FIGT is fortunate to have supportive sponsors. This is the fifth of a short series of articles highlighting those whose invaluable financial and professional support helps keep FIGT growing.
A first-time FIGT sponsor in 2018 is RelocateGuru, owned by Nicole Blyth. Her company grew out of a personal observation about an obvious need she encountered in her own life after moving home 16 times: how to feel like a local in a new place, right from the start, without having to research hundreds of websites.
“In this day and age, I believe it takes too long to organise a move and feel a part of a new community,” Nicole explains. “I felt it was about time that there was a solution that helps everyone feel like a local anywhere. So I created the RelocateGuru app to be a community where we can share all the local knowledge we accumulate when we live in a place − all over the world − so that we can help the next person feel more welcome. Using the app, you can start making friends and connections in your new town before you get there, find which neighbourhood is best for you, read local recommendations, find businesses, and save everything you need to know about your new home in one place. Like having a new best friend in your new town giving you all the insider tips and tricks before you've even packed a box!”
“Every time I talk to strangers about the RelocateGuru app, they all tell me stories about the stress and hassle they had and how they wished they had the RelocateGuru app to help them in the past. Whether it was getting a house in the wrong part of town, to not knowing there was an easier way to get a bank account set up, or how to choose the right school: there are hundreds of things to figure out for the first time. The more people who share all those insider tips about the places they’ve lived that we wish someone had told us, the better the community gets for everyone.’
For Nicole, it was experiencing her first FIGT conference in 2017 that brought both a sense of community and a desire to support that community through sponsorship.
“The message and community of FIGT align so well with the mission of RelocateGuru to help everyone feel like they belong anywhere they move in the world, that I was very proud to have the opportunity to be a sponsor this year. From talking to attendees, speakers, organisers and other sponsors, all from different sectors and with different reasons for being at FIGT, there was a commonality that we shared, where questions like "where are you from?" didn't matter. Instead, we were all interested in each other's stories and the similarities we shared in our experiences, no matter where or how far we have travelled.”
“After attending the first year, I was blown away by how welcoming everyone was and how I instantly felt like I belonged − for the first time in a really long time! I met people like they were long lost friends even though we had only connected online, and learnt so much throughout the conference. So I knew that if I had the opportunity to support this special community I would.”
Attending the 2018 conference as a sponsor, Nicole gained valuable feedback on the RelocateGuru app directly from the very people who can contribute to it, help spread the word about it, and benefit from using it.
“In particular, the conference highlighted the importance of expat spouses being an essential support to overseas assignments that don't often get the recognition they deserve. I hope that RelocateGuru would be a useful resource that supports these unsung heroes, helping to make the practical and emotional challenges of transition to somewhere new easier. It was great to get feedback on what everyone wished the app could do and this is having a direct impact on how it is being developed. The collective knowledge we all have from so many places from around the world, this community has always been my ideal first members of the app. The feedback from everyone has been incredibly useful to help make RelocateGuru the community and resource you will want to download and use whether you are moving or just want to help others feel welcome and be the resource you want to tell everyone about!
Nicole also believes the RelocateGuru app will help benefit those offering coaching, training, counseling, relocation and other needed services for the globally mobile community.
“There are so many wonderful FIGT members that have services that support expats, I hope RelocateGuru will be a useful tool and a place to share all these fantastic businesses and resources so they can be found more easily, and help more people feel a part of their new community quicker and enjoy their new chapter to the full.”
As a sponsor, Nicole and RelocateGuru help ensure that we better support people living, working and studying across cultures throughout the year. Sponsorship is also vital to help fund our annual conferences, and keeping conference registration fees lower than practically any other three-day event in the world.
“The value of coming to FIGT is that as people, we develop stronger relationships when we meet each other face to face. There is something that video calls can't quite match, and coming together makes understanding different points of views and new ideas much easier. It also sparks informal debate and deeper conversations that go on well into the night! Attending the conference this year was a great opportunity to delve deeper into the issues that expats are facing, to understand them in more detail so that I can design the RelocateGuru app to be even better and help make living a global mobile life easier to navigate.”