A Media Trip to Brussels

Or: How I got to finally understand Cloud computing…

You can say a lot about the PR world but one thing for sure – it’s never boring! If you work in PR it might happen that you are sent, last minute, on a trip to Brussels. Or at least this is what happened to me. I had the chance to escape the 50 humid degrees Celsius of Dubai to breathe some fresh air.

The breathing turned out to be the easiest part of the trip… and the rest was a bit challenging, not too much though, lucky me :). The purpose of the trip was to bring three key journalists for our Client, SITA, to their last Air Transport Summit in Brussels. If you have no idea who SITA is, here it is an easy and quick explanation: think of self-check-in, baggage tracking, airport security check, payment systems, ticketing and all the background IT that makes your airplane trip happen. There must be someone behind all this kind of technologies right? Well SITA is one of the main players in the industry… Easy?

My mission – or one of them – was to bring the journalists to Brussels safe and sound, to make sure they are happy and bring them safely back to Dubai without panicking if one of them forgot his phone and wallet at home (thank God he had his passport!). If one just disappeared in the middle of the event and was nowhere to be found (thank God he was actually in a session that he was very interested in), or if they were getting just a bit bored when they have to hear the same thing more than once (thank God all the information & speakers were really interesting and inspiring), or if my credit card is suddenly blocked and I have no cash to pay our lunch (thank you HSBC :P), then I was responsible.

Just to give you a quick glance of the event, more than 600 key players in the air transport industry attended, most of them CEOs, CIOs. And this is one of the best parts – to get to interact with all these people: the CEO of SITA, the CEO of KLM, the CEO of Star Alliances, the CEO of Orange Business, the CIO of Lufthansa, etc., were all there. Inspirational indeed and just like a breeze of fresh air. Lots of work was required from both the PR and the journalist sides, and it was a unique experience to meet new people, see new places, taste new food or drinks and learn new things. I left with three journalists and I came back with three friends. I met people that I work with on a daily basis but I have never met them before in person. I went to Brussels for the first time and took the opportunity to build upon my collection of French books and movies that can’t be found in Dubai. I tasted a cherry beer for the first time and I randomly stumbled upon a local private party on a lake. And, lest you that I’m a geek, I must admit that one of the biggest achievements is that I finally understood what CLOUD COMPUTING is :).

And because a picture is worth a thousand words:

Claudia's Media Trip to Brussels

Just five steps away from the Hotel, just before a cooling & fresh rain… what a luxury!

Claudia's Media Trip to Brussels

L’Offshore Party, which takes place every Thursday “au bord du Lac de Genval”

Claudia's Media Trip to Brussels

And I am not forgetting the Client, either. Here a very cool video that will give you a better insight in the future of the air travel experience: