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OMNI meets in The Seychelles

May 14, 2017

The Seychelles might seem to be an odd place for a business conference.  In fact the immigration officer at the airport in Mahé was incredulous when I explained the purpose of my visit.  “You are attending what?” she said.  “A business conference?” Well it might seem a little different but, OMNI is a little different too.     

In my experience, every business conference in the world is essentially the same.  There are some business meetings that only 20% of the delegates attend; a great many one-on-one meetings in shadowed corners of corridors; much exchanging of business cards; a few dinners, mainly standing up; and a lot of time spent in the bar, in the conference hotel or elsewhere.  OMNI is not like that. 

The OMNI (Overseas Moving Network International) conference has only around 100 attendees.  They are the owners and senior managers of the member companies, many of which are recognised as among the industry leaders.  They are there to talk about business, but they don’t talk business – not in the traditional sense anyway.  Nobody exchanges a business card, there really is no need.  Nobody discusses tonnage or reciprocation.  The details of individual transactions or clients are rarely raised.  There are few, if any, private meetings.  

The pace is slow. The atmosphere is relaxed.  The business sessions are packed.  Mobile phones are turned off.  This is a time for real talking, not about detail, but about strategy.  It’s the one place where the helicopter view of the industry is all that interests anyone.  It’s where many of the world’s recognised thought leaders gather, to allow the creative juices to flow, learn from each other and work hard to make the industry better, ultimately, for everyone.  You can’t do that if you are stressed.  That’s why The Seychelles was the perfect location.  

There are some compromises of course.  When you are living on an African island in the middle of the Indian Ocean you moderate your service expectations a little, even if you are living in the unashamed luxury of the Constance Ephelia. But nobody really cares about that sort of thing.  The aim for OMNI delegates is to give themselves time to work on their businesses and on the industry, not in it.  The people who attend the OMNI conference fundamentally understand the difference. 


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