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