Sarah on… The Purchasing Conference, Egypt 2011

Each year the Purchasing department hold a conference, with any luck in a glamourous location, to bring the whole department together who live and work all over the world. This year we were in Egypt, and as a very new member of the department I would be going! Big thumbs up!!

This is definitely a work hard, play hard 4 days! During the day we had presentations about important business updates and from key hoteliers, seminars from other departments that were linked with ours, training workshops, team building sessions, interactive sessions around business strategy, hotel visits, as well as actually getting there and home again!

Me on an early morning swim to wake me up for the new day!!
Me on an early morning swim to wake me up for the new day!!

In the evening it was ‘networking’ time! As the purchasers often get little time all together in one place, each evening we were bought together to ensure that, despite everybody’s far flung locations, there was still a strong team ethos in the department. It meant people could share experience and best practice, but also to have some fun together as a reward for all their efforts throughout the year. We went on an excursion, had a fancy dinner together and finished with an epic ‘White night’ in Sensatori!

For me, it was an opportunity to meet the other teams in the department face to face, introduce myself and build up relationships with different people from around the business. Having only been with the business a few weeks, this was at first a little overwhelming, but I didn’t need to worry as everybody was lovely and enthusiastic to share their experience and learn about the new graduates! A few glasses of champagne helped my confidence too and some hilarious shared experiences on White Night meant I returned feeling really integrated within my team and with some new friends too!

 Not only was this a great way to learn about and meet people in the business – I also saw the benefit of allowing people ‘down time’ together in really cementing relationships, boosting morale, ensuring everybody felt valued and creating a great team atmosphere despite the geographical difficulties. I also made sure everybody in the Luton teams remembered my name after falling asleep on a sun lounger and holding up the bus before our evening excursion! Easily, my favourite 4 days at TUI so far!

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