The 2013 Winter Seminar continued its established history of providing IELA members´ operations staff with an exciting, memorable experience. The Winter Seminar was held January 16th - 20th, again in Zurich, Switzerland. IELA´s experience from previous Winter Seminars truly influenced the unique character of this year´s edition as classroom sessions and networking opportunities ignited a special synergy among the student participants.
The 2013 Winter Seminar was attended by 29 students from 21 IELA member companies and represented 15 countries. This worldwide coverage certainly added a varied, multi-national and interesting elements to the discussions and educational process. The students´ work experience ranged from new-to-the business to seasoned veteran.
As in previous Winter Seminar formats (which has also become typical for most IELA events), the first evening began with a welcoming reception to allow students, presenters and Board members an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other. This process of greeting everyone was continued the following morning when the now well-established »speed dating« session provided a formal structure of face-to-face discussions. Students were allowed 4 minutes to speak with a fellow student participant before moving on to the next person. Within a short period of time, all students had an opportunity to talk individually with one another. Remarkably, once again the students remarked on their evaluation form that the speed dating session was a favorite among all other activities.
In addition to the »speed dating« session were a number of demanding classroom style seminars from Thursday through Saturday afternoon. All presentations were a combination of lecture time and student participation exercises. Topics included: the History of IELA that was presented by Bob Moore, Application of Tariffs presented by Achim Lotzwick, Marketing presented by Kay Lohe, IELA Standards and Practices presented by Mariane Ewbank, Domestic/Site Agent Responsibilities presented by Emmanuel Pitchelu, Export Agent Responsibilities presented by Jim Callaghan, and the 3-part Customs Workshop featuring the USA, India and China presented respectively by Brad Watson, Ravinder Sethi and Lisa Xu. As a guest speaker, Hellmut Sito Schlingensiepen provided a unique presentation »Corporate Visual Recognition.« IELA was also honored to have Petra Lassahn of Reed Exhibitions Germany as a presenter for the first time at a Winter Seminar.
All presenters were urged to deliver their topics in a highly interactive format and to involve student participation as much as possible. The half-day Customs Workshop provided an in-depth exploration into customs and handling issues in the USA, India and China. The students were divided into 3 country groups to examine and solve a case study project on their assigned area of the world. Then each group presented their findings to the remaining audience and answered questions relating to their solution. The brainstorming the evening before the Friday morning workshop by each group also became a tremendous networking experience as everyone began realizing similarities and differences in their job responsibilities regardless of the part of the world they were coming from. Another highlight of the Winter Seminar was an excursion around the Zurich Fairgrounds with a close look at the logistical environment during the build-up of a major trade show in this important exhibition complex. The tour was directed by Daniel Bataller, the manager of Gondrand´s exhibition department in Zurich - and the local IELA member. Dani also supplied a tremendous amount of support to the success of the Winter Seminar by coordinating all meeting room arrangements, students´ housing needs, lunch requirements and the day-in-the-snow arrangement. His assistance contributed very much to the overall success of the event and IELA owes him a gracious thank you for his efforts.
All students were given an exam as a final exercise and review at the Winter Seminar. The student with the highest score on this exam is also awarded as the »Best Student« of the event. This year´s recipient of the honor of being named Best Student is Mohd Rasyid Bin Abdullah of R.E. Rogers (Malaysia). We applaud Rasyid for his efforts and accomplishment. And we look forward to meeting him as our guest at an IELA General Assembly in Munich in June.
IELA is proud to announce that the winner of their 2013 Winter Seminar´s Best Student Award is Mohd Rasyid Bin Abdullah of R. E. Rogers (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.! Our sincere congratulations to Rasyid for his terrific efforts and participation at the Winter Seminar.
IELA International Exhibition Logistics Association
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