Your Travel Busi­ness

Travel Bulletin - - CONTENTS -

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.

Prepa­ra­tion

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.

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