Employer Brand Global Masterclass European Tour - October 2009
- Tuesday 6 October - Bad Nauheim, Germany - Employer Brand Global Masterclass
- Thursday 8 October - Istanbul, Turkey - Employer Brand Global Masterclass
- Monday 12 October - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Keynote Address, Recruiters UnitedTuesday 13 October - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Employer Brand Global Masterclass
- Wednesday 14 October - Warsaw, Poland - Employer Brand Virtual Presentation into Milan, Italy
- Thursday 15 October - Warsaw, Poland - Employer Brand Global Masterclass
- Tuesday 20 October - Paris, France - Employer Brand Global Masterclass
To watch Brett's interview in Germany please click here>
Follow the tour photo deck please click here>
7 events in 6 cities in 5 countries over 20 days - Thank you to all of our event partners and guest speakers who shared the journey with me during the Employer Brand Global Masterclass 2009 European Tour. We appreciate your kind hosting and the opportunity to collaborate in employer branding with you.
Day 20 Wednesday 21 October 2009 - Paris
-well, today we fly back to Australia, I feel home in Europe but looking forward to getting home and hugging my kids!
-met up with Eugenio Amendola, Director of Anthea Consulting (and Senior Associate Employer Brand International) who had flown in from Italy. We are launching a new global internet portal in 2010. Was great to connect with Eugenio again in person - we are the Directors of the Italian Employer Branding Summit which will be held for the second time in Milan in 2010
-Veronique, Partner i&e management (and Senior Associate Employer Brand International) also joined us. The three of us discussed some ideas around about the project
-checked in at Charles De Gaulle airport was the worst I have ever experienced, not enough staff on and those that were, weren't too friendly either! Took over 2 1/2 hrs to get to our gate, lucky we left from the hotel early!
-went and visited the Paris Opera, one of my favorite places in Paris
-we only had 30 mins to rush to next flight to take us back to Australia
-first 13 hr leg to Singapore went relatively smooth, had 6 hrs sleep which was nice!
-we arrived back in Melbourne, had second breakfast for the day and took a 1hr flight back to Adelaide (and had third breakfast for the day!)
-as plane took off from Singapore I heard a loud bang, seemed like the wheels had hit something on the runway
-as we were climbing altitude out of Singapore, an automatic anouncement came over the PA that went something like, 'this is an emergency announcement, due to a malfunction oxygen masks will drop down, pull down on the mask to start the oxygen flow, we are descending to a lower altitude,' this was repeated 4-5 times but the oxygen masks did not drop
-I quickly put my shoes back on, maybe I thought it would help me walk on water! I looked around and everyone was silent. It's a feeling I hope I never have to experience again
-one of the hostess came on the PA and said the emergency announcement was false and had been activated without notice, they then said that eveything was fine and we would continue on to Singapore. -By now everyone was thanking their lucky stars!! and having a nervous chuckle, the Captain then came on and repeated the same, that everything was fine. At that moment, the plane started shaking, and a number of people screamed, we had hit some turbulance but the timing was real bad! The Captain said we were pushing through turbulance and there was nothing to be worried about!
Day 19 Tuesday 20 October 2009 - Paris
-today's venue is out of this world, it's like being in the Louvre!
-today is the final masterclass in this European series, will be a great day, we have some excellent speakers from Google, Thales, i&e management and TNS Sofres joining us
-excellent interaction between the 30 senior managers and click here present at today's masterclass
-finished the day with dinner with staff from i&e management and our guest speaker from Google, a realy nice finish to the tour, the past 3 weeks have flown by, an amazing experience
-some great insights from Renee from Google in her presentation. A number of new iniatives that I haven't come across in anything I have read on Google before, very, very interesting
-Thales employer branding journey is a great example of how to engage at the senior management level to get bu-in on your strategy
-Muriel from TNS Sofres presented some really interested information on employee expectations pre v post financial crisis, some big issues for management brewing in France compared to other regions around the world
-The team at i&e management did a sensational job on coordinating the masterclass, their attention to detail is outstanding, they are a trusted advisor on employer branding to clients in France
Day 18 Monday 19 October 2009 - Paris
-quiet day today catching up on some work and getting ready for the trip home on Wednesday
-our air/cond broke down in our room and after a few kind words to the hotel manager, we were upgraded to the top floor, WOW what a view
-I worked out of the room for most of the day and enjoyed the view
-in the afternoon we went to Notre Dame and here, my favorite Church in the entire world! The fact it took 200 years to build is amazing and shows what the human spirit it possible of
-I started to reflect on the poast 3 weeks, the people I had met, the places I had visited and the senior managers I had interacted with during the employer branding masterclass events. Over the past two years I have travelled to 28 cities to share my work in employer branding and at the same time had experienced the wonders the world has to offer. The travels have taught me alot about people, the challenges organisations face in the years ahead and just how much is similar and different in the different cities around the world. I decided to write a new book today which will publish in 2010 providing a global perspective on employer branding from my global tour the past 2 years. I'm looking forward to getting started on the journey.
Day 17 Sunday 18 October 2009 - Paris
-work up early again at 5am! Went downstairs and realised many more people were also awake
-got some quality work done to catch up business, it has been very hectic travelling across 3 countries the past week and 5 in the past 2 weeks
-decided to go to Disneyland today! I've always wanted to go, so no better time than the present!
-went on a ride called Space Mountain and am lucky to still be alive, if you've been on it, you'll know what I mean!!
-every customer touchpoint is first class, an absolutely amazing experience, the park was packed, I'd hate to see it in Summer
-caught up with Mickey Mouse and gave him some weekend reading!!
Day 16 Saturday 17 October 2009 - Paris
-walked around Paris, it is always better than the previous time, what a gorgeous city, I think we pounded out around 15kms! and without bikes! Andrea ended up with very sore feet, she went fashion over comfort and paid for it dearly!
-took the metro to visit Sacre Coeur, stunning, amazing and a fantastic view of Paris
-took time out to enjoy a first class coffee on the Champs Elysees
-found a great Lebanese restaurant close to the hotel, best food since arriving in Paris!
-went back to the Eiffel Tower, in the evening as part of our daily pilgrimage
Day 15 Friday 16 October 2009 - Warsaw/Paris
-another early start up at 5am to to head to airport for flight to Paris
-no snow today so let's hope the flight is smoother than the one coming here!
-arrived in Paris, great to be back, weather is cool, but sunny
-head to event partners HQ i&e management to meet up with Veronique who is also a Senior Associate of Employer Brand International
-met the owner of i&e management and most of the team , very welcoming, a great team!
-their HQ building is very Parisian, absolutely stunning!
-checked out the venue at i&e management for our Employer Brand Global Masterclass next Tuesday, was like walking into the Louvre, it is stunning! Looking forward to conducting the masterclass out of there on Tuesday
-we have a great line up of companies attending such as Mars, Thales, AXA, Alliance, Beiersdorf, Orange, BAT, etc and speakers from Google, Thales, TNS Sofres and i&e management
-had terrific dinner in gorgeous restaurant by the Eiffel Tower with Andrea
-the Eiffel Tower is just stunning at night, my favorite attraction (next to the Colleseum in Rome!) in the world!
-looking forward to exploring Paris this weekend
-the customer touchpoints at the hotel we are staying at are not on brand, but we will manage! When in France...............
Day 14 Thursday 15 October 2009 - Warsaw
-had an excellent group of 25 senior managers from companies such as Hewitt, Unilever, Saint Gobain Group, GoldenLine, Universum at the Employer Brand Global Masterclass in Warsaw today
-we had some great discussions on all aspects of employer branding
-employer branding is very new in Poland and there is alot of interest amongst the top companies there to get started on developing their strategy. Some of the USA or UK HQ's are starting to roll out global campaigns
-weather much clearer today, no snow like yesterday
-was great to meet up in person with Radek and Marta, members of our team at Employer Brand International
-explored the 'old' Poland with Radek Knap and had dinner at a great little restaurant, terrific service and then had a quick walk around some of the sights. It was near freezing so we headed inside to get warm
-made it back to hotel not looking forward to another early rise at 5am to fly out from Warsaw to Paris
-we're looking forward to spending the weekend in Paris and meeting up with our event partners and speakers for our final masterclass event on the tour next week in Paris
-will be great to connect with Renee from Google again and Veronique, our Senior Associate, EBI based in Paris, we spend alot of time doing business virtually and always greet to meet up with members of the team in person
-really impressed with visit to Warsaw, the place has an interesting history and people are very friendly there, the city has great character and is very westernised in many aspects, it is an exciting blend
Day 13 Wednesday 14 October 2009 - Amsterdam/Warsaw
-another early start off to the airport to catch a flight to Poland
-had the most outstanding service from a customer service champion from KLM
-we were fast tracked thru the secruity gates (line was 100m long, no joke) - I think it had something to do with signing a book for them!
-the flight to Poland left Amsterdam OK, but OMG it was the scariest flight I have ever been on, I thought the tour was going to end over Poland, we landed in heavy snow (we saw the ground only about what seemed 100m from the ground!)
-was great to be on the ground, and was fine that it took out bags 1hr to come thru! anything but being in the air
-arrived at the hotel and changed into suit and headed straight out in the snow to Microsoft to deliver a virtual presentation into Milan to a group of senior HR managers
-I think I got ripped off by the taxi driver on the way as the fare on the way back was only a 1/3 of the cost of the fare there!
-had a great meal at the hotel and caught up on emails and this diary!!!
-tomorrow I deliver the Employer Brand Global Masterclass in my 18th country - Poland, really looking forward to also meeting one of our Senior Associates and an Advisory Member of Employer Brand International at the event
-let's hope the snow has disappeared!!
Day 12 Tuesday 13 October 2009 - Amsterdam
-another great day conducting the Employer Brand Global Masterclass with senior managers from top companies in Netherlands including Philips, Ahold, Ernst & Young, ING, Ricoh and ARA
-we had a good balance of agencies and met a nice chap from TMP in the group
-a very experienced group which created some great discussion and sharing on employer branding - input from the group was terrific
-shared a drink with some of the participants following the event, was great to have a chat to the Global Head of Employer Branding at Philips who I have been following his Employer Branding work for many years. They are a company that really understand Employer Branding and are pushing the boundaries
-tomorrow we head to Poland, have had an absolutely wonderful time in the Netherlands. Lots of great memories
Day 11 Monday 12 October 2009 - Amsterdam
-spent most of the morning preparing for the week ahead, 2 masterclass events and 2 keynote presentations, a heavy load!
-I was picked up by Walter, a real nice guy who works at one of the major newspapers in Netherlands. -we had a great chat all the way to Rotterdam
-after arriving in Rotterdam in 30 minutes we took another 45 minutes to travel what seemed about 2 kms, and the bridge even came up to let the shops through
-I delivered a presentation to around 100 of the top recruiters in Netherlands who have formed a network called Recruiters United
-the venue for the presentation was amazing - a hanging auditorium on the top floor of a strange looking (but creative!!) building
-after the event we travelled by water taxi to a fantastic restaurant and shared dinner and great conversation with members of the Recruiters United Board and Sponsors
-arrived back in Amsterdam at 12am with a 6am start to prepare for the Amsterdam Employer Brand Global Masterclass that day!
Day 10 Sunday 11 October 2009 - Amsterdam
-one of the most moving days of my life when we visited the Anne Frank house
-after a long line up we took an amazing journey and whilst I had heard about the story when I was a young boy actually being in the house was a very moving experience
-we jumped back on the canal boats and continued to explore this wonderful city of Amsterdam
-I think the past 2 days we have walked nearly 20kms. I usually loose weight on tour but this time I think I am going to go home thinner!
-horses in the middle of town, only in Amsterdam!
Day 9 Saturday 10 October 2009 - Amsterdam
-Visited the Heineken experience museum which was one of the best customer brand experiences I have ever had
-we even got them to brew a beer for the tour!
-walked for miles around the city centre
-and sometimes took time out just to take it all in
-took the canal boats and kicked back and took in the very best of Amsterdam, one of the most beautiful cities in the world
Day 8 Friday 9 October 2009 - Istanbul/Amsterdam
-another very early start, up at 5am to take taxi to airport and then fly out to Amsterdam
-have heard about Amsterdam, mainly about the stuff that I just can't write about here!! But it's all legal the locals tell me!
-first impressions of Amsterdam are amazing, the architecture is breathtaking, the city has a great pulse about it, alot like Copenhagen but on a grander scale
-the view from the hotel window is beautiful, the hotel is very rich in history and a very inspiring place to stay
-the Aussies are here as well in Amsterdam, check it out
-found number 1 coffee place in Europe (outside Italy of course!!) but can't remember its name!
-the canals running through the city and the buildings aligning it make it like you're in a dream when you travel thru them on one of the boats
-met up with owner of CRF International, Steven Veenendaal and discover the excellent work they are doing to assist companies build strong employer brands.
-Steven and Hans Rothweiler took me out for a taste of Amsterdam and promised me it would be all legal
-after trying 3 restaurants which were all booked out we found a great Italian restaurant somewhere in amongst the hundreds of shortcuts through the narrow streets
-the food was amazing and entertaining
-after a sunny day it rained harder than I have seen anywhere in Australia the past 10 years, they say Amsterdam is famous for it
Day 7 Thursday 8 October 2009 - Istanbul
-terrific day, masterclass was attended by 22 senior managers from Turkey including Cadbury, Frito Lay, Coca-Cola, Philip Morris, Digiturk and Garanti Technology
-the day was filmed to allow Realta to develop some local content to grow employer branding in Turkey
-the masterclass was held on the top floor of the Hilton and one of the best venue on my global tour over the past 2 years
-had an interview with Business Week after the masterclass which went for nearly an hour, so by this time and chance of a swim in the huge Hilton pool were fading
-we headed out to dinner and Ali suggest a nice walk, after a day on my feet with the masterclass I thought a short walk would be good
A short walk turned into 1hr walk but very much worht it as we went thru the main shopping and restaurant strip of Istanbul, I couldn't believe how many people were there, apparently 1 million pass thru it on weekends
-had dinner at a great restaurant overlooking the city which at night is breathtaking
-thankyou Ali for a sensational trip, I wish I had of stayed a few more days to take in all the wonders Istanbul has to offer
Day 6 Wednesday 7 October 2009 - Bad Nauheim/Istanbul
-early start 6am to travel back to Frankfurt airport to fly to Turkey
-3 hour flight but no sleep
-arrived at Hitlon Hotel, amazing place, great views over Istanbul
-had 30 mins to enjoy the view and was looking forward to swimming in their huge pool but unfortunately that never became a reality with only 2 days in Istanbul
-had interview with The Economist which was translator by my event partner Ali from Realta, the leading employer brand agency in Turkey
-went to dinner at a traditional Turkish restaurant and judging by three floors which were jammed packed of locals, a very popular one as well
Day 5 Tuesday 6 October 2009 - Bad Nauheim
-huge day today, masterclass was well attended by 36 senior managers from companies HQ'd in Germany or surrounding region.
-Met up and connected with leaders from companies such as, Credit Suisse, Siemens, Stihl, Deutsche Borse AG, Roche Diagnostics, Bertelsmann, BASF and IKEA.
-Very impressed with presentation by Employer Branding leader at BASF who shared the journey to develop their global employer brand strategy, very creative outcomes and very detailed research - a global benchmark! Well done!
-great energy in the room, lots of discussion and sharing
-had an interview with local journalist, watch it here on youtube>
-strong mindset for employer branding in companies present, but still issues around senior leadership buy-in on employer branding at the strategic level, we spent time on business case development and I would expect many of the companies present to be commencing employer branding projects in the next 6-12 months
-we fly to Istanbul in the morning for masterclass at Hitlon Hotel on 8th Oct, had an excellent time in Frankfurt and Bad Nauheim, see you again very soon!
Day 4 Monday 5 October 2009 - Bad Nauheim
-travelled to Bad Nauheim, thought it'd be a great way to see the burbs, though second thoughts should have taken a cab, forgot we had so much luggage!
-attended Day 1 of the Milch & Zucker 10th Anniversary 2 Day Conference on employer branding
interest in Employer Branding is high in this region and from presentations today companies are well on the journey to developing their employer brand strategy, many have been executing at the tactical level and realisation has shifted towards the need for a more strategic approach
-was great to connect with the owners of Milch & Zucker, gained a great insights into their business, they have a diverse range of products and services - very strong in employer brand strategy, creative and online solutions
-had a great catch up with leader from Siemens who is driving the global employer branding strategy I was involved in in Zurich earlier this year, they are progressing very well with their strategy, they have a strong team involved in developing the employer brand so will be interesting to see the comms roll out
early to bed tonight for tomorrow's masterclass never happened, still burning the candles!
Day 3 Sunday 4 October 2009 - Frankfurt
-we hit the city shops today, big shopping festival on following the public holiday yesterday when shops were closed
-Frankfurt came alive today, I just wonder where all the people came from, the city centre was packed
-travelled down to Bad Nauheim for dinner with conference speakers and the team from Milch & Zucker
-really impressed with Milch & Zucker leadership's outlook on employer branding, they are a key agency in the region with a strong client list, their office environment is really engaging, nice rooftop board room with panoramic views as well!
-had first taste of 'no speed limit,' the car didn't move an inch when we were doing 210kms!, reminded me of the train ride I took to the Shanghai airport last month that travels at 450km top speed!
-weather much colder today, even saw first drops of european rain on the tour, but it didn't last long
-we had dinner at an excellent restaurant in Bad Nauheim, it was terrific to meet up with other International speakers, the table conversation is always very interesting
-I think I'm finally over the jetlag, one more good night sleep and I'm feel just like I'm back home!
-looking forward to attending first day of conference tomorrow and finalising plans for my masterclass on Tuesday
-we have around 35 delegates attending the masterclass from companies including Siemens, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Borse AG, Roche Diagnostics, Bertelsmann and IKEA
Day 2 Saturday 3 October 2009 - Frankfurt
-woke at 5am and went downtairs to the hotel lobby to catch up on work back in Australia, wondering why I was so tired by 2pm!
-the double expresso went down well, the bar in the lobby was cranking with people coming and going from the night before! I didn't know whether I was in a lobby or a nightclub
-skyped to my kids in Australia, they wanted to know why it was dark where I was when it was 3pm in the afternoon in Australia
-we headed to the shops today and found out that it was a public holiday to celebrate the coming down of the Berlin Wall, so we decided to walk around the city and take in some of the sites, weather perfect today!
-went to a jazz festival in the City Hall main square and tasted some of the local food, had my first ever Bratwurst and am wondering why it's taken so long, I loved them!
-alot more life in the city today, I was wondering if everyone had moved out of town on Friday!
-I'm looking forward to tomorrow to meet up with our event partners for our Employer Brand Global Masterclass event in Bad Nauheim on Tuesday. Travelling down to Bad Nauheim for dinner.
Day 1 Friday 2 October 2009 - Frankfurt
-arrived in Frankfurt 7.30am after 22 hours in the air from Australia
-actually felt better on arrival than a weeks sleep back home, does that mean I've got use to the planes. Even had 2 screaming babies directly in front, maybe that got me to sleep!
-drafted table of contents for new employer branding book, already 1/3 through with content developed over the past few years. I plan to share a global perspective from my global tour over the past 2 1/2 years. We're coming up to city number 28 in 18 countries, wow, time flies!
-reasonally quiet in Frankfurt today, maybe everyone hard at work in buildings! Not too many people doing business in cafes like I see in UK, USA and Australia.
-Frankfurt is a great place to walk around to get to know the place, friendly people, gorgeous riverway and the coffee's not too bad either!
we went a little crazy on the photos today when walking around Frankfurt, check out some of the happy snaps click here
-hospitality sector here has been first class on day 1 in hotel, cafes and restaurants
-there's a jazz festival here tomorrow so we might check that out and also keen to get on a train and take in some of the sites in regions nearby
-first event is on Tuesday in Bad Nauheim, we travel there Sunday for a pre-conference dinner with the team from Milch & Zucker and some of the speakers from the conference which starts Monday 6th October. Check it out>
-we're having a team meeting over Pizza tonight in one of the plazas, and then finally some more sleep!
Thursday 1 October 2009
-last day before we fly out
-will be great to be in same time-zone as Europe, the past few months have meant some late nights with Europe up to 8.5 hrs behind Australia
-spent last day before we fly out with my children at the swimming centre. Not sure if I'm looking forward to 22+ plus hours in the air again! But can't wait to get back to Europe. One of my favorite regions and hoping the weather is going to be fine as we are leaving warm weather here in Australia.
-worked through new slide deck for European Tour. Many thanks to Heather from United Health Group, Linda from ERM, Els from Microsoft, Michael from IBM and Kerry from Sodexo for sharing insights over the past couple of months on employer branding in your companies. Very much appreciated!
-Eugenio Amendola, MD of Anthea in Italy and Senior Associate Employer Brand International confirmed he will fly into Paris to meet up at the end of the tour. Will be great to connect whilst I'm in Europe. We're collaborating on the 2010 Italian Employer Branding Summit in Milan and another major global project in 2010.