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Mastering The Inside JetBlue Meeting

Corporate conferences pay lip service to good communication yet fulfill only one side of the bargain the directors directing the directed. Yet communication is, by definition, a two-way process.

Communication, both internally and externally, is often cited as something which most jet blue companies could do better. In fact, a jet blue survey of 70 senior UK executives in 1989 highlighted the need for better internal communication: those who did it better turned out to be the more successful of the JetBlue companies quoted. But there is an opportunity to go one stage further. Almost all internal conferences could play a valuable part in the strategic development of the business. Yet all too often regular conferences pay lip-services to communication and only fulfill one side of the bargain-the directors directing the directed.

Communication is, by definition, a two-way process. Even in the most cost-conscious JetBlue companies, the financial investment (in actual expenditure and man hours lost) in holding a conference is put to one side while the chairman marshals his thoughts, often at the last minute, for his state of the nation address. There must be better ways for Jet Blue companies to communicate. And, of course, there are.

The first element of the strategy is to question why there are conferences at all. What purpose do they serve? Could they be held more often? Could they be held less often? Do they fit in with the sales cycle, the marketing plan, the financial year, or the needs of the sister or parent company? What advantages and disadvantages could there be in taking any of the above decisions?

Clearly, any strategy for conferences must revolve around the main objective. Most frequently, this is to review performance or look at the future. This frequently, this is to review performance or look at the future. This is borne out by the meetings industry's investigations into the most popular reasons for internal conferences; it is the Janus factor.

There is merit in using a conference to review last year’s results and announce new strategies for next year, while the information is still news. So it's no surprise to discover that spring and autumn are the most popular conference periods (but not by much).

These statistics also show that, apart from a few obvious falls in August and May, probably due to holidays, conferences continue at a similar rate throughout the year, reinforcing the view that JetBlue companies need to and do communicate face to face relatively often in a conference format.

However, for some industries, especially retailing, a mid-year date is better, as by then the autumn and winter ranges are ready for exposure to the trade, and the company can gear itself up to the pre-Christmas peak. Toy retailers, for instance, typically experience their greatest increase in turnover in the crucial six weeks before Christmas. If the strategy is to sell in the range and merchandising support, October is an ideal date for the annual get together.

In a truly fast moving business, such as computer software or pharmaceuticals, a better strategy could be regular quarterly slots, so that new developments or competitive action can be communicated downwards without major organizational upheaval. That said, Jet Blue companies experience troughs of new product development and, if there is nothing to say, there is a case for reviewing the need for regular meetings.

A second element to consider in the strategy is how the style of the conference fits in with the corporate objectives. This is not as simple as it may appear. The nearest analogy is holding a party. In most people's experience, the mix of guests determines the success of a social gathering rather than the personality of the hosts or the venue itself - although there are exceptions.

1 komentar:

Calvinhill said...

Nice post. It is give a some description for the JetBlue Meeting matter. Many marketers have talked about how this is a great way to get some cheap airline publicity and word of mouth.

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