With four weeks to go until our first tours depart to New Zealand, all our Lions Tour Managers and Lions Ground Operations team descended on The Stable in Cheltenham for a training day.
The day started with an ice breaker where each of the Tour Managers introduced themselves and went through their Gullivers touring experience - there is over 200 years' experience between us all!
After a brief introduction to the day from Henry (Rugby Operations Manager and Haka Fiji Tour Manager), it was time for Georgina and Geraldine - who all our Lions clients will have spoken to since booking - to take to the floor.
Henry presented some interesting facts about the Land of the Long White Cloud (did you know that only 5% of the population is human? The rest are animals!) and some stats about Lions v All Blacks over the years. Georgina and Geraldine then went through who our customer is and an overview of each different tour group. MD Sam Seward then took over, going through our partners on the tour as well as an introduction to our Lions Tour Ambassadors, Gavin Hastings, Rob Henderson and Ryan Jones plus all the other ex-Lions and ex-All Blacks we have arranged to join us on the tour.
By now tummies were starting to rumble with the smell of pizza wafting over (downside to holding a training day in a pizza and cider bar) but still we continued with training! We through through each of the tours in detail, ensuring we covered absolutely everything needed to know, to make your tour as enjoyable and smooth as possible. As our tour managers are big rugby fans too, you could definitely feel the excitement by the end of the day!
Sightseeing, functions, tickets, social media, photography and the MyGullivers App were next up (yes, our stomach rumbles were audible by now!) before we broke for lunch (finally). To the left is Frank (Platinum tour manager) and Jody (Silver Fern tour manager) going through the App.
With bellies full of pizza, it was time for some activities! First up, was a couple of hours breaking out into groups to do some scenario planning exercises. Everything from a lost passport to dealing with the unlikely event of an earthquake was covered.
Time for the final activity of the day - team bonding at Kingsholm to watch Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs. Gloucester unfortunately lost but we were soon cheered up by some light entertainment on the bus back to Cheltenham. Anyone travelling on the Lions Tour 2013 to Australia will remember Ricky Davies taking the mic - he is managing our Haka Orange group this time round, and we were treated to a rendition of Delilah!
We look forward to meeting all our clients in a few weeks' time.
Back row, L-R: Rob Dickson (Maori Wanderer), Frank Armstrong (Platinum), Jeff Smith (Kiwi tours), Ricky Davies (Haka Orange), Drew Britton (reserve tour manager), Steve Avery (Kiwi tours), Sam Seward (MD & Ground Operations), Rob McGeever (Short White Cloud), Andy Thompson (Haka Singapore)
Front row, L-R: Henry Kirchner (Haka Fiji), Lisa Yorath (Waka Express), Jody Allan (Silver Fern), Georgina Clark (Ground Operations), Ali Randall (Ground Operations), Lucy Pegler (Haka Blue), Leigh Weatherhead (Ground Operations), Geraldine Taylor (Ground Operations in UK), Hayley Roddwell (Haka Green), Vicky Cheevers (Ground Operations)
Not pictured: Murray Scott (Long White Cloud), Neil Rayer (Haka Red) and Nikki Cameron (Scotland Summer Tour)