Here at JORI International Ltd., we take pride in our participation at the latest conferences, even around the world. As part of the JORI Team, I’d like to introduce myself to you! My name is Kurt Dobbelaere (Account Manager, Freight), and last February 18-22, 2019, John Farley (Client Services Manager, Client Services) & I, ventured off to the WCA 11th Worldwide Conference where for the 3rd year in a row, was held in Singapore. We got the opportunity to meet with fellow Freight Forwarders at the industry’s largest and most impactful industry networking event of the year. Through this conference, industry professionals including ourselves from JORI, gathered for a week of accelerated 1-on-1 meetings with more than 2,800 Freight Forwarding professionals.
Take a look at our journey that has been transcribed by me!
On a gloomy Thursday afternoon, 2 brave young explorers set off for an expedition to bravely go where the two of us haven’t gone before. 24 hours after leaving Calgary and dealing with a 15-hour time difference, we finally arrived in a warm and humid Singapore…
Sunday, February 17
After enduring our long flights to this event, Sunday was when we picked up our meeting schedule. It was then that we got our first impression of what it really meant to have registered for a conference with 2800+ people.
Monday, February 18
To start off the conference, Monday morning was pool time until we had a cocktail event in the evening. To help you visualize, this event was like Costco on Christmas Eve - too many people and pure chaos! Overall, it still allowed us to network and continue connections like when we met with Manish Pau from Accuracy India.
Tuesday, February 19
For Tuesday, our 1-on-1 meetings commenced from 10AM to 530PM - these were setup to occur one after the other with various WCA attendees. You think you get a break while grabbing some coffee but somehow you end up talking business at the coffee stand too.
Heck, I met an Italian agent we’re currently dealing with, just coming out of the restroom! Business also seemed to continue after the conference day, where John even took Andy from Hemisphere UK out for dinner.
Wednesday, February 20
Wednesday was more of the same but at the end of the day I participated in the WCA World Cup Football Tournament. Ironically, I was on the Brussels Airport team, We made it to Semis, but were then beaten fair and square by the Argentinian National 5 v 5 team. All in all, it was a really enjoyable night - ending it off with some drinks!
Thursday, February 21
Thursday came down to our last day of the 1-on-1 meetings and I think I speak for 2800+ people when I say that we were looking forward to the last meeting. To look at how many the 2 of us from JORI did, you are looking at around 50 1-on-1 meetings!
Friday, February 22
On Friday, we joined WCA for a Singapore City Tour. It was pretty interesting as Singapore is a really really really amazing city and when I say you should all visit it, you really should take my word for it. The best thing to do is to use your time wisely by going off on your own, which is what we did. So to end the day off, we had to go see the Singapore Botanical Gardens.
John couldn’t get enough of the beautiful orchids while I couldn’t get enough of the water being sprayed, cooling me down.
Sunday, February 24
Sunday we flew out to Taipei to visit our Taiwanese agents and they were absolutely the most welcoming people. Our friends from Transworld Transportation Co, (TWT), James Chen, and Martin Chao, who has been a friend & business associate of John’s for over 20 years, took us up the volcano! But a dense fog prevented us from seeing anything and nonetheless, we smelled the Sulfur from all that. And last but not to say the least, we visited the Taiwanese National museum, which is such an extraordinary museum to see.
Concluding our travels, we flew back to Canada and went from 32°C Singapore weather to the complete opposite -32°C Calgary weather, which also triggered dry hands and cracked lips soon after arriving. But despite the feeling you get when coming back to unpredictable predicable Calgary weather…. I am pleased to have experienced this worldwide conference - meeting many many many Freight Forwarder professionals, learning about industry best practices, and most importantly building and creating connections that can continue on for JORI International Ltd.
Account Manager, Freight
Business Analyst & Digital Marketing, Information Technology