A lot of pre-planning goes into the lead up to a Roadshow, this being a first for me I wanted to make sure I was fully prepared for the two weeks of meetings and presentations lined up.
First stop was Perth. Making my way to the hotel, I was excited about meeting the rest of those presenting on the roadshow and dinner for our first meet up wasn’t far away. The presenters came from all parts of the wonderful African continent and it was great to learn there were a few new faces about this year (including myself) so the pressure eased slightly. We enjoyed a quiet dinner in the hotel restaurant, a few glasses of wine and as we had all travelled over the last day to reach Australia, we called the night early.
After gloating that I don’t suffer from jet lag I soon found out the hard way and getting into the swing on the time zone was a little bit of a struggle. Lucky I was in the right place, the coffee in Australia is nothing short of delicious and a few cups later I was ready for the first night of the Roadshow. The nerves were getting the better of me before my turn to get up and show off Malawi and Zambia, soon the excitement and passion overcame the nerves – success, and what a thrill!
The 2nd stop on the trip was Adelaide, South Australia’s coastal capital and home to the famous Adelaide Hills, a wine region – which sadly due to time I was unable to get to but the view of the hills in the distance from my hotel bedroom was dreamy, I think that’s what I could see anyways! After a couple of successful meetings, it was time to get ready for night two – I was buzzing, excited to get back on stage and showcase the two wonderful countries, the nerves had completely eased off and I was feeling confident and excited. It went even better than the first, I was starting to get the hang of this and relished in every second.
The following days all seemed to fold into one. I had meetings lined up in each state and between the flights, meetings and presentations I was unsure of what day it was.
Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney
From Adelaide, we all headed to Melbourne, then onto Brisbane and our final stop was Sydney. In between all the shows and meetings, copious amounts of coffee and countless stops to sushi bars I was settling into the trip, gaining new contacts and getting the Australian agents to understand the beauty and success stories of both Malawi and Zambia.
The general feedback was great, although quite a few agents were familiar with Zambia, many had either not heard of Malawi or they weren’t too comfortable with putting it forward as a destination. I was there to change their minds and ensure them that Malawi is one of the most upcoming destinations of 2019. As it hasn’t really been ‘on the map’ over recent years, this is changing and I left each meeting feeling positive.
I spent two exciting weeks networking with some wonderful agents and tour operators like myself, gained a few new friends and contacts and look forward to seeing familiar faces around the world very soon!
Thanks, Africa Safari Co. for putting on such a great show and we hope to see you again in 2020…I’ll bring the Malawi Gin this time!
Having been born and brought up in Malawi Jen always knew her beloved home country would bring her back one day. After spending 15 years in the UK and then 2 years travelling and working in Australia she decided it was time to head back to her roots. With a degree in Hospitality Management as well as her love for the African bush and passion for travel she decided to look at perusing a career within the Travel Industry, joining the Sales and Marketing team. Over the years she has spent a lot of time travelling through both Malawi and Zambia and looks forward to exploring more of the magnificent parks and wildlife they both have to offer.