After each visit, the company wanted to take a picture with us. After the umpteenth picture, there was ‘one more’ picture, and after that picture again ‘one more’ picture. We heard this phrase so often that it became the motto of our group. So hereby, one more blog post!
The tour had come to an end, the past three and a half weeks were intensive, but really fun.
As a travel coordinator it was a challenge to make sure everything for the tour was arranged, fortunately I had help from my committee members.
When I started with the organisation of the actual 3.5 week tour it was hard to comprehend the size of the organisation, there was just so much to think of. Part of the organisation began slowly after the committee was formed. Accompanied by other committee members we started with talking with professors at our university, asking if they had any relations in the countries of destination. This resulted in some contacts with professors of universities in Singapore and Indonesia, and a number of contacts for Singaporean companies.
I started listing the companies that we had gathered so far and discussed them with the committee. We did a selection process and came to the conclusion that not every company was as interesting.
The list of companies was far from complete, so slowly I started searching for more companies on the internet and contacting some more people. This appeared to be quite a challenge. Just searching on the internet did not yield many interesting companies. So I called in help from the contacts I had and started to expand my network.
After a long process of searching companies, contacting new companies and reminding companies of our tour, spanning over the year preceding our tour, we were able to set up a full three and a half week tour program.
Fortunately not every part of these weeks was filled with company visits, but with cultural trips too.
Dennis had great ideas for the trips we could do, he proposed what we could do and arranged these cultural trips. He was the hotline with our travel agency, he has spend hours on the phone with Eliza from Hemminkways. As you may have read in the previous blog posts all cultural activities were fantastic!
I found it really fun to be the travel coordinator on the tour. It was a challenge.
Participants were good at mocking with the committee, which led to the creation of some funny memes which were heard throughout the whole tour, like “Zijn de koffers er al?” (“Are the bags there yet?”), which was a thing when our bags were transported in a separate van from the Singapore airport to the hotel, the van broke down and we had to wait.
Another funny thing was that each person that used the microphone in the bus had to tell a joke, which made the boring bus rides a bit better. The thing was, I did not know so many jokes, but used the microphone quite often to inform everyone about the schedule. Still the participants kept asking about it. I was sometimes able to escape it by giving the microphone to another candidate or the bus tour guide.
I was also responsible for meeting with the point of contact of the companies we visited and thanking them after the visit. With over 20 companies, the participants noticed the ending was almost always the same for each company. As a gift for the company we gave the company our book with the research results of the study tour and a can of stroopwafels. The participants could exactly copy the way I said it. Sometimes I skipped the part in which I explained what the name of the cookies was, resulting in hearing “What is the name of the cookies, Bas?” from the group.
The group of participants was great, with limited problems, a lot of understanding for the organisation and quite some humour it was a pleasure to be part of the organisation.
Thank you all for the great tour!