2010 Annual Meeting: Greece
Our 9th Annual Network Meeting was held at the Oceania Club in Greece from 10-12 March 2010. The first opportunity we had to meet was at our Cocktail Evening, where we welcomed old friends and met new members. The room was soon full of delegates from all around the globe, many different nationalities and cultures. Please click here to view photos.
The long distances that so many guests had traveled served to remind us of just how important the UFO network is to so many companies. One new delegate remarked that they were delighted to see UFO partners greet each other with hugs not handshakes, and this was a great indication of how close our exclusive organisation has become.
The meeting was officially opened with a review on all the developments at the UFO Head Office and an update on member’s news from the past 12 months. So that we could put a ‘face’ to each country representative, every company was asked to stand and introduce themselves. Each delegate received a round of applause – and this created a warm atmosphere in which to start our annual event.
The goal of the meeting was reaffirmed, that it was to bring our members together with no religious or political barriers, but to seek strength in numbers by spending 3 days discussing business and the challenges that our industry faces. Although members may come from varied cultural backgrounds, the issues and subjects that are faced on a daily basis are often very similar.
A full demonstration was given on the network’s new online Payment Monitoring System (see Members Area). The system has proven to be a beneficial and valuable tool since its launch, ensuring prompt payment between members. The amount of cross trade is increasing every year and it was noted that since August 2009, over 1.2 million dollars was invoiced within UFO.
The most important element of our 3-day gathering was our 1-2-1 meetings, providing delegates with the opportunity to have 30 minute discussions with companies that they particularly wanted to discuss projects with. Our delegates worked hard, attending numerous 1-2-1 meeting slots with the ability to smile and network again and again. It was evident that the hard work reaped great benefits. The time spent fostering business was well rewarded. Many delegates stated that within the first day of the meeting, new business had already been established and further fresh leads would be followed up upon the return to their offices.
The UFO 10th Anniversary Disco was another opportunity for delegates to make new contact and network whilst having fun. After a special speech by the UFO Chairwoman, 200 balloons were released from the ceiling and great fun was had ensuring that every last one was popped! Greek dancers then took to the floor, inviting guests to learn their traditional dance.
Delegates also enjoyed a Farewell Banquet at an authentic taverna whilst being entertained by a local folklore group and dancers. The evening ended in horror for many of our female delegates who were encouraged (!) to dance on a table surrounded by their cheering fellow UFO partners. However, revenge was sweet when the male delegates then danced one by one within a circle. Please click here to view photos.