Your Travel Business
That old cliché of ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison’ has never been as apt as when referring to the habits of travellers. Whether dozing on a deserted beach or trekking through the Annapurna foothills, the nuances of man and his desires continues to grow the travel industry exponentially.
This diversity, along with the instantaneity of the World Wide Web has increased the pressure on travel advisors to continue creating authentic experiences time and again. Expectations are high and options endless and whilst that carries increased responsibility, it offers opportunity too.
Knowledge is Power
Sir Francis Bacon’s most poignant phrase remains true to this day. Consultants must be armed with the latest and greatest in new destinations, cultural insight, restaurant openings and more just to stay ahead of the curve. The better informed and connected the agent, the better their clients’ experience.
Finding the right forum to access this information however can be tricky…
How? When? Where?
Industry events have long been proven to be the most effective medium for relationship building and networking. There is still no substitute for placing people under one roof and facilitating meaningful interaction on both an intellectual and emotional level.
Like the travel industry, the events landscape has changed in recent years. Gone are the days of trade shows offering staff a day out of the office or a glass of free champagne; event organizers must now match qualified buyers and sellers, with return on investment paramount. The benefit of exhibiting looks clear. After all, where else can you influence so many potential buyers in one place? There are also numerous intangible advantages to consider – elevating one’s brand alongside or above its competitors, initiating positive PR, demonstrating thought leadership and soft launching new products to market.
Education and development is the heartbeat of all successful events. In an industry that evolves daily, it’s crucial that seminar content guides attendees on real life issues that will allow them to shape and improve their businesses. The greatest events are seen as the voice of the industry; putting themselves in the shoes of their stakeholders and asking “what would I want to hear?”
Where else can you influence so many potential place?’ buyers in one
The truth of the matter is that events should serve their industry and have a hand in dictating the future direction. Whether start-up or multinational, student or CEO, attendance should deliver value to all involved.
With so much on offer, how can you take full advantage of your participation?
Planning is key. Outline exactly what you are looking to achieve and map out your time accordingly.
Keep an open mind. Sometimes opportunities arise where you least expect it so try to keep the preconceptions to a minimum.
Listen and learn. Sounds obvious but you have a small window of time to achieve your goals. Attend the relevant seminars, enquire about new products and services and network with colleague and peers. In this ever changing industry we love to call our own, it really can make a difference.
David Paterson, Portfolio Director at Exhibitions & Trade Fairs has worked in travel, tourism and exhibitions for his whole career, including roles in Europe, Asia & Australia.