AITO Specialist Travel Agents announce its final speakers for the summer overseas conference programme (Prague, 12 - 15 June 2014):

Joel Hicks – founder of ‘Always With A Smile’ charitable foundation

Joel is certainly not your average conference speaker. With a degree in bio-chemistry, Joel then became a teacher, followed by a stint as an officer in the Marines, another degree in Law to become a barrister, started professional modelling and then founded the ‘Always With A Smile’ charitable foundation.

Joel raises money for charities and good causes by competing in bizarre events, championships and adrenaline-fuelled activities all around the world, always aiming to put a smile on everyone’s face. To top it off, in 2009 Joel was crowned World Gravy Wrestling Champion under the name of ‘Stone Cold Steve Bisto’ where he was interviewed by Paul O’Grady; he featured in Britain’s Got Talent that year.

Oliver Broad, Chairman of AITO Specialist Travel Agents, says: “Joel’s story is an inspiration to us all. From a barrister, to a teacher, to the founder of a charity...he lost everything and then had to completely re-build his life again. Without giving too much away, Joel’s life story will have everyone on the edge of their seats.

“The audience will be taken on a journey of amazement, shock, tragedy and achievement, where Joel’s desire to bring a little happiness to those less fortunate will undoubtedly resonate from his first to last words. I cannot wait to welcome Joel on stage…and I bet I’m not the only one!”

Karen Willey – music development manager, Music Concierge

What role does music play in a travel experience? What does it say about your brand, and how can you use your passion to create a successful niche business? Karen will be discussing how music can be used to differentiate your brand or business.

Music Concierge is an award-winning music consultancy offering a bespoke service to brands and branded spaces. The company designs and supplies high quality playlists for luxury brands, boutique hotels and high-end retail organisations, including brands such as Mulberry, Dunhill, Mr & Mrs Smith, The Upper House and COMO Hotels.

Karen has been working at Music Concierge for over two years, heading up the business development team. She combines her knowledge of luxury, passion for design and space, and of course her of love for music.

Oliver Broad says: “Karen will be talking to us about the importance of music and graphic design linking with brands and branded spaces. Karen will explain how she helps clients realise how music can take their customer experience beyond the everyday, and ultimately how we can do the same for our businesses.

“I’ve recently witnessed one of Karen’s talks and it was enthralling, so I’m delighted she’s agreed to speak at our AITO Agents overseas conference.”

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