Iberia 2013 Debrief

We're back in the office after our annual Iberian track days (2 days at Portimao and 1 day at Estoril) where 70 clients from the UK and a dozen from around the globe converged to bask in the beautiful Winter sun rain!

Once again we invited participants of our annual Iberia trip to complete a questionnaire to give us some feedback on the event and help us improve it year-on-year. For the first time, we only visited 2 circuits this year (2 days at Portimao instead of adding a third venue). Opinion was divided as to whether this was a good or bad thing, with some drivers preferring the reduced travelling and setup time whereas others would have preferred the variety of visiting another track.

(All figures quoted are averages based on the questionnaires received)

We were pleased to see that the booking process was rated 4.6 out of 5 for ease of booking and were quite flattered that the information pack made little (or no) difference to the decision-making process - a response that tells us our clients have high levels of confidence in our ability to make the right decisions about this stuff!

The content of the information pack was rated 4.4 out of 5, which tells us we're doing a good job, but there's still scope for improving the information we're supplying. I chatted to a few clients about this topic and consensus seemed to be the information pack was a little lacking in the finite details such as locations of the transport depots, where to meet at arrivals at Faro and what time will the minibus be leaving the circuit. All good points which we can hopefully sort for next year.

The minibus service was one area where we felt we could still improve on previous trips. This year, we had fewer clients-per-bus in an effort to make the journeys more comfortable and we also had additional staff available to ensure flexibility for clients and/or partners to be picked-up and dropped-off at their convenience. I'm pleased to say the convenience and value of the minibus service once again improved in score (3.8 in 2011, 4.3 in 2012 and now 4.7 in 2013) which again shows we do respond to customer feedback.

Unfortunately, once again the minibuses didn't score as highly as we'd hoped on the comfort front with a rather disappointing 3.9 out of 5. I suspect in order to improve this score we'll need to consider some luxury saloons for our next trip rather than minibuses as anything bigger than a car is going to seem a little agricultural in comparison. I'll do the maths on this and speak to a few of the minibus regulars to gauge opinion on the increase cost vs improved comfort. Feedback is invited on the idea so please do get in touch if you have any thoughts on the topic.

Sadly, the car transportation was once again the weakest link in terms of both cost and convenience, with a barely above average score of 4.3 and 3.8 respectively. Invariably it's going to be difficult to keep everyone happy with a limited number of transport depots as drop-off & collection points. Furthermore, the trucking is sold on at cost (after heavy negotiations!) so there's really very little to be done with either convenience or cost. One comment we did get was that we should offer the option of home collection - at a cost - to those clients for whom the time to drop the car off is more valuable than the transport cost. Something we'll definitely look at offering next year.

When it came to rating the circuits, it was interesting that Estoril fared much better this year than last year - running a very close second to the ever-popular Portimao with 40% of the clients polled claiming Estoril was their favourite of the two tracks visited.

Opinions of the 2 hotels we visited were fairly consistent - with the Miragem Cascais scoring an impressive 4.9 out of 5. Unfortunately, consensus was that the service and quality standards at Le Merdien Penina had slipped from previous years and this was reflected in the somewhat disappointing score of 3.6. Time to shop around for another 5-star hotel near Portimao maybe?

Finally (and most importantly for us!) came the question "how likely are you to book for Iberia 2014". Given we had 8 clients from Australia, 1 from America and 1 from the Isle-of-Man, I was pleasantly surprised to see an average response of 4 out of 5 (where 4=likely and 5=definite).

I hope this little debrief has been useful to the attendees of the event and maybe helped convince one or two more to join us next year.

In Pictures

Our Australian friends left the hottest summer for a generation back home to enjoy some Europes finest weather! Proof that my Grey 355 does (very) occasionally get (ab)used and finally a photo of the stunning FF Corse 458 which was managing to lap pretty much the entire field every couple of laps!

Click thumbnail to view image.

Jonny Leroux
12 March 2013

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