The dreams are not always possible in reality. I had a big dream to get the sponsor for the trip, but I didn’t know how to make it a reality.
I got the e-mail from the NBE to remind me of registering information for the MATKA Workshop Day, so I might have the chance to get the 15 min speed meeting. The MATKA suppliers are the potential business partners for the global travel companies and media. For the travel bloggers the MATKA suppliers are the potential sponsors or the business partners.
Ok! Let me say that the game rule is the suppliers are like the bosses, the buyers (traveling bloggers, the travel companies, media) are like the candidates. The bosses can make the decision to accept your requested meeting or not by your profile and you if match the condition they are looking for.
Every supplier listed what kind of business partners they were looking for. Of course, travel blogger never on the list. Both parties can request, accept and decline meetings. Meeting requests must be confirmed by both sides in order to be scheduled. It means the meeting will be canceled once you haven’t been accepted or been rejected.
Business is business, the suppliers will chose the main target buyers, even though they are looking for the bloggers, they must chose the top travel bloggers. I’m not famous enough, I have no local social relationship. It seems like the mission impossible to get the 15 min speed meeting for me.
I will have no chance to get the sponsor trip if I didn’t get any speed meeting. Even though I have the speed meeting chance, it can’t guarantee I would win the sponsor.
It’s like looking for the job and be a sales. The first step is to send your profile to request the meeting. The supplier accept your request, then you will have the speed meeting. The second step is you are attending the 15 min one to one speed meeting. You must proposal yourself for your purpose in English. Successful or not relied on your presentation and communication with the supplier.
At the beginning I was looking for the Australian suppliers, but I couldn’t find any on the supplier list. I started to send the Asian and Africa countries, but I didn’t get any answer or been rejected.
Zero meeting sounds no good at all. Maybe I only attending the NBE for this trip. It’s not bad, whatever nobody knows my big dream, even though I don’t make it. I was on fire to chase my big dream, I haven’t had the ambition for a dream and challenge for a long time.
Ok! Then I changed my mind to only focus on the Finland suppliers. At first I also didn’t get any answer or been rejected again. Finally one supplier accepted my request. This meeting was meaningful for me. It gave me the confidence, no matter if I was successful or not.
I almost finished my Finland travel schedule when I got the first meeting permission. I found out that I would only have few days in Finland after MATKA Workshop Day. I was setting my basic goal that to get at least one night accommodation sponsor. Not only save the money, but archive my dream and overcome the big challenge. I wanted to build a milestone for my travel blogger career on 2015.
I renewed my profile and sent the request to the meeting request. This time I only sent the request to the supplier where I might go there, then some suppliers accepted my requests. Final I had 7 speed meetings.
I felt it was not real when I knew I would have 7 speed meetings. I never present a proposal overseas before, I never think of my first proposal overseas would be from Australia to Finland. It was my first time to take a flight over 24 hours.
Actually no one could help me how to write the English sponsor proposal, most of my top blogger friends don’t need to write the proposal for the sponsors. You only need to write the Chinese if you are looking for the sponsor in Taiwan. I was going to have the meeting with the Finn, so I got to write the English proposal. The only way was to do it by myself without any help.
Honestly, most people would think that I didn’t have the chance to win the sponsor. I need to compete with other buyers and top bloggers. I need to impress the supplier within 15 min speed meeting by my presentation and communication, even though my English was not fluent, then make it so they would like to sponsor me.
Anyway, I have a stubborn personality that I go on undeterred by the dangers ahead. I want to overcome the challenge when I know it is hard to make it. It’s not my style to quit without trying. I was thinking that I would only get the chance once to try it, otherwise I would never have the chance. The worst situation is that I fail at all the meetings, but it didn’t mean I lose anything. It means I earn 7 meetings experience with Finn. Once I won 1 meeting, it means I got 14% performance for the first experience overseas. Yes, I was ready for the worst situation, but I was still keeping positive. I was promoting myself as the product.
＊＊＊＊＊＊MATKA Workshop Day 1＊＊＊＊＊＊＊＊
Finally I was on the MATKA Workshop Day. 15 min speed one to one meeting was very exciting. There was one host on the stage to count the time, it would be your loss if you were late 1 sec. She rang the bell every 15 min and announced to finish the meeting. It means you have another person was waiting beside the table when you were having the speed meeting with the supplier. It was a kind of pressure meeting as well.
1st meeting. My first speed meeting was before the first NBE course. I would be lying to you if I told you I was not nervous at all. As a matter of fact, it was my first time to touch business and to attend the one to one meeting with European during these 3 years.
Probably I was brave but a little bit silly, I thought I was meeting with a travel agent in Levi, but I just found out I was meeting with Levi tourist office. OMG!
I was a little bit embarrassed at the beginning. I knew I was not familiar the Finland, so I check the google map before the meeting. But I still made the mistake about the location.
15 min speed meeting finished very fast. I was nervous during the meeting, but the atmosphere was quite relax. The sales manager said she couldn’t make the decision to sponsor me, she needs to ask her supervisor. She gave me a buff headwear with Levi logo for the gift. I was not sure if the sales manager would help me to get the sponsor or was she just being polite to reject me. I felt so relax when I finished the first meeting. I was so glad that I already had the first step for my dream.
2nd is a hotel. I had meeting with the sales manager. I already knew I won’t get the sponsor at the beginning. Obviously she was not interested in bloggers at all. She was focus on another buyer with another manager. Her face showed she was not interested in me. I was feeling she’s a little bit rude, but I still appreciate her gave me the chance. I completely finished the proposal, she said it’s ok, then she kept focus on the another buyer. It was the fastest meeting. It took me less 10 min.
3rd meeting. One travel agency in Kemi. He was a nice man. His English was also not fluent. He said he couldn’t help me for the sponsor, he would still be in Helsinki at the date I request. He can ask his college, but he couldn’t promise me anything. Even though I didn’t get the sponsor from this company. The most important thing was I felt respected and had a happy chat. Final he sent me the message to show he cared about me and if I had a good time in Kemi. It was a happy ending for me.
＊＊＊＊＊＊MATKA Workshop Day 2＊＊＊＊＊＊＊＊
2nd Day speed meeting at a small space. There were not many suppliers on this day. Most of suppliers already focus on the travel exhibition.
4th meeting on the second day. This meeting was quite important for me. I was going to meeting with an accommodation owner from Inari. I flew far away from Australia to Finland, so I would not miss to see the Northern Lights in Finland. Many Taiwanese backpackers recommended that Inari is one of the great places to see the Northern lights.
There were not many accommodations in Inari. It is a not cheap there as well. It would help me to save the money if I could get the sponsor in Inari. I couldn’t find the owner at the beginning. The staffs told me he must be at the exhibition, I can find him there. I couldn’t find him within 15 min that I had to meet with him, but I had another meeting after this meeting. So I planed after next meeting, I would go to meet this owner.
5th meeting. I was having a meeting with a managing director of a travel agency. They can arrange all the tourist schedule for you. She said she didn’t have right to make the decision to sponsor me, she only helps to organize the trip. She wrote down a name on a note for me, she suggested to me to meet the guy, and told him that she recommend me to meet him. I was not pay attention to the note. I was thinking I was going to meet the 4th meeting owner.
4th meeting continuous. I immediately went to the Inari exhibition after the 5th meeting. Finally I saw the owner. He looked so busy, I had the one to one meeting after he finished. He was nice and looked a little bit serious, I couldn’t tell his emotion on his face. He straight told me that he would be still in Helsinki on my request sponsor date. He could ask his employee if there were any available room for the date, but he couldn’t promise me that he can sponsor me. I saw the note after the 4th meeting, then I found out it was coincidence that the name was the owner I just met with.
6th meeting was a famous hotel. It was a surprise. I didn’t consider the location before I sent the request. I sent the request was before I finished my Finland trip schedule. I was meeting with the sales department assistant. She was kind and nice. We discussed my Finland schedule, but we found out I couldn’t make it to this hotel this time. She said that’s ok, next time you can come here with your family. I can still sponsor you. Next time you come to our hotel, you can stay longer to enjoy the place. So I won the sponsor for my next Finland trip in this meeting.
7th meeting. It was my last meeting and all suppliers last meeting as well. The speed meeting would be all finished the meeting in 15 min. The finale meeting, I had some hope, but I couldn’t have too much expectation.
Why did I say that? Because I was going to have meeting with a sales & marketing manager of a resort. The emphasis is the resort. You must know the glass igloos if you have noticed the Finland high level Northern lights tour. I saw the description on the website, it looked so fantastic. I was thinking it’ll be amazing if I could stay at the glass igloos one night.
To be honest, I didn’t know the glass igloos until I searched the Finland tourist information for my trip. I started to realize how famous the glass igloos is. There were only 65 patent glass igloos at the resort in the world. It’s really hard to get a glass igloos, especially in the Northern Lights season. I saw the news that one famous Taiwanese TV show tried to book the glass igloos during the Northern Lights season, but they didn’t get it. Finally they only booked a cabin, but many Taiwanese started to know the places in Finland, because of the Taiwanese TV show.
It looked like a mission impossible for me to get the sponsor. Because it’s my last meeting, I only felt relax. I didn’t worry too much. After all I can’t control the game, the only thing I can do is to try my best, then to see how it does work. I was quite surprised that when I saw the manager. I have met her before when I was looking for other meeting. We didn’t know each other, we just smile and nod.
She straight answered me that she can sponsor me after she heard my proposal. I was so shock and happy, I asked her” Is it real?” Then she surprised me again said I’d like to sponsor you 2 night accommodations if you have enough time. You can stay at glass igloos one night, and another night at cabin, then you can enjoy 2 different accommodations. It was so unbelievable. I was so happy and got crazy, but I still tried to stay calm.
Because I had a verbal contract with the Inari accommodation owner first. I was still waiting for his e-mail answer. Although I didn’t know if I could get the sponsor from the owner. I didn’t want to break a promise with him. I have told him I would wait for his answer. Maybe some people would think the chance was so rare, they would directly answer yes to the manager, but I insist that the honesty is the most important thing. I had met a friend and a college who broke a promise, because the benefit to them, we didn’t have a happy relationship anymore. “Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.” My character is my goodwill now, then being honest is essential.
I honestly replied her” I’m so happy you can offer me 2 night accommodations, but I’m still waiting for the answer from another supplier. I can’t promise you I can stay 2 nights now, but I will tell you if my plan has change.”
I had a really happy conversation with the manager, the coincidence was she would back to resort on the date I request. She was going to host other media from the world at the same day. She knew my travel history during the meeting. She was so exciting said that “I would introduce you to our boss. He’s so nice, you must like him.” I was so surprised again. I was going to live at the glass igloos and meet the resort boss. It was like a dream, wasn’t it?
The last meeting was the perfect ending. The happiness came so fast and sudden on me. I didn’t expect that I would get my first sponsor from this meeting, because it seemed like the mission impossible.
Now everyone must curious how many sponsors I had after 7 speed meetings.
Final, I won 5 days 4 night accommodation and some tours. It was about au$ 5,000 (about NT$ 12,500), I will write the sponsor trip detail in the following articles.
It was not only a travel, but a dream chasing journey for me. I was so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and took the courage to take the longest trip in my life just for chasing my longtime dream in my heart.
Yes I had come true my 2/3 dream during the 2 workshop days. 1/3 was I attending the NBE to learn how to be a professional travel blogger, another 1/3 was I did my first proposal & meetings in Finland. I promoted myself in English, I earned the sponsors and respect.
What was my last 1/3? It would be I was going to enjoy my 5 days 4 night sponsor trip, I earned this by my hard work. I was going to build my milestone for my travel blogger career this year.
2 workshop days, 7 one to one speed meetings, 105 min, 5 days 4 night sponsor trip, value au$ 5,000, Priceless meeting experience with bosses and managers in Europe.
You are scared the future is unknown. Sometimes you put all your effort avail you nothing. It is the best part when you are chasing your dream and overcome the challenges even you were scared but you kept going. I don’t mind you laugh at me. I haven’t touched the business over 3 years, I didn’t know it would be a tough challenge in 3 years. In spite of it was my first speed meeting overseas, I had better than 0 performances. I can laugh at myself I was not over the hill.
The speed meeting was like a mission impossible for me. Final I earned the sponsors depended on my personality, ability and past experience in work, study and travel experience. Never stop doing what you love no matter what the odds are; as long as you keep at it, someone will praise and appreciate what you do eventually.
I’d like to share the words to you” Life is beautiful. The beauty of unknown. The beauty that you can see the achievement when you are working hard for your goal, but the life is so short. Sometimes the biggest achievement was not just achieve yourself, you just less the regret in your life. Everything is possible. Don’t hesitate when you are young, every time you make an effort, you will meet yourself in the best way.”
You might have obstructions, some people don’t understand and despise your dream when you are chasing your dream. No worries. It’s normal. You don’t need so urgent to refute or explain how meaningful you dream is. You don’t need to upset from these people. You just need to focus on how to achieve your dream. You have your own life, you are the only one to enjoy the accomplishment when you achieve your dream. Only you can define the meaning in your life, no one can judge or criticize it. Try to make your life shining and build up your confidence, bring the positive energy to the people, then it will be the best thing!
I’m Nobody! No trick in my life to achieve my dream. I’m just willing to enrich myself with the knowledge and experience. Sometime I love to challenge myself for the mission impossible, and I insist to come true my dream. One thing I’m lucky is my partner always support me to come true my dream.
I hope one day you also can come true your dream whatever it is small or big, it is a wonderful thing when you step out of your comfort zone and try the first step.
Una Finland Trip got sponsored by the following,
KAKSLAUTTANEN ARCTIC RESORT
Official Website http://www.kakslauttanen.fi/
VISIT INARI LAKE & SNOW INARI
Official Website http://visitinari.fi/
LEVI TOURIST OFFICE LEVI
Official Website http://www.levi.fi/
Thanks to all the sponsors who gave me the great opportunities to enjoy Finland in such fantastic way. I had amazing trip in Finland because of you.
Thanks God for guiding me the amazing adventure in my life journey. (not end yet)
當時她有擺一個極光玻璃屋的小小展示品在桌上，還有開關可以有燈光。她說Una到度假村的話，她就會送一個新的給Una當禮物，Una真的太幸運啦! 最後一場會議是這兩天會議以來，最完美的落幕。所謂『幸福來得太快、太突然』，大概這種感覺吧! Una完全沒料到這七場會議中，最快得到贊助回應的，竟然是這個看起來最不可能和最沒希望的會議。
KAKSLAUTTANEN ARCTIC RESORT 極光玻璃屋、小木屋、聖誕老人村
Official Website http://www.kakslauttanen.fi/ 官網提供中英文
VISIT INARI LAKE & SNOW INARI Inari住宿、Inari行程安排
Official Website http://visitinari.fi/ 官網提供英文
LEVI TOURIST OFFICE LEVI 芬蘭滑雪勝地Levi觀光單位
Official Website http://www.levi.fi/ 官網提供中英日文