Following Equinox’s recent trip to Spain to meet new and prospective partners, the company’s International Development Manager Paul Dunne and Managing Director, Noel Doyle travelled to Italy to meet agents for the first time in completely new market for the organisation. In this blog, Paul outlines Equinox’s reasons for targeting this market, how they adapted their approach and the outcomes that they are aiming to achieve with the trip.
As with any new business introduction or connection, the first few tentative steps in the process are all-important and can be the vital difference of making an unfortunate, bad impression or forging a long-lasting and fruitful relationship. Our business is no different.
Whilst Equinox has developed some exceptional partnerships throughout the world over many years in the education sector, Italy and a couple of other European counties are territories that we are keen to establish first-time links with. It was with this in mind that Noel and I traveled to Rome and Milan last month.
Our mission for the trip was simply to introduce ourselves, outline the uniqueness of Equinox’s programmes, and both our philosophy and passion, without setting any expectations or targets on our part. Having an informal meeting in each agent’s own environment meant that we were afforded plenty of time to get our key message across, unlike many of the large trade-show or busy networking events where our discussions tend to be more fleeting and the outcomes uncertain.
In total we met eleven agents in Rome and Milan over the course of just three days. The schedule was hectic, but we made good use of all our appointments and were received warmly throughout, with each agent taking the time to listen to what we had to offer. In the little free time we had we undertook some sightseeing in both cities, which were outstanding in different ways; Rome for its ancient history and culture and Milan, for its undeniable high fashion and modernity. Overall the trip was an excellent way for us to engage with new contacts face to face and is a model that we will carry forward for future business development.
In the relatively short space of time since we have returned to Ireland, we are delighted to see that many of the agents that we met have been in touch to take the process to the next stage. We therefore remain confident that the trip will be instrumental in securing Italian students across the wide range of our programmes in Ireland next year and now aim to actively engage agents from other areas in Italy.
Early in the new year we will travel to German and France to repeat the process as we continue to promote Ireland as a destination of choice for International students. If you are interested in partnering with Equinox Education Services on any of our Irish programmes, please do get in touch and we will be happy to send you out our brochure and our information fact-sheets. Alternately, please visit our website at www.equinox4study.com or telephone us on Tel: +353 59 9179340 or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org