How has the industry changed in the last 20 years and how has your business changed to adapt?
Hasan: Turkey has never been truly stable - there were years where we lost 100% of our confirmed business, only for it to pick up the following year by 150%. We overcame these more difficult periods by paying attention to our human resources and by investing in technology. For certain our tailor made fully-integrated software allowed us to adapt to the immediate ups and downs of our market, while granting space for us to create high-end tailor-made proposals. Furthermore, being active in various markets gave us great experience in learning the different dynamics of each market, which is reflected across the entire team.
Globally, 20 years ago information was not so accessible as today, which forced us to strengthen our creativity and unique product developments skills in order to stand out from the rest. “Human to Human” is still our main tagline, all the while investing continuously in technology.
In 20 years of business what have been your proudest moments?
Hasan: There are so many events that we have been involved in but there are two occasions which really stand out and that I will never forget. The first one is organizing a cocktail and dinner reception for 5,500 guests at the Dolmabahce Palace [Istanbul] in 2001. The second is less about events world, and more to do with Euromic. Our planned board meeting in Istanbul in 2016 was overshadowed by the military coup attempt, just five days before. Never the less, my fellow board members flew over without any hesitation, and we conducted our board meeting as scheduled and expected. It was a great emotional moment for me, as well as a great sign that Euromic has more to it than just being a non-profit organization; our bonds are stronger than in other similar set-ups.
What are your feelings on the next 20 years? How do you think the role of the DMC will change, if at all?
Hasan: As long as any DMC continues to be flexible, creative, transparent and fast, that power of local knowledge it produces will still be wanted by the world. Human to human relations is the key to success in the constant changing environment of the DMC’S.
What do you think it takes to be a successful DMC in today’s environment?
Hasan: For us, being successful comes by following the principles we set at the beginning and foundation of our business – and that remains our focus to this day. They are:
PARTNERSHIP IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS
As your Destination Management Company (DMC partner) in Turkey, it's our job to turn your needs and expectations into an event. We listen, ask questions and make suggestions to identify what exactly is needed to achieve the best results. Good communication, complete transparency, face-to-face contact and a close working relationship are the tools we use for a successful partnership.
IT'S ALL ABOUT PEOPLE
At ODS, we see ourselves as being in the people business. Whether it's you or our partners, our quality suppliers or our dedicated team, we know that the most important element of a successful event is the people. While ODS has consistently invested its resources in the latest technology and infrastructure, its most important investment has been in the “human ware”.
A SUCCESSFUL EVENT IS IN THE DETAILS
ODS knows that there is nothing more crucial to planning a successful event than getting the details right and following through from the first proposal to personal on-site management to post-event follow up to the final invoice. Our commitment to follow through creates exciting and memorable events.
EXCELLENCE IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OUTCOME
Our definition of excellence is knowing exactly what we've set out to do, keeping your expectations and desires in focus at all times and never settling for anything less than the absolute optimal solution.
What would you like people to know about you and your business that you don’t always get the opportunity to tell them?
Hasan: Turkey has not changed. While the news stories may suggest differently, we are still the same.
Over the last 20 years you must have seen a lot of changes in tourism industry in Turkey, both positive and negative. What does Turkey offer that makes it so special?
Hasan: The endless possibilities Turkey has to attract the many varied aspects of the travel industry…
Thank you Hasan for your time and insights.