Win-Win Situation

The issues of global aircraft maintenance and repair services were discussed in early November in Singapore at a prestigious conference.

Aviation Week’s MRO Asia 2010 was organised with assistance from Singapore Institute of Aerospace Engineers and entertained about 2,000 people from airlines, vendors, original equipment manufacturers and government delegations.

The objectives were to provide a marketplace for buyers and sellers. In-depth discussions involved a range of professionals, from airline mechanics, engineers and technical staff right up to the airlines’ top management.

Travel was not a big problem, as it is greatly subsidised or rebated for airline staff. Although the conference was free of charge for airline personnel, my challenge, as a supporter of the event, was how to encourage wider participation from lower to middle management, who might have found the cost of accommodation in Singapore too high.

The officially-designated hotels for international events such as this are usually at the top end and, although a discounted rate was offered to participants, it might still have been over the budget for some of them.

The Singapore Tourism Board put us in touch with destination management companies (DMCs), to work out a more affordable conference accommodation package for our delegates. However, we ended up with DMCs that dealt directly with enquiries and requests.

 This arrangement meant that there was no monetary involvement between the event organisers and the travel trade involved and that participants negotiated and concluded the accommodation deals best suited to their requirements. It was a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Having a more affordable solution may also have encouraged spouse and companion travel, while providing contact information about supporting travel agents allowed participants to make more informed decisions. This has certainly encouraged greater participation at the event.

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