Volume 40,   Issue 8                                  August  2005

SAIL AWAY . . . 

An Educational Journey on the Management Conference, Cruise to Alaska!

by Holly Biller

Have you ever woken up to the site of snow-capped peaks, rushing blue waves and dense greenery surrounding you on all sides? Or seen the view of an encroaching mass of jagged blue ice the size of a small city? How about sitting in a room full of managers in different fields, but learning they are all struggling with the same workplace situations that you are? 

 These were just a few of the varied experiences aboard the premier Management Conference and Cruise to Alaska, sponsored by USGlass magazine.

Departing June 4, 2005, from Vancouver, the Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas cruise ship offered conference attendees 13 decks of splendor, comfort and elegance.

Once participants settled into their staterooms, the conference opened with a welcoming cocktail party in a private Hollywood-themed lounge. As the ship’s quest embarked, the top deck offered a breathtaking view as it made its way north to Juneau, the first port of call. Forty-two people from 16 companies sailed with USGlass to Alaska.

Lessons to Learn
The conference was designed with classroom style lectures and discussions in the morning, which then broadened into case study work and presentations at the end portion of the week. Though seminars began early in the day, attendees were always prompt and continually offered insight and scenarios that were applicable to their work places, as well as potential solutions for their colleagues facing similar situations.

It’s difficult to imagine being able to focus on work with so much to take in around you.

However, the sessions were designed to work compatibly with the cruise and ports of call visits. 

“I actually looked forward to going to classes,” stated Jimmy Bosshamer of Bosshamer Glass Co. in Houston. “It’s all interesting and good knowledge to have.” 

The Sessions
John Baker, of Sandler Sales Institute in Irving, Calif., covered management basics, hiring and firing techniques, how to work toward better profits and provided ideas on how to bring in new business leads. 

Barry Maher, of Barry Maher and Associates in Helendale, Calif., presented on the importance of communication, different styles and effective techniques for managers to handle various confrontations. Management style profiles were given to each attendee by Debra Levy, publisher of USGlass and AGRR magazines, with an accompanying session on how to improve upon weaknesses and recognize each manager’s strengths. 

“Coming in I didn’t know what to expect,” stated Larry Mroz of Auto One in Garden City, Mich., “but I’m walking away with a lot of new things to try.” 

Hiring and working with 20-somethings was also a hot topic discussed at length. Potential scenarios were presented through a dramatization of an interview segueing into an open panel forum where attendees compared ideas regarding what factors work and what 20-somethings are looking for from their employers. 

Attendee, David Erickson of Erickson Glass in Longview, Wash., stated “I think it’s [the conference] been very informative. I’ve got some new ideas on how to run my business. It certainly got me thinking.”

The week rounded out with group case-study work, in which the experts acted as facilitators to teams tackling various workplace situations. Individual final presentations were given by attendees on what they were taking away from the conference, what they learned and how they planned to implement new changes upon their return to the office.

The camaraderie formed during the week of sessions was evident throughout one another’s information, with many sharing in good laughs and promising to keep in touch.

These factors all contributed to the creation of the post-cruise online message board available to all attendees to chat and share photos from the trip.

Sailing On
As imagined, it certainly wasn’t all work and no play. There were evening formal dinners, excursions on shore depending on each attendee’s tastes, lounges for dancing and the ever-present, all-you-can eat buffets. The cruise provided a perfect blend of education and entertainment, surrounded by spectacular scenery, atmosphere and opportunities. 

The recipients of this memorable outing asked where the next conference would take place, perhaps the Caribbean or the Atlantic over to Europe? 

Wherever the seas may take us, it’s bound to be another incredible opportunity—one we don’t intend to miss and hope you don’t either.

For information about being a part of the next cruise conference to the Caribbean, visit www.usglassmag.com/infocenter

The Author:
Holly Biller is the director of marketing for USGlass magazine. 

© Copyright 2005 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.