All aboard Arcadia for the 2016 IT Directors Forum
Step don’t jump – IT Directors Forum 2016
Where has the past year gone? The IT Directors Forum is an hour glass for me – or maybe I should say ‘year glass’. It has become part of my life. I heard someone talking about their ‘personal brand’ recently in reference to what they would associate themselves with. I love the IT Directors Forum because it totally aligns with my personal brand – my business and personal ethics. I have been on board Oriana, Aurora and Arcadia so many times I have one line (at least) of the safety talk ingrained in my mind. “If you do have to enter the water, simply step off of the side of the ship.”
“I take a fair bit of verbal abuse about my ‘annual holiday’ and ‘pleasure cruise’ and I am really happy to accept that…”
I consider many of the Richmond Events staff as personal friends, people I like to spend time with outside of work as well as in work. I take a fair bit of verbal abuse about my ‘annual holiday’ and ‘pleasure cruise’ and I am really happy to accept that. There is no doubt, it is like a holiday to me. To put this into perspective I never have holidays lounging around doing nothing. I have to be doing something the whole time and the IT Directors Forum fits that bill for me. It is full on from the moment we step on board to the moment we roll off.
My annual blog accounts of our times on board the ship provide the detail. High jinx on the high seas. Back on shore we often hear mention of the legendary Astro ITDF ‘launch party’. Honestly, this just starts with Mr Hodges and myself sitting in the Suppliers Reception reading our itineraries. As the minutes pass, our old friends descend on us for a catch up. It may appear that we have Velcro around our table but I can assure you there are no subversive means, just old friends catching up with old friends.
“This will be my 14th IT Directors Forum and 16th time with Richmond Events…”
This will be my 14th IT Directors Forum and 16th time with Richmond Events, including the two City IT events I attended before they were rebranded Autumn IT Directors Forum. The organisation is always first class and the Richmond Events team always deliver an exceptional customer experience. When we get to meet our friends, old and new, it is in an incredibly positive environment. In my experience, people never forget their time at the IT Directors Forum and as a result they never forget the people they meet.
Some years ago I received a call from someone three years after an ITDF meeting. He opened the conversation with. “We met three years ago in the Crow’s Nest on the Aurora and we had a conversation about our wireless network.” I remembered it like it was yesterday. Perfectly framed, in an idyllic setting enabling the delegate to remember that we were wireless specialists and enabling me to recall the conversation with ease.
“We have a number of new team members in administration, sales and engineering…”
Although the time has flown by since our last trip on The Aurora we have had an exciting year. We have a number of new team members in administration, sales and engineering then towards the end of 2015 we opened up a new office in Newark-on-Trent. We were also accepted as members of the Internet Service Providers Association.
It has been a great year for recognition of some of our team members too. Our Head of Network Services, Dean Bruce, won the TGI Friday’s Customer Service Award at TGIs annual awards night. Then a few months later our two apprentices were named as two of the three finalists for the ITP Apprentice of the Year Award 2015. Our engineering apprentice James Tuck was announced the winner with Joe our sales apprentice very close behind receiving a commendation.
“It was an exciting year for us in engineering terms too…”
Joe was also a finalist in the Freeman of the City of Coventry annual Apprentice of the Year Award. City College Coventry nominated both of our apprentices for the award. One of the college officials later told us that this was the first time in the history of the award that two apprentices from the same company had been put forward by the college.
It was an exciting year for us in engineering terms too. We were engaged by Cisco Meraki to project manage and implement the communications, network and audio-visual aspects for their new European Head Office in the City of London. We were also actively involved in the relocation from their original offices to their new Head Office.
“All quips about the IT Directors Forum aside, it is hard work and requires a great deal of stamina if you are going to make the most of your time…”
We are really looking forward to meeting up with our friends old and new on board Aurora this year. If you have never been before we thoroughly recommend it, please come and find us in the meeting area, dining room or bar (not necessarily in that order). All quips about the IT Directors Forum aside, it is hard work and requires a great deal of stamina if you are going to make the most of your time on board. The benefits are far reaching but the banana daiquiris are purely optional.