The 2nd session of the French Press Club took place on 9 May at a very exclusive members-only club in London. The theme was “How to spoil yourself on an active holiday”. As I’ve only been an intern at Atout France for a month, it was my first chance to attend the French Press Club event and a private club too.
I was expecting a spacious and cold building with everyone in suits. Instead, it was a really cosy and relaxed place full of young people fashionably, but casually dressed. This place is actually devoted to press relations, media and creativity.
The concept of the French Press Club is based on networking between tour-operators and journalists. 15 columnists were present, to meet and discuss with the 8 tour operators involved in the theme of this session.
After some nibbles and drinks, our Director, Jean-Pierre Courteau, began the evening by giving some facts and figures about active holidays. Then, he presented the tour-operators: Brittany ferries, Golf Par Excellence, Lagrange Holidays, Sports Tours International, The Chain Gang Cycle Tours, European waterways, French Pedals and Free wheel holidays.
The Loire Valley Tourist Board, represented by Marion Frémont, presented a show case through specific products like the Loire à Vélo – which is definitely a very interesting and unusual way to discover a region famous for its Renaissances castles and vineyards.
After roughly 30 minutes, we moved on to the most intimidating moment for me: networking. With a canapé in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, everyone started chatting and exchanging business cards and so on. They seemed so used to and comfortable with this kind of event!
By the end of the evening, I was finally busy chatting and talking about the great things to do and see in France with the others. I can’t wait to be part of the next one in September about Winter Escapes!