The way up
The way up A story from Hoynck BV
Great Things Done Together (“Great things are done when men and mountains meet”: William Blake)
I hope that you find this booklet a refreshing change. We’ve tried to offer you an alternative to those boring company brochures that are stuffed into your briefcase and promptly forgotten!
At times, perhaps, we have all paused to consider the direction our work and our life is taking. What follows is a short story about someone who does just that. And how – with help – he finds a better way.
Reading the story myself, I started thinking about the roads and routes, bottlenecks and obstacles, goals and dreams of everyday business. Consequently, in the perforated margins of this booklet, I have asked Joost van Sluijters to draw some parallels to outline how Hoynck BV (HBV) can guide, support and ease your business journey.
I hope that the story helps alleviate some boredom as you wait at the airport or endure a long train journey. I also hope that you take a little time to read how – like the Sherpa in this story – HBV and you can do great things together to help take your company to the top.
Paul Hoynck van Papendrecht Owner and CEO: Hoynck Holding BV and Hoynck BV
The Sherpa climbing ahead of me doesn’t seem bothered, but my fingers and toes are slowly growing numb. Every moment and every step, it seems to get colder. Where will this end? I have no idea. But I do recall how it began: It was somewhere on a major European road network. And I was stuck in a traffic jam in a heavy downpour. Glancing at my watch and sat nav I saw I had ten minutes and forty miles to my next appointment.* It was clear I wasn’t going to make it. I called my secretary to ask her to let the client know. “I’m stuck in traffic. Nothing’s moving for miles ahead. Probably an accident because of all this rain.” Over the phone, I hear her fingers moving quickly over the keyboard. “There are no holdups there,” she reports cheerfully. “And according to the weather site it’s not raining either.” What can I say? I seem to be trapped in some sort of alternative reality. Where I am, there’s nose to tail traffic and it’s raining so hard that the windshield wipers can barely cope. But Chantal tells me there’s a clear dry road ahead. Her screen contradicts my eyes.
The Appointment* Unlike the character in our story, HBV will do everything humanly possible to make its appointment with you! In the mountaineering analogy, that first exploratory meeting is the ‘base camp’ which provides a secure foundation for a successful joint expedition. At it we will discuss the aims, objectives and budget for your event and then develop a detailed, priced proposal for your consideration
From the moment you make an appointment our project managers have only one goal – your success. We pride ourselves on delivering ‘extra as standard’. And our people combine dedication, competence & creative flair to ensure that happens. Discuss your ideas with us and you will see them transformed into compelling and powerful presentations that you can deliver anywhere in the world.
* 1. a meeting set for a specific time or place. 2. a fixed mutual agreement for a meeting.
In the end, I sat there for an hour. An hour to think about what had just happened. About how far we are removed from reality; how disconnected we are. I never kept that appointment. I also had Chantal cancel all my other appointments for the rest of week. “He’s unexpectedly out of the office and we don’t know when he will be back.” And me? I was indeed out of the office. I was at home, looking out over my garden and thinking. Thinking the Big Thoughts. The thoughts of a forty-something. “Is this all there is?” “Could I do something more meaningful?” Any day now my obituary could appear in the paper: “He was always there for his clients and under his management the business grew steadily. During his 12 years of service the company became the market leader in canned vegetables.” What a glowing testimonial that is! What else? “Three weeks camping near Cannes every summer; golf twice a month; and every evening a nice long walk with his dog.” My backpack weighs more than 20 pounds. The Sherpa in front of me carries at least three times that. If I do reach the summit, my name will be in the papers (I’ve made sure of that!). For him, it’s his fifth time to the top and his name will never appear in print. Sherpa..? I had thrown myself wholeheartedly into preparing for this trip, but had forgotten to find out where that name came from. Is it a race, a religion or a job description? I try to think about it, but the thin air, the intense effort and the killing cold quickly extinguish any thoughts. Physically I’m climbing ever higher; mentally I seem to be sinking. Watch out! Pay attention!* Rocks slide away under my feet and plummet into the void beneath us.
Pay Attention* “Pay attention, stay alert”, could well be our catch phrase. Because we never take our eye off the ball; never lose sight of your wishes, your needs, and your ultimate goal.
From first contact through to project completion we give clients our total commitment and support in every aspect of the work. We think, talk and work as if we are an integral part of your own in-house team. And when it comes to quality, we never compromise.
That’s the most reliable way to achieve repeated success. And, at the end of the day, your success is the key to our success.
* 1. the act or faculty of attending, esp. by directing the mind to an object. 2. observant care; consideration. 3. maintain awareness.
After I’d been home more than a week, my secretary called and asked my wife when they might expect me back. My wife managed to avoid giving her an answer and waited until dinner that evening to tell me that the company had called. I shook my head wearily, “The company, their business... what is my business?” I tapped my head and said, “This”. “What did you say?” I asked. My wife said calmly that she had told Chantal it was nothing serious, but nevertheless the doctor had advised me to stay at home for a few weeks. (She had made up that bit about the doctor; I had decided myself that I needed time off). “That’s good,” I said. Later that evening I looked up the dictionary definition of company:* ‘A body of persons combined for common (commercial) objectives or joint action.’
A Company* For over 30 years Hoynck has been consistently helping companies to successfully present themselves through three-dimensional exhibits. We combine robust design and focused project management, never compromising on effort or quality of service. And, because weâ€™re global, we can support you worldwide.
You have high standards; so do we. Our people are totally committed and will take the extra step because they value your presentation as highly as you do yourselves. Doing impeccable work and meeting all your requirements is only part of the story. We also want to anticipate your needs and actively think along with you. We see this as developing a long-term partnership with you, not simply building a professional working relationship.
* 1. a number of persons united or incorporated for joint action, esp. for business.
The Base Camp
All my working life I’ve been busy climbing higher and higher. I’ve had 5 employers and changed jobs around 13 times. I never made any dramatic leaps upwards, but rather made a slow steady ascent. When a company grew, I grew with them, moving up each time. Once, on my annual trip to Cannes, I detoured to visit France’s Col du Galibier. That’s the highest place I’d ever been before today. At 8,677 feet there was a monument. I got out of the car to see who it honoured: Henri Desgrange, founder of the Tour de France. Snow was still on the ground, and it was so cold I was back behind the wheel within 2 minutes. Now 8,677 feet seems nothing, because our first base camp is at 15,419 feet. As we move higher and higher I follow my Sherpa so closely I’m almost stepping in the footprints he leaves. Initially I had moral doubts about using him. “Surely”, I thought, “I should use animals, not a fellow human to carry my heavy burdens”. Now I realise I had missed the point. Yes, the Sherpa brings strength to our quest, but far more importantly he brings experience and knowledge.* He dismisses some traverses that seem straightforward, knowing that they are potentially disastrous. Conversely, he selects apparently difficult stretches that actually help us move upwards quickly and safely.
Knowledge* Ultimately it’s all about knowledge: •
Knowledge of the latest techniques, knowledge of marketing,
and knowledge of project planning; • Knowledge
of reliable international suppliers, venues, and materials;
- like the Sherpa – of the less obvious path that often proves
the easier route to where you want to end up; and, • Knowledge
of the people we work with. Because only when we truly
understand you and your needs can we do that little bit extra to ensure your satisfaction.
We therefore want to get to know you. Then we can come up with solutions even before you’re aware there’s a problem, answer the questions that you may not think to ask, and help plot a route to your success.
* 1. acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation. 2. familiarity, gained by experience of a particular subject or area of expertise. 3. practical skill.
During my second week at home, I came up with ‘The Plan’. I had to escape from here for two or three months. Go to the edge of the world; to the centre of myself. I considered sailing away, or a jungle expedition, but in the end I settled on climbing. From the moment I decided, energy surged through me. I went in search of stories, advice and information. I found I had sixty three saved up vacation days coming. (A good sign; I was born in ’63). In the next few months I wouldn’t aim for higher turnover, higher profits or a higher bonus; I would aim for a higher self. Everything I read in preparation for the climb stressed the importance of confidence in the team. And, in the last few weeks, I’ve found I do have faith in the men and women that are connected to me by a shared rope. But it’s not blind faith, because, although we share an end goal, we also share some physical and mental frailties. Moreover, we have diverse motivations that mean we each want to gain different things in the course of our journey to that end goal. In contrast, the Sherpa is like a rock. He alone has my unswerving trust.* He’s no extreme sports enthusiast out for kicks, or jaded executive on a stress-reducing jaunt. He is a professional whose every step is purposeful, precise and well considered. Although he’s going to the top, the summit is not his real goal. His goal is to get me to the top.
Trust* Itâ€™s all about trust. At HBV we know that better than anyone. Only when you can rely on us completely to execute your stand or exhibit, are you free to do what you do best. You can trust Hoynck. Just as we have total confidence in our people and in our suppliers. In their expertise, their craftsmanship and their commitment.
However, like the character in our story, we know that blind trust is difficult. So, we simply ask for one opportunity to earn your trust. Because weâ€™re confident that one experience of working with us will be the start of a long-lasting partnership.
* 1. confidence in the ability, integrity, strength etc. of another. 2. faith. 3. confident expectation.
Of course the dog had known for a long time! Now I realised; I had to improve my fitness. So he and I began to run seven evenings a week. Within a couple of months energy flowed through my body again. Back at work now, I had the same energy. I was setting new goals there too: and we planned a campaign to introduce our freeze-dried foods to the Netherlands. I saw endless possibilities, especially with herbs. At first - like my dog – people enjoyed running* to keep up with the boss. But they didn’t share his endless enthusiasm! After a few weeks the first people started falling back and it took a lot of effort to keep them on board.
Well before dark, we set up camp again. We have found a ledge under a rock that offers a little shelter. With most of my clothes still on, I slide into my sleeping bag and continue the conversation with my Sherpa. I ask the question that had bothered me earlier: “Where does the word Sherpa come from?” He smiles: “Sherpa means people who come from the East. Once upon a time we came from Tibet to settle along the Nepal side of the Himalayas.” “So, an ethnic group”, I think, “a people; a powerful and steadfast people”. I even feel a certain kinship. I too had once uprooted, moving from the country to pursue job opportunities in the big city.
Running* Weâ€™re ready to do the running for you. Not aimlessly like a headless chicken, but with purpose and direction. Weâ€™re totally focused: focused on your business goal; and focused on our goal, which is to exceed your expectations. Our project leaders devote themselves to planning and monitoring the goal, progress and finances of your project, leaving you free to concentrate on your core business.
Above all, we never run away from a problem: we solve it.
* 1. systematically organising and managing events, operations etc. for self and/or others. 2. moving swiftly. 3. continuous; flowing. 4. driving forward; promoting.
I want to climb a mountain of respectable size, but Mount Everest is perhaps a bit too ambitious. I need a mountain that is not impossible, but that represents a real challenge. In the end, I choose Lenin Peak in the Pamirs, using the Kyrgyzstan approach. As I continually point out to people, it’s more than 23,000 feet high. I talk a lot about the adventure. I do that mainly to reinforce my resolve, and to make sure there’s no way I can back out. I pick a date. A storm is raging. Tonight we’re staying just under Razdelnaya Peak, at the beginning of the final ascent. Even though I’m exhausted, I can’t sleep. The storm and the cold keep me awake. We are now at 20,013 feet and the altitude, the cold and the tiredness are starting to get me down. When we break camp at six the next morning I ask myself if I really want to carry on. Actually, the only reason that I still keep plodding on behind my Sherpa is the Sherpa himself. We have spent many evenings talking together.* He has shared his wisdom and knowledge with me. I think perhaps we have become friends. I don’t want to let him down.
Together* You are not alone. HBV becomes an integral part of your team; an utterly reliable partner in the challenging process of effective communication.
We direct trusted and competent third parties to build your stands and exhibits. This leaves us free to give you optimum support where it counts: in managing & monitoring the details, progress and finance of your project to ensure it delivers the desired goal.
* 1. In union, relationship, association, business, agreement etc. as two or more individuals or organisations. 2. in concert; in harmony.
On Our Way
We have a team, we have a mountain, we have a date. The tickets to Bishkek have been bought and the flight to Osh has been booked. Chantal quit this week. Before she left I thanked her. Indeed, she is the one who initiated what I laughingly call ‘my way up.’ I won’t replace her for the next few months. Not until I return. In the meantime, I’ve spent many hours with our marketing people to see how we can make my ideas* commercially profitable. We’re on our way. At every recent gathering of friends and colleagues I’ve boasted that I’m going to 23,000 feet. Now, according to my altimeter, I’m there! I look up to the summit. At dinner parties, the 406 feet that I still have left to climb didn’t seem worth mentioning. But now that I’m actually here, at this altitude, every single step counts. To start with I tried to take one stride with each rasping breath. Now I can only take a step after three panting gasps. My Sherpa turns around and just nods. It’s an encouraging nod; it says “You’re doing all right. You’ll make it”. “I am going to make it”, keeps pounding through my head like a mantra; “I’m going to make it”. I cannot think of anything else.
Ideas* The start of all effective communication is ideas. Your ideas and the creative interpretation of them by others. Whatever your ideas, Hoynck is there to transform them from concept into reality. Our hands-on attitude pleasantly surprises our clients, time after time. Thatâ€™s how we gain clients and thatâ€™s how we keep clients.
* 1. concepts arising in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness or activity. 2. novel thoughts or notions that are the product of intellectual action and imagination. 3. opinions, views, or beliefs.
Initially the Research Department laughed when I requested a sort of mini-greenhouse to grow a basil plant in. The thing had to work efficiently on camping gas or batteries - and at temperatures twenty below zero. Three proposals* were put forward; I tested each of them in an enormous cold storage unit at work. Only one worked. I spoke to growers about the herb. I had thought basil was just basil. But it turned out that there are over 20 different varieties! It’s a sensitive herb, so I chose the strongest strain available. I’ve reached the summit and I am euphoric. Previously I had wondered how you would know when you had reached the absolute peak. Now that seems blindingly obvious. You have reached the top when you can go no higher! (Of course, there’s another clue someone has stuck a pole in the thick snow and attached a plastic bag ‘flag’!). Professional to the last, my Sherpa doesn’t allow my euphoria to distract us: “The top is only halfway,” he warns. His meaning is clear: “Stay alert. Don’t lose yourself in the moment. We still have to get back down.” But I don’t want to think about that right now. I gaze down at the world lying at my feet.
Proposals* HBV is a major player in the business of stands and exhibitions. This means we have excellent contacts and connections with specialists across the world who can apply their creative skills and craftsmanship to build first class exhibits.
We select those we feel are best suited to your needs and ask them to submit proposals. You then receive these proposals, with the assurance that Hoynck is totally responsible for project managing the realisation of the chosen proposal.
* 1. things offered or suggested for acceptance, adoption and action. 2. ideas, plans, strategies etc. put forward for consideration.
From deep in my backpack I take a sturdy little box. I remove my gloves just long enough to open it. I feel heat escaping; my little greenhouse is still working! Carefully, I lift the fresh basil leaves out of the warmth* and gently place them on the frozen ground. With a video camera from my pack I start filming the aromatic green leaves against a background of snow-covered peaks. The ice-cold wind ruffles the plant as I take a close-up shot. Is this going to work? Yes! Within seconds I see the basil shrivel up in the freezing cold. At Easter my wife had sprinkled Himalayan salt on her eggs, claiming it was pure and centuries old. I insisted that the salt that came out of the ground where we lived was just as old and just as pure. Only after I googled proof of my argument was she convinced. But I must admit that hers was a great marketing story. A story I thought worthy of imitation!
Warmth* Clearly, business is about issues such as buying, selling, margins and reliability. But at Hoynck, it is also about people. We build genuine warm relationships with our clients by sharing not only their success, but also their concerns and burdens. This doesnâ€™t happen by chance. Itâ€™s a deliberate part of our philosophy. Who knows? You may be the next client to receive a warm welcome from us. We hope so.
* 1. geniality; sincerity; earnestness. 2. enthusiasm; fervour; zeal. 3. liveliness of feelings and emotions.
The story about the manager who stood on top of the Himalayas with a basil plant did well in the media. The press release was picked up more than 500 times. I appeared on two talk shows and the video was seen almost half a million times on YouTube. At the end of the video was a link to the site where we sing the praises of our freeze-dried herbs and vegetables. Sales in the first year shot through the roof! There was the first man naked from the waist up, the first woman, and the first men without oxygen. Even the first guy who took up a bicycle with the aim of riding back down! But I was the first to bring an entire company to the top. Thanks to my Sherpa.* I remember the wisdom he whispered to me one evening: â€œHe who has found his place is like a tree: deeply rooted and reaching ever higher.â€? I stand here and I feel rooted.
The Sherpa* Here at HBV it is the Sherpa that we most closely identify with in this story. Our goal is to unselfishly, enthusiastically and professionally take your company to the top. We step backward only when it is time for you take the praise and reap the rewards.
We can be your Sherpa.
* 1. one or more of an Eastern Tibetan people, living in the Nepalese Himalayas, who often serve as porters on mountain-climbing expeditions.
Final Word: Weight We now know why our fictional manager lugged over twenty pounds of equipment to the top of a mountain. And we hope that you have also got a flavour of how Hoynck BV can ease the weight of your business burdens. If so, and youâ€™d like to find out more, please contact us. One telephone call is all it takes to set up a first appointment. And one appointment is often the beginning of a long-lasting and successful partnership.
The way up
Colofon Concept & Design: Dim, Design & Communication Venlo, The Netherlands Copy: Dim, Design & Communication Joost van Sluijters Venlo, The Netherlands Press: Lecturis Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Design and Project Management for Exhibitors
Hoynck bv ECI 11, 6041 MA Roermond P.O. Box 530, 6040 AM Roermond The Netherlands Phone +31(0)77 387 18 11 Fax +31(0)77 382 03 45 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org www.hoynck.com