It is just over a year ago, since Mella discovered the Gillio Firenze organisers in a local shop in Antwerp. This 'discovery' has turned around the company in many ways. This took everyone in the company by surprise and naturally there were a few teething problems with adapting to this different form of selling (on-line vs in-shop).
I got to meet the team at the Antwerp event in November last year and we have been in constant contact over the last year. I also got to spend some time with Tom during the trip to Italy as well and it was great to talk openly about things and have a free exchange of ideas.
I am also one of the members of the admin team of the Gillio Facebook group and naturally I get to see lots of things that Gillio users are saying about their organisers, the service from the company, news about new products etc.
Using this information I put together a semi-formal presentation about where I saw the company in terms of its organiser customers and their products. I was treading carefully of course... I didn't want to upset anyone, and I wanted to also make the presentation as balanced as possible.
One of the suggestions I made in my presentation was to consider a 'Focus Group' to get the view of a group of customers as to what colours should be released, what people thought of the organiser designs and any improvements they could incorporate, and finally what suggestions customers might have to improve the customer service experience, the website etc.
And so with the help of Mella once again and the Gillio team, the idea came together in the form of the Gillio 'Think Tank'. We managed to find a suitable venue at the University of London. Tom, Mella, Chrissie and I gathered there to prepare and set up at just after mid-day on Saturday.
Tom had brought three boxes of organisers and goodies with him in addition to his normal luggage!
Tom did some introductions and gave a presentation on the company and how sales had changed in the last year compared to previous years!
I did a revised version of the presentation that I'd had given to Tom and Mella in March to the attendees, which seemed to be well received.
We had already decided to split ourselves up in to teams to talk with groups of 5 or 6 attendees at a time for about 20 minutes, so it didn't drag on too long and we moved around the room. The notes from these sessions are still being gathered together, but from the sessions I did there were a lot of useful and helpful suggestions.
Tom had brought along some new unseen products with him and we all gathered around one of the tables for the reveal of the new products.
Tom also introduced the 'Gilliodori' a prototype Gillio Travellers Notebook.
We also had another table which was the centre for all the Gillio organisers people had brought with them, so there was a huge selection of colours, styles and leather types to look at.
I did a few ring mechanism swaps and showed people how to swap the rings in such a way that you would be able to reuse the rings afterwards. Having tried out the method several times on Saturday and learnt from the experience I will be doing a video of this method shortly so you can see how it is done and it only requires a couple of basic hand tools and a suitable work surface. It only takes a few minutes to perform so it shouldn't be too bad to watch on video!
I think you will see from the photos what a fantastic afternoon it was, a big thank you to Tom and Mella for all their behind the scenes organisation and thank you to everyone who came along, that was the best bit for me, to meet or to meet again people I have exchanged messages with in this last year on Facebook and on Philofaxy.
We took a group photo, of everyone there on the day, everyone was holding or trying to hold all their Gillio organisers!
I loved seeing Mella and Chrissie again, we form the admin team on the Gillio Facebook groups. As we are spread across three different countries it was great to get the three of us together for a photo opportunity!
|Mella, Steve and Christina|
Next week.... oh I'm home again!!! Steve's World Tour of UK is over for now!