Educating Customers Across the Globe
In 2017, BDP International hosted a series of six customer summits across the globe in an effort to continually provide our customers with a higher level of service, beyond daily operations.
From Antwerp to Mumbai, to Dubai and Houston, and finally to Singapore (for the 7th year) and Shanghai (for our inaugural event), BDP has made a conscious decision to invest in our customer's education. We host our seminars in hotels to the likes of the Sofitel, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Hyatt, to ensure a high level of service and curate distinguished speakers, guaranteeing the summit is worthy of a day of our customers' valuable time. Of the six summits, the Asia Marketing team planned, organised, and executed three, beginning with Mumbai, India in April and Shanghai, China and Singapore in October. (The Shanghai and Singapore events were held just two days apart!)
The Planning Process
Planning begins as early as nine months prior to the events. The first step is hotel sourcing, which involves our team executing a full site inspection to visit and examine the hotel's facilities. We consider the following: Is the location at a convenient place with access to public transportation? Is the meeting space renovated and eye-catching? How many attendees can we accommodate? How will the room look? There is much to consider! For Singapore, we chose the 6-star Ritz-Carlton Millenia hotel for the first time. The hotel is beautiful and the meal spread was a treat for our attendees. These are the extra touches that show our customers we take the extra step to make their day a memorable experience.
The selection and invitation of speakers began in early May of 2017. Interesting topics included: the Belt and Road mega initiative from China; Regulatory/Law changes; Digitization; Emerging markets; and Labour landscape, with a specific focus on macroeconomics. We reached out to both past and new speakers, targeting high level executives within their respective organisations. This year, we were fortunate to have a very strong speaker line up in Mumbai, Shanghai, and Singapore. Our turnout rate was high in all 3 markets, with attrition rates of only 20% from registered guests.
The feedback from a speaker (Economic Development Board of Singapore) and customers was very positive:
"Hi Mike, Angie, the pleasure was all mine. I thank you for the opportunity to share how shippers and logistics service providers need to play an active role in strengthening their innovation efforts."
"Congratulations on a well organized event, and I look forward to more collaboration opportunities."
Lesson learned from the Shanghai summit is to conduct the entire session in Mandarin, which will be more effective and engaging for both the speakers and our audience. We should also review the event application (EventMobi) functions throughout the sessions so we can increase interaction. Despite the high level of stress that comes with planning and executing two events in two days, the Asia Marketing team felt a huge sense of accomplishment in providing our customers with an insightful and educational event, with much reconition garnered. See you in 2018