« Live my life of… » Julie Geoffroy, « New Biz Girl » at Interface Tourism

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« Live my life of… » Julie Geoffroy, « New Biz Girl » at Interface Tourism

Julie Geoffroy Directrice du Développement Interface Tourism

« Live my life of… »
Julie Geoffroy, « New Biz Girl » at Interface Tourism

RFP, tender, sales development… what’s your job as a Development Director?

To attract new clients is a daily challenge… developing our activity requires to always be more creative and more innovative without losing sight of our values and what made us successful in the first place. Communication changes all the time and it is essential to keep up with it and even anticipate changes ahead.

During a tender process or when working on a service proposal, it is important to closely understand the market positioning and our prospect’s challenges. There is no way we could copy and paste our proposed services: this wouldn’t make any sense!

Development is a deep process, combining strategic thinking and development can be challenging especially during the last stage of the tenders’ submission.

What brought you there?

I had my very first contact with Interface Tourism when I was working for the Ecuador Tourism Board, in Quito, as the coordinator for Ecuador’s promotional activities in Europe. Interface Tourism was in charge of this mission for the French market and I was somehow supervising their activity 🙂

When I came back to France, Gaël, Founder and President, invited me to join his staff. For him, my knowledge of the destination and the client’s expectations were great assets to have on board. That’s how I started as an account executive in January 2006. Afterwards, I worked with a larger number of clients, our team grew and my overall responsibilities increased.

Upon my arrival, I was keen on contributing to the agency’s development along with my daily missions supporting our clients. I have also always looked for opportunities to attract new ones. It was done with rather modest means, but great will!

Concretely, what do your days look like?

For me, there is no one day like the other, and this is what I enjoy the most! I really like showing up early to work to read or to draw up some “heavy” topics. When everybody else arrives in the office, and when the phone keeps ringing and I start hearing co-workers talk in French, English, or Spanish… it sets the mood for an intensive but exciting day of work!

Our daily activities are really diverse: an urgent proposal to send, an international conference call with a client when it is already night time, a thorough reading of a long RFP, a report to send to our European partners, the scheduling of appointments with new prospects, the proof reading of an article before its post on our website, the preparation for an upcoming trade show, and so on. As you can see, there is no time for getting bored!

Are you doing all of this by your own? Don’t you miss team work?

On the contrary, I feel like being a facilitator. Development includes several aspects, including corporate communication and networking in general. On the corporate communication side, I am always liaising with our PR department that contributes tremendously to the agency’s development. At the same time, each Interface Tourism member represents the agency well through quality work and services, which creates positive word-of-mouth and can lead a new prospect to contact us !

Development is team work as well, so each team member can be solicited to contribute its area of expertise on a proposal for instance, bringing individual experiences and knowledge in a specific field or destination. Working all together is even more pleasant when the result is positive, which gives us the opportunity to celebrate our success with a toast! (with moderation of course 🙂 )

As a development manager, are you travelling to all the exhibitions all year long? By the way, how was ITB this year?

For me, Fitur, ITB, WTM were somehow awful acronyms but after 10 years visiting, I (almost!) look forward for their next edition… ITB 2016 was a good one, with good contacts, good meetings, and of course the opportunity to meet the great tourism family again!

Even more than WTM, ITB is now THE major fair at a global level. The organization is perfectly executed, exhibitors become more creative at attracting visitors, meetings are very professional, and top contacts are attending and don’t hide in a meeting room. With a good amount of preparation, participating in this fair can make a difference for some decisions. I should not forget that ITB is the only trade show where you walk as much as a marathon during the whole 3 days!

Can you tell us which destination you would love to submit a bid and win ?

My heart is swinging between Molvania « the country which should be invented if it didn’t exist » and San Sombrero « The country of carnivals, cocktails and putsches”! Never heard about them? Then run straight away to the nearest bookshop and get some travel guides! You might not end up booking air tickets but I guarantee that you would at least spend some fun moments reading it.

What is your last word for potential prospects?  

We are keen on taking new challenges and every mission is a challenge ! If your brand is already famous or in need of rediscovery, we love thinking and brainstorming about it to identify the key messages, propose the most adapted activities, and guide you through the exciting journey of tourism communication!

Julie Geoffroy Directrice du Développement Interface Tourism

Julie Geoffroy

Development Director

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