Imagine working with someone for years without ever meeting them in person. That's the reality for some TCBC team members, with all possible company events cancelled due to the pandemic over the past few years.
Apart from our office in Cheshire, UK, we also still have a small team based in Tallinn, Estonia. Therefore, it is especially crucial for us to hold annual meetings to reconnect and undergo refresher training of all our processes, which unfortunately became impossible during the Covid-induced isolation over the past few years. Finally, in January 2024, right after the holidays (what a better way to start the New Year?), we gathered in Cheshire for a 2-day training, marking a legendary get-together of our team!
On Day 1, we began with an opening word from Dan Hornby, the TCBC Founder and Director. He guided us through our major achievements and set exciting and ambitious goals for 2024 and beyond. Following that, Chris Stacey, the Director of Sales, presented historic sales figures of our educational school tours for students, delving into the details of the tour cycle and outlining our future focus areas. Having such an experienced team member on board is truly exciting, as Chris can offer his unique perspective and expertise in organising school tours abroad.
Speaking of years of experience, later that day, Zoi Pearce, our Operations Manager, took the stage to share her story. She highlighted her journey in building a successful company, CGT Tours (a bespoke tour operator specialising in trips to the Battlefields of Europe and beyond), and navigating through challenges like Covid and Brexit. In 2022, Zoi agreed to a merger proposal, seamlessly transitioning all her school groups to the TCBC School Tours brand, and she has since become an invaluable member of our team. Following her presentation, Zoi earned an instant nomination for a TED talk due to her highly motivational speech and exceptional presentation skills from her colleagues. Who knows, maybe the real TED talks will hear of her soon!
In the afternoon, we revisited our company structure, teams' responsibilities, and the business tools we use on a daily basis. To refresh ourselves, we took a coffee break and enjoyed a team photoshoot. At TCBC, we're fortunate to have various talents, and luckily photography is one of them! Our newest team member, Olga Algazina, holds an additional degree in photography from her past, so she took on an important mission right from the start of her journey at TCBC. By the way, the pictures turned out to be excellent!
On Day 2, we delved into more topics, beginning with a presentation from our Finance Manager, Anna Zilkina. She unveiled her numerous responsibilities in finance and flights (Anna is also in charge of school group flights). Following that, our Marketing Manager, another Anna (Linask), outlined our marketing goals for 2024 and elaborated on the feedback analysis. A huge thanks goes to all the teachers who complete our feedback surveys—your feedback never goes unnoticed! Here you can check our latest school trip feedback.
To ensure the happiness not only of our clients but also our employees (in addition to organising timely coffee breaks), our Director, Ben Hornby, addressed staff on crucial employment information. This included safety practices, responsibilities, benefits, and growth opportunities. The last item on the agenda was the Safety Management System Awareness training, conducted by Natalia Sotshjova, our Contracts & Safety Manager with a focus on a school trip risk assessment. "TCBC is committed to ensuring that all reasonable measures are taken so that our clients are assured of a high level of safety throughout their tour," she emphasised, echoing the main statement and promise of our team to our clients.
Similar to how we began our event, Dan took the stage and shared a few final reminders as we concluded the training. However, that wasn't the end, we had something more to look forward to! We wrapped up Day 2 with dinner at a cozy local restaurant, where we could rediscover the magic of Christmas and finally enjoy a well-deserved party.
A big thank you to Dan and Ben for taking such good care of the team and making everyone feel valued.