Members dive into Acapulco conference with enthusiasm…but it’s hot work!
Just outside the centre of Acapulco, alongside the crashing waves of the Revolcadero Beach, lies the Fairmont Acapulco Princess Hotel. Here the Global Freight Group members met for their 19th Bi-annual Conference, from 21st – 24th September 2003.
Set in beautiful grounds, with waterfalls and flamingos, the Fairmont hotel provided a stunning setting for the hard work of reviewing the group during the General Assembly and participating in over 500 face-to-face sales meetings. Despite on-going efforts to obtain visas, some members were missing but a total of 55 members and 15 accompanying partners attended the event.
The GFG Colombian member didn’t have far to travel to make his conference debut. The GFG members were pleased to meet Mr Henry Quiroga of Login Cargo Ltda and welcomed him to his first conference.
Three very recently joined members were sadly unable to attend the conference and they were Eric Cauchi S.A. of Greece, Cargo Plan International of United Arab Emirates and Delta Express International of Ukraine. The members look forward to meeting them all in Lisbon in April 2004.
Although the Board of Directors had spent Sunday in conference, events started for the majority of members with the Cocktail Party where old friendships were renewed and conference items were distributed. The heat and humidity of the Cascada Bar, though beautiful, meant that it was probably the first cocktail party that ended on time! However, several members moved to the airy lobby bar to continue their socialising.
Monday morning saw the conference start in earnest with the General Assembly, chaired by the GFG President, Marina Marzani. The hardwork of the Directors the previous day was relayed to the members in the form of a review of membership; a new initiative aiming to simplify membership status, give members equal voting rights and commit each and every member to attend at least one meeting per year. The Fall meeting would be mandatory, with optional attendance at a more relaxed meeting in Spring. The suggestion was welcomed by the GFG members and its implementation was agreed.
The strength of the group is felt to be the result of continuing to adapt and move forward and also the years spent building good relations between members at the bi-annual conferences. The President, Marina Marzani, has attended every conference since she joined her company Esse Emme, and is adamant that attendance is of the utmost importance for a solid future as a freight network. Outside business matters, some members have been known to holiday together. and this type of friendship gave birth to the pseudonym ‘Global Friends Group’.
Other matters covered during the General Assembly were the re-election to the post of Treasurer for Mr Richard Cope of USA Cargo Services and the advancement of membership status for Fast Forward Freight (Netherlands), Levaco NV (Belgium), PT Indo Prostime (Indonesia) and Login Cargo Ltda (Colombia). Congratulations are due to all concerned.
Future conference locations were also voted upon, resulting in Shanghai being the favourite location for the Fall 2005 conference. Hosts for that event will be Helka Express International based in both Hong Kong and China.
The conference continued on Monday afternoon with the Regional Sales Meetings, in a format voted for by the members as a result of the feedback from the previous trial. Printed agendas were made available to enable the members to focus their discussions and gain maximum benefit from the meetings. Each region held its own meeting, followed by a feedback meeting comprising one spokesperson from each region. The larger regions felt that they benefited from their regional meeting although this was not echoed by members from the smaller groups as there were insufficient participants. Overall the members voted to repeat the regional meetings but not at every meeting.
Tuesday saw the hectic buzz of the individual sales meetings. The members got down to the business side of the conference and stormed through over 500 meetings between them. These meetings are an ideal opportunity to discuss sales efforts, operational issues, payment matters and numerous other such important subjects. “You can’t achieve via email what we achieve through face-to-face discussions” has been quoted many times.
Naturally, all the hard work was tempered by social events such as the trip to the famous cliff divers at La Quebrada on Monday evening and the closing dinner on Tuesday evening. Stories and photos can be seen alongside this main report.
To honour achievements of particular members, the President’s Award is given each year. This year it was presented Vogel Transport of Brazil who have been a long-term member, attending every conference and working in the true spirit of the GFG. (See more details in the right hand column.)
The Operator of the Year was awarded, for the second year running, to Marianna Law of Helka Express International. (See more details in the right hand column.)
The GFG’s next conference will be in Lisbon, Portugal in April 2004 – why not visit our site again for updates to our conference news.
(MORE NEWS, BUSINESS AND SOCIAL, IS AVAILABLE TO GFG MEMBERS ON THE “NOTICE BOARD” WITHIN THE MEMBERS AREA OF THIS SITE. CONTACT RACHEL IF YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN THE NEW PASSWORD!).