Diary: Helicopter swoops in to ship out forum delegates

The prize for the most dramatic arrival at the Communication Directors’ Forum on board the Norwegian Dream last week goes to Oxford Corporate Consultants.

The prize for the most dramatic arrival at the Communication

Directors’ Forum on board the Norwegian Dream last week goes to Oxford

Corporate Consultants.



Oxford is a strategic marketing consultancy and was one of the

exhibitors who had forked out a not inconsiderable sum to attend the

event. Last Thursday, hours before delegates were due to board the ship

at Dover, Oxford managing consultant Jonathan Turner and client services

director Bob James were at a client workshop in North London.



The event was running late and, aware that they were likely to miss the

strict embarkation deadline of 5pm, the agency rang the conference

organisers, Richmond Events, to check whether the two delegates could

have a little leeway.



They were told no so, determined not to miss the boat, the agency

chartered a helicopter, which flew them to a coast guard’s landing pad

five minutes from the port, from where they raced, Starsky and

Hutch-style, to the ship.



As it turned out, the vessel did not leave until three hours later,

giving keynote speaker John Pilger plenty of time to make his speech and

leave the boat.



To rub salt into the wound, Richmond Events could have enabled Turner

and James to board later by applying for an extension with Dover

customs.



But, according to Richmond project director Deborah Parkes, a

misunderstanding between the organisers and the exhibitor meant that

Oxford was never told this.



James is looking determinedly on the bright side. ’We thought it was an

excellent way of demonstrating our strategic, helicopter vision,’ he

says.



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