Last week I was in Amsterdam. I was asked to come to the European Pest Controllers Academy by Killgerm to speak to other pest control companies about how by attending the UK pest academy just one year ago in the East Midlands, I had changed my marketing, re-designed our website to reflect the services people want, and how these changes have effected our business over the last year or so.

I did a similar presentation at the UK Pest Controllers Academy back in October, and the response and feedback was really quite overwhelming really. The real benefit is that I have met some really great guys, with very similar attitudes and approaches, but they just need that bit of guidance to get to the next level – exactly as I did a year ago.

Heading up the 2 day session was Ross Smith of Mindshelf. Ross’s company is world renowned for branding and marketing, so with a guy of this calibre giving you advice, you should be looking to take note and action to change things.

Ross Smith of Mindshelf

The difference between the two sessions was basically language. The principles remain the same, but the cultural and language changes made things quite different. Killgerm did provide 2 live translation booths who, with some very nifty technology and incredible people, managed to translate the commentary as it happened….I’m not sure how Ross’s dry wit and sense of humour came over, but as normal he kept the pace and humour flowing through out the sessions.

Translation booths – how did they cope with my Berkshire Accent?

At the end of day one, Killgerm laid on a very nice meal. This gives you chance to meet lots of other people and do a bit of networking. This for me is one of the highlights, speaking to other like minded pest professionals is really interesting – the European PCO’s face a whole bunch of different challenges and different pest issues to us in the UK.

Mrs Rapid Pest and I spent quite a lot of time with Berry and Annemie Vink of Vink Bedrijfshygiene. I was surprised to hear that one of the biggest pest issues is roof rats. These are cunning and clever rodents, which luckily are still quite rare in the UK – lets keep it that way as we have enough issues with the good old brown rat!

Getting Ready for my bit

On the second day, it was my turn to speak about everything Rapid Pest Control  have done to grow our business and discuss our strategies for more growth, better and more diverse services and our challenges and successes. This year has been amazing and with the help of my fellow directors, we have grown quickly and become so much more than most of our competitors – with so much more to come….Watch this space!

Lots of notes and even more questions!

Anyway, it was great to catch up with Ross and Sabre Fearon, the Marketing Director from Killgerm as well as meet some new friends in Europe.

Ross Smith, Sabra Fearon and Me

After the Academy had finished, The misses and I took the opportunity to spend a few more days in Amsterdam, doing some sightseeing and lots of walking, taking time to reflect on things discussed over the previous 2 days.

Amsterdam is a melting pot of cultures and so taking it all in is quite something. If you have not been, then go as it has some amazing architecture, museums and quirky little shops…and of course no trip to Amsterdam is ever complete without a visit to the red light district either … Most bizarre!

One thing I did notice is the growing problem in the city – yes its birds. Everywhere there are pigeons, seagulls and starlings…there is a real need for some bird control and prevention in this city – maybe Rapid Pest Control’s Netherlands Office?

Anyway, as always we picked up a few ideas from Ross, so will be making a few more changes to the website over the coming weeks.

Don’t forget, if you have a pest problem – call the experts at Rapid Pest Control in one of our offices in Newbury, Basingstoke, Reading, Oxford or Swindon for a fast effective pest control service.

Here are a few pics for fun…This is Amsterdam!