomera http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20953138  that has to be the best educational lesson in the world but believe me an evening with Events for Travel is a close second.

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.

 

BRIGHT Travel Training Event – Portsmouth

Bright Event - Portsmouth

BRIGHT Travel Training Event – Portsmouth

Last week I went to the BRIGHT training event at the Hotel Marriott Portsmouth. I haven’t been to the events in a while due to me being “semi-retired”. However as it was local to me I decided I would go along with my husband Colin and make sure he was doing the job right!

The Sponsor on that night was Alentejo Portugal, represented by Sue Ockwell.

After the training event given by 10 of the BRIGHT Members, Sue gave a presentation on Alentejo – hidden Portugal. I didn’t know that the name means “the region below the River Tagus” The Portuguese sound their J’s so the word is pronounced Alen-tay-joe” Unlike the Spanish who do not sound the J.

Has anyone ever tried the Portuguese wine? Sue brought some Red and White wine with her and we had that as a welcome drink and throughout the meal. Very nice it was too.

Alentejo has no pollution so you can watch the night sky uninterrupted. It’s only a short flight from the UK to Lisbon. The beaches look fantastic, white sand and loads of bays to explore. If you want to know more got to Visit Portugal and look at the pictures.

Colin and I have a Motorhome and we vow to visit the region, perhaps next year. However, there are some fantastic properties, and you can stay on a houseboat too!

After the presentation, we went for dinner and Prize giving. Alentejo gave a 3 night stay inc flights and was won by Lyn Martin of Solent World Travel. BRIGHT’s main prize donated by Oceania, was £100 Love to Shop Vouchers won by Heidi Baker of Hays Travel, Southsea. Then there was the raffle with loads more prizes to be won. A great night, wish I could make more of them.

We, at Events For Travel, organise these events on behalf of overseas clients and getting agents to attend these events is never easy. However, I would like to thank all of those agents who come along to the training and support us. Without you it would not be such an enjoyable evening.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blogs.