The feeling that I have a personal relationship with our readers has never been stronger than over the past few days. As you will know, we have been running an online competition asking readers to predict the minute when Dubai Duty Free broke through the magical US$2 billion annual sales barrier – a fantastic landmark that was broached at precisely 00.43 on 29 December.
As always, Dubai Duty Free joined in the fun and provided a free ticket in their Millennium Millionaire prize draw for the winner. The prize went to the industry figure who got closest to the exact minute the US$2 billion mark was reached.
Incredibly, one reader predicted the result to the precise minute. Airports Council International (ACI) Facilitator and long-term aviation sector executive Dr. Luigi G. (Joe) Sulmona was that reader and hats off to you Joe for an astonishing piece of predictive analysis. Let’s hope you now go on to win the US$1 million prize draw.
Besides being a lot of fun, the competition taught me many things. We announced it online and communicated it to our circa 11,000+ e-Alert database. Despite many of our readers being on holiday (or run off their feet in-store), we generated 3,947 ‘opens’. After that I was flooded with e-mails predicting the landmark moment.
I tried to reply to everyone (sorry if I missed anyone, I had to eat Christmas dinner too), which in turn stimulated further correspondence full of seasonal wishes. Some of those readers I hear from regularly, some occasionally, some never before. Many took the time to thank us for what we provide to the industry. It’s those moments – and those sentiments – that make you feel that you are achieving something.
Here’s a note from Dr. Joe Sulmona, for example, someone I do not know, after he found out about his win. “As an ACI Instructor in the area of Airport Commercial Development, I routinely reference The Moodie Davitt Report for timely insights for ACI students all over the world. I am planning to attend Trinity again this year so will introduce myself. And, yes thank you for your efforts here along with your charity work – the most important of all.”
Such notes – and there were many of them – do far more than their writers could possibly know. They are simultaneously reassuring and inspiring. Reassuring that we are doing a good job and are being read, inspiring in reminding us of our responsibility to always deliver quality material and to be ever mindful of corporate social responsibility. We will raise our game to much greater heights and deliver even better content while taking our charitable efforts to a whole new level in 2019. That is my pledge.