It’s only been a few weeks, and yet, it seems like quite some time ago.  Isn’t it funny how time works?

I recently shared our Group Photo for our 2012 Meeting.  Please allow this photo to serve as your reminder that indeed we are all connected.  Some of us have built friendships lasting years and for some of us, it’s just the start of coming together with the group.  What’s important for all of us is to focus on what connects us.  We are all in this business together, and by staying in touch, by not losing touch, by renewing these ties, we all profit together.  Globalink is about helping ourselves succeed while helping each other.  I remind you to be proactive, to be in contact and to be engaged.  I guarantee this is what maximizes the return on your investment.

By any measure, this meeting was a tremendous success.  We had a record turnout.  And even through the ongoing dance we had with rain or no rain, all the events came off wonderfully. I feel sorry for those who didn’t make it, they really missed something.  I am enclosing a picture of the set up of the GALA DINNER, which by all accounts was at the top of the all time great lists. 

There is a lot for us to take away from Bali, as the Balinese teach and communicate by example.  Never before have we had a hotel ranked so low as to the Hotel itself (5), and yet, so high as to service (9.5), by the group.  This is the highest service ranking we’ve ever seen, and clearly this service offering touched everyone at every interaction.  What does this offer us in terms of our businesses?   What better demonstration could we enjoy as business leaders as to what really makes a difference?  You will all be glad to know that Globalink contributed $200.00 to the hotel staff for a staff party in appreciation of such a job well done.   It was our way of saying thanks for everyone.

The membership said that overall they were very satisfied with the meeting and the social events, and the One on One Times (8.5).  Meeting content is always a tough one, since there are so many different viewpoints here, but it received high marks as well.   As I said above, this was an outstanding meeting and I want to thank each of you for making this gathering so successful. Guy Tombs of Canada enjoyed a massage and a free room during his stay having been chosen as the 2012 Mike Miller Award Winner.

We introduced a number of new initiatives during the meeting.  We shared with the group that over the upcoming months we will be coming up with a completely new website, offering much more capability, much more access to social media and promotion. 

We will be upgrading the Globalink World Trade Resource to the absolutely best information resource in the industry, and far beyond what other networks offer.  We are in fact entering into a contract and expense with World Trade Press, which professionally presents and updates this huge field of information.  This will be available to you and your clients free, as part of your Globalink Membership.

Based on the networks success with FOLLOW THAT FIRE ENGINE, we have challenged Globalink Members with an even bigger goal.  We asked the group if  “freedom is only for the fortunate?”  We announced that Globalink has joined forces with ENSLAVED, a worldwide exhibition aimed at raising public awareness to human slavery around the World.   We will be following up with members to see what can be done to bring the exhibition to their country, to assist with shipping services, and to join a worldwide movement to end slavery in our lifetime.  We have asked members to consider aligning their companies with this goal in their own countries and communities.

After discussions with the Advisory Board, it was agreed that we would amend our Platinum Plus program so that once a member contributes $5000.00 into the program, they wouldn’t have to continue contributing unless the fund contracted by 30% or more.  The mandatory Platinum Plus contribution is $500.00 a year and so after ten years of contributions, a member would continue to enjoy the protection of Platinum Plus, without the $500.00 expense, going forward.   

Coupled with our amendment with Platinum Plus, Globalink announced its first ever membership rate increase.  However, this rate increase applies only to those members who reach the $5,000.00 mark in the Platinum Plus program, and not all members.  This was a point of discussion as in one way, it could be viewed that our best and most loyal members were being penalized for their on-gong and loyal support.  I understand and appreciate this viewpoint.  However, we took a higher view.  Our decision was based on the fact that by keeping membership rates as low a possible for new members and new markets, continued network expansion would be more fully supported, than a general rate increase across the board.  And, we all agreed that network expansion is of great benefit to new and old members alike.  Therefore, older members who come into a lower cost to renew with Globalink have been asked to accommodate a 10% rate increase in their membership dues to support the networks growth.  Such a rate increase will be folded into the network slowly, year after year.

Now that we are all back at work, back with the struggles of keeping our businesses growing, I invite you to remember Bali, often.  Let’s not forget what a lesson Bali is in terms of service.  When service comes from a genuine place to help, to contribute, or to assist, it is always great service.  What a template for all of us to look for, reward and encourage in ourselves and in our business.

I can’t wait to see everyone next year as we move our meeting back west. Thanks again to everyone.