My task was to look after the Southern European and Emerging Markets and organise and book familiarization trips for them. I was looking after and managing the budget allocated for the fam trips as well I had to make sure that the experience delivered to those tour operators was matching every specific market expectations. It was also down to me to match the appropriate Scottish suppliers with the right delegates (I had to extensively got to know the companies’ profiles to know what sort of products/services they were looking for/selling to their clients). Therefore, I had to learn how to skilfully negotiate beneficial conditions for myself without compromising the quality of the delegates’ experience and still making sure that the Scottish trade will benefit from their visit and that each delegate will find a potential partner that they will then work closely with. I also had to work closely with my colleagues who are in charge of these markets to find out what the delegates who are attending the trip are looking for to make sure that the trip is tailor-made to them and that I introduce right buyers to appropriate Scottish suppliers. PROCESSES INVOLVED:
A 2 days training was scheduled at the beginning of my job where my line manager talked me through a life example of booking an Expo fam trip (including accommodation, meals, attractions, blue badge guide, coaches) giving me useful tips on how to approach Scottish suppliers and list of suppliers willing to assist and host the groups. Additionally, I have been given a folder with step-by-step instructions containing guidelines that I needed to adhere to with regards to budget and it was down to myself to familiarise myself with the content of the folder. Also, I was advised to schedule few meetings with my colleagues who were in charge of the markets I was assigned to organise fam trips for (Spanish, Italian Portuguese, Indian, Central European, Russian, Mexican and Brazilian). This was to introduce me to the markets’ requirements and expectations in order for me to be able to tailor-made each trip and introduce right buyers to appropriate Scottish suppliers. However, some members of staff were either away or very busy which postponed the meetings and, as a result, meant that I was not instructed until very late (in some cases mid February/early March). Consequently, I was unable to start the booking process of the trips until then which left me with very little time. Similarly, one team member who was responsible for liaising with incoming tour operators regarding the opportunity for them to host the dinners for the delegates did not meet his/her deadline and I was given the task. Moreover,, as the person who was assigned the task of organising and distributing welcome bags for the delegates has left the company, there was no one else appointed to take over the task, which I have then volunteered to take this on. However, again, this was not revealed until fairly late before the event. Finally, amongst many other tasks my role involved updating number of databases and spreadsheets. How did you feel about it
I was very excited about my new post. Although I had no previous experience in similar role I have the positive can-do attitude and I like challenges and when combining them together I felt that I was up to the challenge. The two teams I was working closely with very all very friendly and hard-working. I have received a great amount of guidance and suggestions from them and the support they provided me during my time there was invaluable.
Most of the team was making extra efforts and going the extra mile to coach myself and two other Expo assistants and provide us with all the product and market knowledge necessary for us to be able to perform our tasks up to their standards and expectations. I have noticed that I have had better working relationships with the persons who have been more organise and demanding...