Vulcan, Red Arrows and Typhoon Confirmed for Eastbourne Air Show

vulcan-r-Eric Coeckelberghs-courtesy of Vulcan to the Sky Trust

Plans for Airbourne, Eastbourne’s international air show have got off to a flying start this year with the Red Arrows, Eurofighter Typhoon and Vulcan cold war bomber all confirmed at the free, four day air show which returns from 13 – 16 August.

Featuring new look Union Jack tailfins, the world renowned RAF Red Arrows display team will wow crowds on the seafront, beaches and the reopened pier with three performances over Eastbourne, in one of the UK’s busiest free flying displays.

Joining the line-up, the RAF Eurofighter Typhoon will provide a fast jet highlight on three days and historic fans can look forward to the return of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which features the Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane and Dakota.

The world’s only flying Vulcan bomber will also make an appearance as it nears retirement.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism & Leisure, Councillor Carolyn Heaps said: “Eastbourne has a special place in its heart for the Red Arrows so we are delighted to welcome back the world’s best aerial display team… Coupled with the awesome Typhoon and what could possibly be the last chance to see the imposing sight and sound of the Vulcan, we are in for a real treat this year.”

The four day show also features plenty of fun on the ground, including a military exhibition, live music on the beach stage, children’s entertainment areas, helicopter pleasure flights, evening concerts and fireworks on the Saturday night.

Eastbourne’s 23rd Airbourne will also mark roughly one year since the pier fire of 2014, which closed the Victorian landmark just two weeks before the air show.  The pier, which reopened two months later, is a popular viewing platform during the show and includes shops, restaurants, tea rooms, a bar, nightclub and fishing platform.

To beat the crowds, there are exclusive seating areas available at the Bandstand and exclusive hospitality available on the Western Lawns with tickets on sale now.

 For more information visit www.eastbourneairshow.com

red-arrows-SAC-Adam-Fletcher-RAF-MOD-crown-copyright-2014

Airbourne returns from 13 – 16 August 2015 and entry is free, with more flying displays to be announced.  All flying is subject to RAF operational commitments, weather and serviceability.

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5 rules for corporate gifting at Christmas

Leather-books

By Darren Leigh, Founder, Leighmans.com

Corporate gifting is a valuable business practice that delivers the goods in more ways than one. As part of a considered marketing programme it can help to create new relationships, enhance existing ones and offers a cost-effective way to recognise clients and key members of staff in a meaningful way. It’s a two-way street paved with tinsel, what you sow, so shall you reap.

Gifts vs. incentives 

It’s important to make the distinction between a corporate gift and an incentive. Both have their place in business, but are very different animals. An incentive programme is used to reward defined levels of activity like sales targets or attendance, whereas a corporate gift is far more subtle and should be viewed as a long-term process of relationship-building. It’s vital to ensure your recipient doesn’t feel like they’re being bribed or expected to jump through hoops, instead, they should feel valued and appreciated. In this way, the spirit of goodwill will turn full circle.

The five golden rules

1) Give gifts they actually want

Indulge in some forward planning and get to know your clients, customers and staff throughout the year. When the festive period approaches, you’ll have an idea of what they like, hobbies etc. and can incorporate this into their perfect present. Go for quality – spend the maximum your budget will allow. It pays dividends in the long run because whatever you give reflects back on your image. Research by the BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association) found that promotional products were twice as likely to make people feel appreciated, when compared with all other forms of advertising put together (print, online, direct mail and TV).

Make it useful, something clients will reach for on a regular basis (like a pen or a unique USB stick) and when they do, they’ll think of your company with a warm and cosy glow. Avoid cheap, useless items, which will be thrown in the back of the drawer or binned on receipt, quicker than you can say ‘Santa’s Sack’!

2) Compliance & culture

Some companies will have a gift policy limiting certain types of gifts or maybe the upper value of them and in some cases, gifts are strictly forbidden. It’s worth a call to HR to check this out to ensure you don’t end up with egg nog on your face. This will also give you the chance to work out an alternative way to make clients feel special. The same goes for culture – different countries and cultures have their own unique take on gifting, for example in China if you wrap a gift in white it symbolises death, so well worth undertaking some simple research to avoid a festive faux pas!

3) Personalisation

Even when you’ve done your research, finding the ideal corporate gift these day is no mean task. With literally thousands of suppliers offering every kind of gift and experience you can imagine, how do you choose the perfect present? Individual personalisation is key. Every wise man and woman would be well advised to focus on the personal touch this festive season. When a gift includes someone’s name, initials or something meaningful to them, it transcends the ordinary. Not only does it make the recipient feel good, but it reflects well on the gift giver too. It may well be the thought that counts, but sometimes you have to spell it out in words – engraved, embossed or screen-printed.

Indulgent products are the order of the day for Christmas gifting – popular choices include keepsakes and luxury items, like sleek Cross pens, luxurious leather notebooks, sparkling crystal awards & drinkware, innovative gadgets, sumptuous hampers and delicious chocolates & confectionary. Gifts don’t need to cost an arm and a leg to be special, that’s the beauty of personalisation and high quality branding.

4) Spread the festive cheer

You have a limited budget but need to buy gifts for everyone in the department. Instead of resorting to the cheap, useless route, go for something the whole office can share. It will raise morale and lend some sparkle to the week before Christmas. Hampers, confectionary, chocolates and fruit baskets are fantastic crowd-pleasers. But if you really want to indulge in one to one, think about small but perfectly formed notebooks in a range of colours, creatively-branded with a personal message – think clever or classy rather than cheesy, unless your client is in the business of fromage.

5) The fairy on top

Finishing touches maketh the gift. If you’ve opted for personalisation, you’re nine tenths of the way, but including a hand-written card and delivering personally, is a nice extra touch to ensure you stay top of mind with your best clients.

Review: Momentum Ski Festival 2014

Momentum Ski Festival 2014 review

Out Of Office Magazine reviews The City Ski Championships at the Momentum Ski Festival 2014, and gives you the 2015 dates for your diary

The Momentum Ski Festival took place in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana, from Thursday 13 March to Sunday 16, 2014. The event also included the Financial Times Alpine Business Forum.

This year’s festival saw 250 people taking part in racing at the 15th City Ski Championships, debating at the FT Alpine Business Forum, and taking part in a full compliment of après-ski events featuring fantastic bands.

There was a fantastic mix of attendees. There were business leaders there to networking and getting to know clients, groups of staff taking full advantage of a great incentive while building bonds with colleagues, and sponsor businesses building connections with the event and other businesses in attendance.

The history 

The Momentum Ski Festival was founded by Loredana Barindelli and Amin Momen in 1996. They have experience in the ski industry dating back to 1986 – and believed passionately that they could offer their corporate clients a complete service with maximum flexibility. We certainly agree here at OOO.

The location

The festival takes place in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana, a few hours away from Geneva and Zurich Airports by train or car.

Crans boasts some of the most breath-taking views of the alps, from the Matterhorn to Mont Blanc. It’s south facing so it gets plenty of sun too. This can make the snow a little soft at the bottom of the mountain – so we found that it was worth getting out on the piste early before the snow gets soft.

There is a whole host of great restaurants, bars and hotels to choose form as well. It’s no wonder the Momentum Ski Festival keeps returning to this location!

The music 

14 Carat Grapefruit and The Elements kicked off a full programme of après-ski events on the Thursday evening. Friday early evening featured 29 Fingers, then Saxmaniax on the Saturday.

After the awards ceremony on the last night Rick Parfitt jnr. – son of Status Quo’s singer/guitarist – made sure the dance floor stayed packed by playing hits from Led Zeppelin’s Rock & Roll to Black Eyed Peas’ I gotta Feeling. After the encores DJ Ibba lead the party into the early hours of the morning.

The racing

The competition kicked off on the Friday under a beautiful blue sky with the slopes in good condition for the Radar Trap event. One at a time, competitors pushed off from the start hut with the sole aim of recording the fastest speed.

A crack team of Montana Ski School instructors were on hand in the afternoon, offering racing tips before the start of the legendary Accenture Dual Slalom. Teams of four battled it out on the Nationale piste, normally a testing World Cup track for such champions as Didier Cuche and Lindsey Vonn.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the course spectators looked on while they enjoyed a superb lunch of raclette washed down with local Swiss Valais wines.

As Saturday arrived, so did the big race – the individual giant slalom sponsored by JEANRICHARD and Snow+Rock.

For those that didn’t compete in the races and wanted to improve their technique (like us) you are free to ski before, during and after the races and carve out your own path on the piste. I preferred heading up to the glacier early, then finding my way down to the Nationale to watch a spot of racing while eating lunch, before heading off the après ski in the late afternoon. However, it’s worth noting that no mater what level you are, you are encouraged to race. We’ve promised to compete next time!

The debating

Even though it was mostly skiing, partying and informal networking there was also the Alpine Business Forum, run in association with the FT.

Hosted by FT Weekend Magazine Deputy Editor, Ravi Mattu, 2014‘s discussion topic was ‘The New World Of Work (A Brave New World?)’.

On the panel was the Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams MBE, as well as acclaimed author Robyn Scott, author and researcher Marc de Rond, and Bruno Grande – COO of JEANRICHARD.

Over 70 delegates packed the conference room for the absorbing session at the Hotel de l’Etrier.

The big finale

The Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on the Saturday at Centre Le Regent was a great finale to a fun, action-packed three days of skiing and networking.

After spending the previous two days of racing commentating live from the slopes, BBC broadcaster Matt Chilton returned to host the awards.

Momentum Ski founder Amin Momen celebrated another successful event, announcing his delight in more than £7000 raised in charitable donations for Borne.

We asked founder Amin why the event is good for staff incentives and networking.

He said: “The Championships is a great experience for racers of all levels, you can organise your own race too. Accenture have its own competition.

“The festival gives you the chance to get quality face time with your colleagues or clients, while you’re surrounded by beautiful scenery.

“People are very approachable and you can mix with your colleagues, other businesses; like suppliers, and there is a real mix of sectors too.”

We would highly recommend this event to any business looking to make new connections and contacts or as a staff incentive. It is the perfect package to offer staff as a bonus, or invite a group of clients. And if you’ve never been skiing before it’s a great place to learn. You can organise lessons and attend the clinics to perfect your technique, or if you prefer something quieter then there are plenty of spas, shops and bars too.

Next year’s event takes place from the 12 to the 15 March 2015

Book now to avoid disappointment

Book here: momentumski.com/festival/book

Partners: Financial Times, Accenture, JEANRICHARD, Snow+Rock, Borne, Dare 2b, RKHHarrison, Cavendish Ware, Crans Montana, Valais Tourism, College Group, Valet Alpin, Taking the Piste and Switzerland Tourism. Travel partners: Swiss, Zurich Airport, Swiss Travel System, Europcar, Swisscom, and American Express.