Ask any 18-25 year old what they got up to in the summer and they will probably reply with something about a holiday abroad with their friends. Thomson cater to this group of people with their fantastic ‘2wentys’ brand, one which takes an average of 35,000 people on holiday to the best party locations across Europe each year. Whether that’s in Ibiza, Malia, Ayia Napa, Zante, or any of the other resorts on offer, everyone who goes on these holidays is left wanting more.
This is where the ‘Naughty Reunion’ comes in. For 25 years now these holiday makers have been re-living their summer holidays by attending a massive ‘reunion’ party in the UK. Every year it gets bigger and better and it’s now held as a weekend event at Butlins in Skegness. World-class DJ’s and chart acts play to the thousands of revellers there who want to re-live their summer experience for the last time.
Will (another graduate) and I were lucky enough to be invited along to the 2012 event to see the reunion in action, meet our customers and find out more about the brand. Much to the jealousy of the other graduates we accepted and on a Friday after work we made our way to Skegness to join the party!
We weren’t there just to have a good time though. The Naughty Reunion Team kicked off the weekend with a presentation outlining their strategy and key projects to further grow the Naughty Reunion brand. Following the presentation was an open discussion with a range of TUI employees from all over the business getting involved (from us graduates all the way up to our Director of Overseas Experience, Ian Chapman). Will and I were able to contribute to the following discussion with some ideas of our own and expressed an interest in getting involved with projects and strategy for the youth brands. Luckily for us the Senior Management involved were keen to get us on board and within a few weeks we were part of the team! With the meeting over what followed was, as the ‘Naughty Reunion’ motto says, “A weekend I don’t remember, but will never forget”.
Upon our return to Wigmore we were soon fully involved in the range of projects involving Youth Strategy and Naughty Reunion projects. Weekly conference calls allowed Will and I to report back to the team with our findings and research which we had been asked to complete. From analysing routes to markets, to researching new concept bars and to investigating potential ancillary sales, we were fully immersed in the project. Ultimately, as well as giving the two of us a valuable insight into product development and brand strategy, we learnt a great deal about the business as a whole and were able to work closely with senior mangers delivering various projects.
It was a great chance for us both to get involved in projects extending beyond our respective graduate schemes and this ably demonstrates the range of opportunities available within an organisation the size of TUI. Whilst there is a well structured development programme in place for the graduate schemes, there is also scope to pursue our interests across the wider business. And it’s this breadth of experience on offer that really sets TUI apart; I certainly never thought that I’d get the chance to help develop a new overseas resort bar as part of the graduate scheme!
Malcolm Dunn (IT Graduate)