GFG Conference takes on tango territory with its Fall 2008 conference in Buenos Aires…
CONFERENCE NEWS – BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – FALL 2009
||The GFG conference received sponsorship from Assekuransa in person and Logiware in absentia
(Click logos to visit company information and website link)
The Emperador Hotel welcomes the Global Freight Group conference …
GFG Group Administrator, Rachel Marchant, reports on the conference at the Buenos Aires conference, 21 – 24 September 2008
Distance is no object…
There were some concerns that the distance that lies between our target location, Argentina, and many members, might result in a poor attendance. However, distance was no problem. Knowing that members are obliged to attend the Fall conference means that members can rest assured that they can meet with everyone in one place and at one time. This is the reasoning behind having one mandatory conference. It is also the reasoning behind the non-attendance penalties. If members are expecting to meet with all other members, imagine their dismay when other members do not make the same effort and commitment to attend.
A Sunday of contrasts…
Although initially distracted by the views from the windows of the Aranjuez room, the Directors soon focussed on the GFG matters on the agenda.
The issues discussed included the new member incentives, second member for China, absence penalties, group rates for air and sea freight and the sales leads generation programme.
Walter Rossen from Levaco kindly visited to share his views on the ability to obtain group rates for the GFG members’ sea freight.
Cocktails and snacks…
The conference kicks off with cocktails and canapes, enabling members to to rekindle their friendships before business begins. Many members have been meeeting up since the inception of the group in 2004 so long term relations are strong.
The ‘penthouse’ location of the Puerta del Sol room at the Emperador Hotel offered fantastic views across the city night lights to the sea as members enjoyed catching up with each other and sharing a few drinks and superb canapés.
The ‘wives club’ certainly had some catching up to do and there was plenty of laughter resounding.
The host member, ACSA Srl, were well represented by several staff who came to meet members and welcome them to their city.
|Some of the ACSA team
||The ‘wives club’
Business starts with the General Assembly…
After enjoying the first social event and a chance to update each on news, the business started on Monday morning.
The General Assembly provided the opportunity for the directors to relay the issues discussed in their own meeting and also to invite comment and discussion from the members.
Matter discussed included GFG group rates for air and sea freight, Bilkar’s debts, a second China member, group finances, absence penalties, sales leads programme, various committee reports and the future conference locations and arrangements.
The minutes from the General Assembly are available on the website.
The President’s Award goes to…
|…Corinne Dalloz on behalf of Thales, France. In recognition of Corinne’s commitment to the GFG on behalf of Thales, Marina awarded her the President’s Award. Thales have sent a representative to every meeting, including the casual ones. Corinne herself makes the effort to meet with every member, not just those with whom Thales already has business but also those with whom they don’t, in anticipation of their future needs and developments. This is the forward thinking participation the GFG needs. Well done!
Operator of the Year…
This award stems from the appreciation of the ‘background’ staff who handle all the operations and don’t tend to particpate in the GFG conferences. Started in 2003, this was the sixth year the Operator of the Year Award was presented to the person nominated by the most members for their excellent service during the year. this year it was awarded to Shirley Atkinson of Hifreight Express in Malaysia.
|Lee Han Leong of Hifreight Express in Malaysia accepted the award of Operator of the Year on behalf of his colleague, Shirley Aitkinson. After the conference, Mr KS Yap, the Director of Hifreight Express, awarded Shirley with her certificate and prize money.
As usual the obligatory Fall members is the opportunity for adancement within the Global Freight Group. this time was no exception as the membership status of various members was voted upon. This resulted in D. Kratt International Inc, of Illinois USA being approved to advance from Aspirant to Full Member status and Cargo Express S.A. in Venezuela being approved to advance from Observer to Aspirant status.
Other voting matters included the re-election of two of the GFG Board of Directors. Ilan Fidler and Emili Ventura generously stood for re-election, committing their time to another two years of input and they were both successfully re-elected.
Congratulations to all those who were successful.
The members also voted upon the location for the main conference in Fall 2010. Although the Directors are at liberty to dictate the location, it is far more preferable to seek member input.
The chosen location was Budapest in Hungary, although Switzerland, Egypt and Prague were mentioned as future options.
New Member Submissions…
At the previous conference, Los Angeles in April, the two newest members to the Global Freight Group, had introduced htemselves to the members present. However, sadly no representatives from either company, General Freight Corporation (Pvt) Limited and LSI Logistic Solutions Ireland Limited, were able to attend the Buenos Aires conference.
The Buenos Aires conference was lucky to have the support of two sponsors, one a long-standing GFG sponsor, Logiware, and the other a local company, Assekuransa.
The link here (Logi-ware) will access a summary page of their services.
Mr Gokulnath Venkataraman and Mr Alan Palmore were due to represent their company Logiware and present their new product at our Buenos Aires conference. However, business is going so well and they have secured a large new contract that requires their attendance in a different location during the conference dates. It is with regret they they had to withdraw from the conference. However, still wanting to show willing and have some presence at the GFG event, they have agreed to send some literature and offer half the normal sponsorship amount. I’m sure we will see them again soon – perhaps at the next Atlanta conference in 2009. We thank them for their continued support.
Visit the company website (www.logiwareinc.com) for full details of their software services. The link below the logo leads to a summary page of their services.
Assekuranza is an insurance company with their head office in Germany. The were represented by 3 people during the course of Monday 22nd September. In the morning, Conrado Parmigiani addressed the members, accompanied by the translator, Maria Natalia Rezzonico. Valeria Menossi was also available to talk to members and answer questions.
Please access the link below the logo to read about their details and services. You may also view their website (in Spanish) via this link: http://www.assekuransa.com
Photo right: Mr Conrado Parmigiani addresses the GFG, with translator, Maria Natalia Rezzonico
Sales Meetings …
With the general group business updated, the individual freight discussions could start. Monday afternoon was spent holding the face-to-face meetings that are the real working aspect of the conference. There were over 200 scheduled meetings and many more unscheduled meetings between members, keeping members busy. Some members bring leads with them, others bring current business and yet others update themselves on future developments with other members in order to keep abrest of demands. There was the customary buzz in the room as members settled for one meeting and then, after an interval of discussion, moved on to the next, like bees going from flower to flower.
Tuesday welcomed the continuation of the individual sales meetings. However, many members had worked hard on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning to try to work through their meetings in order to get even a brief glimpse of the fascinating city that is Buenos Aires.
Tango the night away …
Restaurante Esquina Carlos Gardel (www.esquinacarlosgardel.com.ar) provided the venue for the closing dinner. On Tuesday night, the GFG combined great company with delicious food and a truly incredible tango show. Who knew the full history and variety of tango dances? It was enlightening and fascinating to see. As our hosts, ACSA Srl, had promised, the Esquina Carlos Gardel location also served up delicious food to accompany the spectacular show.
Members of the local host company, ACSA Srl
Post conference relaxation and exploration …
The 45 participants had an early start to travel beyond Buenos Aires and appreciate the variety that Argentina has to offer. The tour included a visit to the silversmith and museum at San Antonio De Areco, lunch, relaxation, music, dancing and even horse riding at El Rosario ranch and finally a city tour of Buenos Aires.
Members were able to appreciate how silver was taken into a molten state before being expertly formed into intricate pieces such as those in the museum. It was said that years ago people used to show their wealth by displaying their silver on their belts and even the horse bridles.
After a long drive and the museum, members were ready for country style leisure time. El Rosario ranch offered just that.
The hosts at El Rosario, Fransisco and Florencia de Guevara, were superb, bestowing upon the GFG members excellent hospitality, food (including various meats barbecued within sight), music, dance and even their Mastiff puppies!
EL ROSARIO RANCH
|Argentina style barbecue
||Music and dancing…
Smiles from everyone at El Rosario
A great time was had by everyone, though some were a little sleepy after such a good lunch, wine and a long day!
Once the conference had ended, members went their different ways. Although many were looking forward to some holiday in Argentina, taking the opportunity to explore its many diverse regions. Six different parties were going on holiday to 3 different locations: from the arid northern landscapes of Salta, the lush western wine regions of Mendoza and the very wet views of the famous spectacle that is Iguassu Falls. Everyone’s feedback was superb and it seems that the different corners of Argentina are as wonderful as they are varied.
Our thanks go to the experts at Ebano Viajes who helped Rachel organise all the tour, various holidays and the closing dinner.
They were: Emilia Camp and Reuben, together with Alejandra, our tour guide on Wednesday.
Esmeralda 847, Piso 9, Dto. G,