Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the annual Relocate Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony.
It is wonderful to have our biggest turnout ever, in a fantastic new venue in the heart of the dynamic City of London. This is one of the world’s most vibrant financial centres, and just round the corner are Shoreditch and Tech City – a fitting location in which to bring together the best and the brightest in the relocation sector, who are driving the global mobility agenda.
We are thrilled to welcome tonight guests from as far afield as India, the USA and Switzerland.
The Relocate Awards are celebrating their ninth year, and next year will be the big 10th anniversary. This year, we have 10 categories, including some new awards, and the judges have been impressed by some exceptionally high-calibre entries.
This year, over 50 per cent of our entries were international, which confirms the prestigious global reputation of these awards, which is underpinned by a rigorous, independent judging process. These really are the awards to win!
The world is changing fast. In a month’s time, in the UK, we'll be asked to decide whether we stay in the EU or leave. There is a US election ahead, and the global economy is slowing.
However, more and more companies are doing business in new international locations, many for the first time.
A new study initiated by the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC) and the European Relocation Association (EuRA) reviews 57 global mobility reports, reflecting the experiences of more than 25,000 mobility stakeholders across 140 countries. It highlights the top five factors that are driving change across the globe and impacting our $60-billion-dollar mobility industry. These are: globalisation – the shift in economic power from west to east; demographic change; individualism – creating more choice for employees; a movement toward knowledge-based economies; and technology.
As Steve Cryne, of the CERC, stated at the recent EuRA conference, “These factors are increasing demand for skilled and specialised talent across the globe. In response, more employers are expanding their mobility programmes to manage complex talent gaps, increase their global reach, attract and retain employees, and develop tomorrow's leaders.”
Managing global mobility will soon become the norm for many organisations. Some companies already have 75 per cent of their workforce working globally across borders. Typically, companies are at 5 to 10 per cent, and some only move around 1 per cent, but that is changing fast.
It may be the end of a niche sector, but it certainly isn’t the end of the relevance of what you do to a wider market.
This brings so many opportunities.
All of you working in global mobility deal with change on a daily basis. You also understand the importance of cultural awareness, and strive to communicate effectively. What you do, in whatever sector you are in, is important. You are agile, flexible and innovative, you strive for excellence, and you understand the complexities of compliance, as well as the importance of supporting talent.
This is an exciting time for anyone working in global mobility, and we at Relocate are here to support what you do and the business travellers, the relocating employees, and the families.
We chart the changes, follow the trends, tell the stories, make the connections, and provide practical information and advice that make a difference.
We know about content. We are a rich resource of knowledge, through print, digital and online. Moving forward, there will be more practical downloadable factsheets and ‘how to’ series, more video, webinars and forums, more beautifully produced publications in print and online – like our stunning Guide to International Education & Schools, designed to make your job easier and reassure parents – because families do matter; it’s not all about the Millennials.
And we will be widening our community to embrace all organisations managing people in a global context, because that is the future.
Exciting times ahead!
And in that spirit, we promise you a magical evening, with some surprises along the way. So please enjoy your meal, some great conversations, and the awards ceremony ahead, to be hosted by John Simonett.