GoCruise Conference – July 2016
The arrival of July meant that it was time for the second GoCruise conference of the year – and what better venue to hold such an event than in beautiful Suffolk countryside. Originally built in 1570, the Tudor barn of Copdock Hall reopened in 2015 following a three-year restoration project. Having proven to be a popular venue choice in summer 2015, Copdock Hall welcomed GoCruise specialists for the second consecutive year.
Whilst the venue may have been the same, each year within the cruising industry is different – with many new products available, as well as new challenges to tackle. The summer GoCruise conference enables franchisees to learn more about the business as a whole and put forward any queries they may have. It also provides a chance to review the state of the cruising industry and find out the best way to move forward.
Head of Cruise, Geoff Ridgeon, led the morning session and provided an in-depth analysis into the past. By observing CLIA statistics and contemporary issues such, Geoff was able to draw upon customer habits and paint a picture of what the next few years may bring. One of the main concerns at this year’s summer conference was the outcome of the EU referendum and the inevitable dip in consumer confidence that followed. However, Geoff reassured franchisees that business was recovering and that consumers are continuing to book holidays through GoCruise.
After a short Q+A session, Franchise Manager, Bridget Coe, took to the stage to offer advice on how to maintain and enhance customer relations. Our head office is able to provide a wealth of in-house services such as e-commerce, marketing and administration to ensure you are well-equipped when it comes to running your own cruise business. Bridget emphasised the importance in utilising all of the in-house services on offer to maximise business potential.
Following a morning of review and insight into the cruising industry, the afternoon provided a unique opportunity for franchisees to network with a variety of cruise lines. This enabled franchisees to find out more about new campaigns, products and destinations, as well as receive up-to-date marketing advice.
Some of the cruise lines present at the Belstead Brook included: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise and Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, and Voyages of Discovery. With the industry forever changing and new products being introduced all the time, this event offered a great chance for franchisees to learn more about the cruising market as a whole.
The evening saw franchisees and members of head office return to Copdock Hall for an evening of entertainment and light-hearted networking. The theme for the evening was a combination of German and British beer festivals. Traditional, long wooden benches were laid out and lined with German pretzels, whilst at the back of the room, a variety of German beers were being served. As everyone took their seats and got comfortable, a tribute to the 1970/80’s British pop rock duo, Chas & Dave, took to the stage to perform popular hits such as Rabbit and Gertcha.
Our family of over 60 Cruise Specialists from around the country continues to grow year-on-year. Each of these conferences provides a unique opportunity to learn about the cruising industry and network with a wide variety of different cruise lines. Additionally, it offers a chance to meet members of staff from head office and take advantages of some of the services on offer.
GoCruise is owned by Fred. Olsen Travel – a respectable travel company with extensive experience in the travel industry. Over the course of the last 16 years, GoCruise has grown from strength to strength and is now regarded as one of best independent travel agencies in the UK. Upon joining Cruise Franchise, you will receive extensive training and support in ensuring your business is highly successful.
For more information, contact us via the Freephone Number above or complete an Online Enquiry Form.