Some of you may remember those hard-hitting American Express commercials starring Oscar-winner Karl Malden in a fedora and dark suit standing, looking intently into the camera and saying: ‘You’re in a foreign country. You don’t speak the language. You’ve lost your luggage. You don’t have your wallet. You have no money. WHAT WILL YOU DO, WHAT YOU WILL DO!?’
Then Malden would ‘sell’ the benefits of carrying American Express Travellers Cheques and end with that classic tag line: ‘Don’t leave home without it.’
The campaign comprised of 100 TV commercials and ran from 1973 to 1994. It was praised for its simplicity and effectiveness in building the American Express brand.
Happily, travelling overseas today is a lot easier and less stressful than depicted by Malden in his ads.
Though there still can be bumps in the road, when you choose to travel with a professional event management company such as Corporate Blue, which has over 20 years of experience in managing large groups of corporate travellers, almost any situation can be dealt with easily.
In one recent instance, a group’s flights were cancelled en-route to Hawaii and Corporate Blue quickly found an alternative airline and route. Where they couldn’t get flights on the same day of departure they booked accommodation at the airport and arranged flights out the next day.
Occasionally, passports do get lost or stolen overseas and when this has occurred Corporate Blue has arranged emergency passports enabling the tour member to return home without a hitch.
On another occasion a conference delegate who was travelling with Corporate Blue suffered a heart attack in Beijing. The company immediately contacted his insurance provider to arrange the best care available under his policy as well as the appropriate facility to care for him.
‘We had a translator at his hospital bedside for the duration of his hospitalisation and relocated the client’s wife to a hotel closer to him until he was able to fly home,’ said Linda Millard, Corporate Blue’s Events Manager.
‘We also arranged additional funds and our ground operator remained on-hand throughout the entire time to assist with purchasing of groceries, additional clothing, and medication as well as changing their return home flights – we even helped them with their insurance claim when they got back.’
A similar situation happened to another conference delegate who unfortunately broke her pelvis, a collar bone and ankle, as well as cracking a number of her ribs whilst out shopping in Hong Kong. Like the previous situation, Corporate Blue took care of everything until she was well enough to fly home.
While these incidents are rare, they do highlight the benefit of travelling with a company that has the necessary experience and know-how to handle tough situations that can impact a client’s welfare when away from home.
‘We’re also pretty good at locating missing luggage,’ added Millard.
Another area where Corporate Blue excels is in the selection of ground operators – those friendly local guides who know everything there is to know about a region, city, tourist attractions, customs, culture and restaurants.
Millard says that they only select companies who have similar core values to their own and understand exactly what it they’re providing to individual clients and groups.
Corporate Blue even goes to the trouble of meeting prospective on-ground providers face-to-face prior to them being officially appointed to chaperone an international travel group or study tour.
It’s this strict attention to detail that allows this boutique event management company to consistently deliver a level of exceptional ‘concierge-style’ service for key clients such as the Property Profile Group, Fairfax Media and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
The next major tour that the company will host is the inaugural AADA and Deloitte Study Tour to the NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco, California USA, 21 – 25 January, 2015.
This tour will provide Dealers with industry-leading content, two business breakfasts, a visit to a NADA-approved dealership, the opportunity to inspect hundreds of new products and numerous NADA University workshops covering the industry’s hottest topics.
So, if NADA is blocked-out in your diary, don’t leave home without Corporate Blue.
Registrations close 29 November 2014, or visit www.nadatour.com.au for more information.
P.S. You check out some of Karl Maldon’s classic American Express commercials on YouTube.