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Britannia Conference 2013

Oct 08, 2013
The 2013 Britannia Conference held at the Marriott hotel in Port du Monaco in April was a great success despite the heavy rain that persisted for most of the four-day event.

The conference began with a sumptuous evening barbeque held in the grounds of the hotel where delegates enjoyed prawns, lobsters and other fancy fare giving everyone a boost, even if the weather was not
quite what had been expected for a Conference near the French Riviera!

After the barbeque things went into overdrive when the mellow lounge music was replaced by a DJ playing pumping disco tunes causing a brief burst on the dance floor.  As always there was a great atmosphere as members of the Britannia family far and wide caught up with each other, shared stories and experiences and got the conference off to a perfect start.

Every year the Britannia Conference business session tries to serve up something new. There are certain mainstays that are always there to look forward to such as an address from Mark Tresler, Britannia’s MD or an update on exciting new Sales and Marketing ventures from Britannia Sales Director Gavin McCarthy. The main message from Monaco’s business session was how developing technology and stronger analysis can help improve your business. Britannia’s new Marketing developments kept step with this theme by including an upgrade of the mobile friendly website for smartphones, iPads and other tablets as well as a new online quote function all announced earlier in the day.

Ben Kelly of Alphawave weighed in with an astounding presentation showcasing Googleglass the latest development from the Google empire. These lightweight glasses will allow the user to download anything from the Internet literally with the blink of an eye as well as communicate, access social media and record photos and video content via voice activated software. Due for launch later in 2013 the glasses are expected to cost around £1000 per pair. An enthusiastic discussion followed Ben’s presentation where delegates tried to work out how to integrate the glasses into every day removals. The general consensus was that not even this fantastic invention could ensure crews’ timekeeping improved or prevented surveyors from having afternoon naps in the laybys around the UK!

After lunch delegates reconvened for the afternoon session where Jon Bradshaw of Meetology delivered a rousing presentation on the science of meetings and the psychology of sales.  Jon’s insights into time management and regulating time spent in meetings at the expense of delivering results for your business struck a chord with everyone. The basic principle that people tend to buy from someone they like was a simple message that is often overlooked.  Jon’s enthusiasm for his subject was contagious and left people with plenty of food for thought.

After a lengthy awards ceremony where the great and the good performers within Britannia were rewarded for their efforts over the previous year, the Question Time panel fielded questions, provided views and discussed comments from the floor.  This is always a lively discussion and this year was even more feisty than normal with topics covered such as ‘what makes a successful Conference?’ and ‘should Corporate clients attend the Britannia Conference?’. Compere Stuart Almandras was ably supported by his panel – the three area Chairmen Robert Goodwin (Northern area), Judith Bennett (Western area), Steve Almandras (Southern area) and John Luker on behalf of Britannia’s suppliers and affiliates. There were also notable contributions from somebody snoring from the back row as well as Britannia’s new member in Slough represented by David Brent.

An upbeat and enjoyable Business Session was brought to an end by a rousing speech from Mark Tresler who announced the good news that the state of Britannia was healthy and robust with a positive future outlook and the even better news that the bar was now officially open.

After three fantastic days in Monaco, the Conference finally closed with a spectacular gala dinner. Held at the world famous Café de Paris in Casino Square; Britannia took over the first floor of the restaurant with wonderful views of the square, the casino and the Hotel Louis XV. With a setting like that, the James Bond themed evening was entirely appropriate with all attendees brushing up in black tie and ball gown for the culmination of the event’s festivities.

The Conference was then treated to a wonderful three course meal rounded off by a highly competitive James Bond quiz. Afterwards Mark Tresler officially closed the Conference and congratulated all on a highly enjoyable event. Attendees were escorted over the road to the casino to try their hand on the tables and enjoy a few more drinks at the elegant bar. Everyone was given a head start at the casino with a casino chip kindly donated by one of the Conference sponsors, Reason Global.

A terrific evening eventually came to an end when coaches brought delegates back to the hotel for a final bedtime drink before saying goodnight and goodbye to Monaco the following morning.

Photos: Britannia Conference 2013

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