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    Ic travel agent may 2014 Ic travel agent may 2014 Document Transcript

    • TRAVEL AGENTTHE HOW-TO MAGAZINE FOR ICs, OSRs & HOME-BASED TRAVEL AGENTS MAY 2014 The ART of Selling Travel from HOME AN SMP TRAINING PUBLICATION
    • 4 EDITORIAL Selling travel from home does not have to be a puzzle when you read IC! Find the host agency that best suits your needs. Share your money making ideas in IC and help your IC colleagues. CONTACT Steve Crowhurst steve@ic-travelagent.com 250-738-0064 www.ic-travelagent.com Publisher: SMP Training Co. www.smptraining.com Contributors Steve Crowhurst IC TRAVEL AGENT is owned and published by Steve Crowhurst, SMP Training Co. All Rights Reserved. Protected by International Copyright Law. IC TRAVEL AGENT can be shared, forwarded, cut and pasted but not sold, resold or in any way monetized. Using any images or content from IC TRAVEL AGENT must be sourced as follows: “Copyright SMP Training Co. www.smptraining.com” SMP Training Co. 568 Country Club Drive, Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada, V9K-1G1 Note: Steve Crowhurst is not responsible for outcomes based on how you interpret or use the ideas in IC TRAVEL AGENT. T: 250-738-0064. 6 ARE YOU ON THE LIST? 7 5 SCREEN MARKETING 12 5 SCREEN MARKETING TIPS 13 THE NEXT SCREEN = #7 14 THE TRAVEL INSTITUTE 15 DID YOU KNOW Guest Article by Jill Wykes 16 SPAM ‘N’ CHIPS 18 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Guest Article by Steve Gillick 21 A BOOK IS THE NEW BUSINESS CARD 22 GOING BY THE BOOK 23 SCREEN SLIDIN’ 25 WHY YOU MIGHT Guest Article by Jill Wykes 26 SCREEN SURVEY 28 THE PFC FACTOR Guest Article by Cory Andrichuk 30 DIGITAL TOUCH POINTS 31 SELLING TRAVEL WITH STEVE 32 THE PHOTO PAGE 34 HOME BASED TRAVEL AGENT TRAINER 35 PRINTING FOR HOME-BASED TRAVEL AGENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS – IC MAY 2014 If it’s not yet 5pm where you live, you still have time to make one more call, close one more sale or e-mail one more promotion! Advertising in IC Travel Agent reaches the serious business-minded travel agent. Promote your products and services via video, audio or generic text and images. IC Travel Agent is marketed direct to over 4,000 travel agents plus thousands more via social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, SlideShare, trade contacts, partners and educational institutions. Your ad includes a BONUS How-to-Sell article. Full page rates range from $300 to $425 based on number of insertions.
    • TRUE SUPPORT FOR TRUE PROFESSIONALS At Nexion Canada, we know that you are passionate about your travel business. So we provide you with the professional support and industry relationships you need to be more profitable and efficient, giving you the freedom to run your travel business the best way: your way. A full-service host agency combining decades of experience, Nexion Canada provides independent, Canadian-based travel professionals of all experience levels with: • Your choice of up to 80% of commissions • Top commissions with leading air, cruise and land suppliers • Technology tools to better manage your business • Access to our exclusive point-and-click booking engine or through the Amadeus, Sabre or Galileo GDS systems • Training, coaching and networking opportunities • Innovative marketing programs to grow your business • Exclusive cruise block space and supplier offers • Lead generation for qualified agents • Vacation.com membership included at no additional charge! It’s time to join a family of professionals that truly supports your independent business dreams. It’s time to join Nexion Canada. • Your choice of up to 80% of commissions • Top commissions with leading air, cruise and land suppliers • Technology tools to better manage your business • Access to our exclusive point-and-click booking engine or through the Amadeus, Sabre or Galileo • Training, coaching and networking opportunities • Innovative marketing programs to grow your business • Exclusive cruise block space and supplier offers • Lead generation for qualified agents • Vacation.com membership included at no additional charge! Contact us today to learn more about our growing family of travel professionals. Visit www.Join.NexionCanada.com Email sales@nexioncanada.com Call 866-399-9989 MENTION THAT YOU SAW US IN IC AGENT MAGAZINE AND RECEIVE YOUR FIRST MONTH FREE! 10131503-Nexion_Ad.indd 1 10/29/13 2:18 PM
    • 5 Screen Marketing So which screen do you prefer when watching movies, YouTube videos, commercials and travel shows? Does it depend upon where you are at the time, who you’re with and what screen is available to you? Well it’s the same process for your clients and once you tap into who they are by generation and then factor in their screen watching habits, you’ll be better able to target your 5 Screen Marketing Plan. This issue takes a look at Gamification and how that fits into your 5 Screen Marketing Plan as some Boomers and Gen X’ers and of course Gen Y are attracted to game related marketing. With the new Canadian anti-spam laws on the horizon and the existing spam laws in Australia, UK, USA and many other countries the chips are down! Read my page, Spam ‘n’ Chips and see if it makes sense. If you do follow your country’s anti-spam rules then building a base of new clients via email is going to be tough – the best way to build that list is to turn on your social charm. See you inside. Don’t forget to check out the new titles at The Travel Agent’s Store. Here’s to your continued success! Best regards. Steve Crowhurst, CTC steve@ic-travelagent.com www.ic-travelagent.com Steve Crowhurst, CTC, Publisher Click me to Opt-In to the NEW mailing list for SMP.
    • Startat9, Endat5... ...or wheneveryoulike! • you keep 85 -100% of preferred supplier base commission • have your own phone extension that rings at your home. • have your own personalized, fully-bookable website. • enjoy 24-hour customer support with our complete corporate solution. • Gain access to 100s of suppliers thru our affiliation with traVeLSaVerS. • Upload your promotions to over 300 social networks in seconds • your own personal dashboard report to manage your bookings • award trip for our top performers Work in the comfort of your own home! JoinToday! Visit:thetravelagentnextdoor.ca Call: 416-367-8263 tollfree: 1-855-212-8263 BB014 18-4-14 Jointhewebinartoday!
    • Are You On The List? As a member of The Travel Agent’s Store you’ll recieve advanced notice of new titles when they hit the shelves AND you’ll receive a discount too. The BIG ALL Store Bundle valued at OVER $275 now on sale for ONLY$199! Click here to join The Travel Agent’s Store member list. ICTA515 Enter this Promo Code upon checkout and SAVE 15%
    • 5 Screen Marketing There they are. The 5 Screens. TV, desktop, phone, tablet and laptop and as you know they each come in various brands, colours and sizes. It is through these screens that you engage your clients with your overall digital content in the form of e-mail and social media promotions with your website backing up each and every online promotion. To take advantage of your client’s 5 screens and to market your travel services requires a variety of tools that allows your content to “play” on all 5 Screens. Let’s explore: Does Your Website “Play” on Mobile? If someone accesses your website from their smartphone will your website function on / in a mobile format? If not then that’s one screen that’s off the list and a very important screen it is too especially as most people who respond to your online / off line promotions will seek out your website to determine whether or not they like you and what you offer. The route back to your website is the typical outcome of your promotions and the majority of people today want that information now – they will not wait until they get home or back to the office to their laptop or desktop before looking for you online. They will use their mobile phone. If your website is not mobile compatible that’s one screen down and many more prospects. Start With Your Website Before we start creating a mobile version of your website let’s start with the agency website itself. You’ll know that very old acronym GIGO… Garbage In Garbage Out. Well it applies here to your website. If it’s a terrible looking website period, it will look terrible on any platform. It doesn’t matter of it is converted to mobile or not – if it’s not attractive it won’t pull, keep and retain a prospective customer. It has to be said that so many, and it is truly the case, that so many travel agency websites are not the best they could be. They are old looking, dysfunctional, lack any pizzazz and when, today, there is literally no excuse for this lack of interest in having a professional website represent your agency. Nothing less than best should do.
    • Website Templates Unless you own and operate your own travel agency, or your agency belongs to a national chain it’s very possible that your website was included in a home-based agent package of some kind. My experience is that many agency owners have paid for their websites to be created by a professional site builder. Some have found a DIY site and done an excellent job with limited tools. Chain agencies generally have a tech team in place and create in-house or purchase the skills they need as and when. A website that is confusing, sporting a mass of small icons, click-through images, text galore, a booking engine and very little warmth and no true welcome, not a mention no hint of who owns and operates the agency… well, if that is YOUR website just described, you need help. Website Expectation Landing on a professional looking website is expected by the travel customer. If your website is a mess – you’ve lost that customer and as you well know by now, they will tell their friends about their experience. The options open to you are: 1. Check with Head Office for a new and better looking template. 2. Hire in a professional specializing in travel websites to retool your current website. 3. Buy into a DIY website with ALL the bells and whistles and if you are not too creative most DIY companies offer a package for about $500 where they will create your website and hand it over to you. After that you can access your site to make changes to the text, upload your images etc. You may wish to explore other travel agency websites around the world for new ideas and whatever their website layout is like, you can have the same thing created for yourself. Let’s assume you’re now mobile. Going & Gone Mobile Your generic website can be viewed on these 3 screens and they would be TV, desktop and laptop. The other two screens that require a mobile version are: the tablet and smartphone. Converting your current website to a mobile format is now quick and easy. More or less a one click event. Companies like DUDA MOBILE can take your current website (the new professional website) and do what they do to create a mobile version. If you wanted to go straight mobile – Duda also has a service where you can create a mobile site using their ready-made templates as shown below: http://www.dudamobile.com/templates-2 The basic DUDA plan is FREE and the Premium version is as low as USD$7.20 a month on an annual plan. There are many more convert-to-mobile services like DUDA so search locally where you live if that’s a preference – or work with the online firms. The main thing is that your website functions on all 5 Screens – and after that, you’ll need to survey your client base and analyze which generation/s you serve. Chances are you are still serving your past and present Baby Boomers who would represent desktop, laptop and TV screens and now attracting Generations X and Y who would be using their smartphones, tablets and laptops more than Baby Boomers. What does it all mean? Let’s find out:
    • Generation TV As you probably guessed it, Baby Boomers and Seniors are watching more TV than checking out a video on a smartphone. If that is the case how do you get your clients to play your digital content on their TV? There is a way and it can only work if your Baby Boomer TV goers are more than a little savvy about connecting their laptop to their TV using a USB / HDMI cable. According to a survey by BrightLineTV - the Baby Boomer generation is heavily invested in television, having never known life without it. Spending over 6½ hours a day watching live and time-shifted TV, Boomers watch more TV than any other group. Source: http://www.brightlineitv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Baby-Boomers- POV-Q3-2013.pdf Now although Baby Boomers are savvy and as well connected as Gen X & Y, or getting there, they’re screen viewing preferences are different. The phrase is “Second Screen” and what that means to a Baby Boomer watching TV is that they’ll also have a tablet with them, and as something pops up on that TV screen, they’ll research it online using their tablet. The survey says 22% of Boomers are into this second screen activity. Knowing the Second Screen activity goes on, you can now send a video for instance to your clients and prompt them to watch it on the BIG screen. Let’s say you’ve sent your clients a link to that video you shot in a certain country and that country just happens to be the one featured on your next tour. They will access their email via their tablet and then, following your instructions, click on that link, and then connect to their TV via WiFi and watch your video on their big screen TV. Nice! The key to success here is to advise your clients what to do. Make it and keep it simple. Just advise the steps and let them work it out. Do not get technical. Keep selling the sizzle of watching the video on the BIG SCREEN. Top and Tailing Your Video Just like those TV commercials from tour companies, cruise line and airlines – you should include a Book Now call-to-action with a phone number, email or website address. You could and you should prepare your video with an introduction and the call-to-action before you send it out. Going Interactive If you run a large travel agency and can afford the bill, then you may want to investigate interactive TV ads where the consumer watching your commercial can actually click and submit an onscreen request using their remote or mouse. Generation X & Y It’s always worthwhile being reminded that older Generation X’ers are very close to younger Baby Boomers and younger Gen X’ers are close to older Gen Y. Where they crossover you would find similarities in screen use. When at the opposite end of the Generational X or Y year is where there is a big difference in screen use. The more you know about your clients the better target marketing you can achieve. Now, from a recent survey of online adults in the US conducted by YuMe and IPG Media the following stats and facts are very, very interesting: Here’s an excerpt: The survey found that Gen Y, defined in the survey as those ages 18 to 34, were more likely to watch digital videos in almost all content categories than their older counterparts. While 37% of Gen Y watched TV shows online frequently, only 26% of Generation Xers (those ages 35 to 54) and a mere 16% of baby boomers (those age 55 or older) did the same. The gap in watching user-generated content was also dramatic, coming in at 33% for Gen Y, 21% for Gen Xers and 15% for baby boomers. The only content category for which Gen Y did not lead other age demographics was online news.
    • Video apps emerged as a popular means of watching digital videos across all age demographics. But Gen Y used video apps on smartphones and tablets in slightly greater numbers than Gen Xers, and substantially higher numbers than baby boomers. Gen Xers were the most likely to stream video from a webpage on a tablet, while baby boomers used websites to watch videos on smartphones more than the other two age groups. Read more here AND here. Tap and Book Let’s stay with the video format for the moment as it truly is the best format for showcasing travel no matter what the journey or where the destination is. You can create a 15 minute travel feature or you might prefer to create a 30 second commercial. Your choice and here’s one tool for you to explore and others like it. http://www.celtra.com/ Click around the Celtra website and you’ll find you can actually create a video with a Tap AND… feature. Right away, a Tap and Book idea comes to mind. Show off your video and then asking clients to Tap and Book makes a lot of sense. What Else To Attract GEN Y? Travel as an activity offers so much of what GEN Y like, from music to games and of course videos. The sounds of various countries would mean sourcing the music a destination is known for, or embedding the promotional theme the tourist board is using. Either way… music is attractive to the GEN Y ear and eye. How can you use it? You can try using it with one of my favourite creative tools: Animoto. Animoto Pro It’s going to cost you USD$39 month if you want it, and if you subscribe then you can produce video content with embedded call-to-action buttons. Features include multiple sound tracks, video duration of up to 20 minutes. The Animoto video is made up of photo images and video clips that are 10 seconds max. The timing suits the mindset and focus time of GEN Y. They are distracted quite often by multitasking various devices – so short, sharp bursts of video can work. Try Animoto here. Gamification Gamification is something you’ve been doing for years so no need to panic. Remember your points system and referral discounts – yes? It’s the same thing only today you’ll exploit the digital landscape and make the game such as collecting points more interesting and more interactive using, wait for it, BIG words coming up: Game Mechanics! WOW! Gamification then can involve many different activities that apply game mechanics and psychology to drive the “user” - your client – to follow a specific set of desired behaviors – like click and book! Out of the many game activities such as being challenged, building points, badges, brand loyalty and advocacy, a travel agency could focus on contests, coupons and customer loyalty programs. The word ‘play’ when it comes to travel agency gamification means to book a trip that’s how you want your game users to understand play. OR, they could achieve status by referring friends to your agency. Think how you would like to engage your clients into a travel game – offering free prizes for playing and rewards for “work” such as referrals. Some of those freebies or rewards could be won as result of booking a group of their own friends. Your preferred suppliers are well into the gamification side of 5 Screen Marketing. Be sure to ask your BDMs for information as to how you can offer your clients the chance to play.
    • GMP: Gamification Marketing Plan Identify the message: Starbucks want you to play to win – play means drink coffee. What is your “PLAY” message? Define your measureable marketing goals: Are you looking to raise brand awareness? Increase travel insurance sales? Encourage subscriptions to your travel newsletter? Boost referrals and re- peat customers? What re-action and action are you trying to encourage? Understand your creative resources and gamified outlets: gamification can be found in everything from a mobile app, to a blog survey, to a Facebook post. The art is to create a little competition amongst your clients via their favourite social media channel. Choose your audience: Are you targeting Boomers, Xers or Ys? How will you encourage them and motivate them to participate in your game? The answer is NOT always free trips. Rewards & Badges So what would I win if I did engage in your Most Travelled Client Contest game? Would I receive a Badge, be mentioned and profiled in the agency newsletter? Invited to speak at the next agency consumer event? What if I referred ten friends over time or within the following week – what then? And about the game… is there a digital referral board to fill in and submit? What have you got in the way of game pieces, elements that I can look at on my screen of choice or print off to read, or click and save and submit via email? You might want to create badges that resemble badges and patches you wear, or keep them purely in a digital format. The digital format would offer your clients the chance to share them with their friends and do a little boasting too. All good for your agency no matter what they do with their reward. The Gamified Corporate Traveler Gen X and Y corporate travellers are very comfortable with the concept of gaming and gamification. Rewards, badges and systems that many corporate travel departments are using today are used for instance to entice their corporate travellers to fill in expense forms correctly. Keep the above in mind the next time you pitch a corporate account with more GEN X & Y than Boomer employees. Check out how many of the 5 Screens they use during the day too. Group Games How about using all 5 Screens to promote a group game where your prospective group can win…? Win what? The FREE seat, an extra coupon… an upgrade, a special discount that your preferred supplier just announced? How about using gamification to ATTRACT new groups? Why not? When the quo is status, add an edge to your marketing by promoting the games you play to attract group prospects into asking for more information. Easy game ideas: Where is this (picture of a location)? How much suntan lotion left in the bottle? Complete the digital puzzle in record time and guess the location of the scene… these and more can be used to create a game that your group prospects might like to engage in to better their pricing or tour features. Game ON! Think on it. Add gamification to your marketing plan across ALL 5 Screens and monopolize your trading area!  WATCH OUT! Okay then, it’s now 6 Screen Marketing! Samsungs Gear 2 Neo. PLAY SMALL!
    • 5 Screen Marketing Tips Once upon-a-time in old Agentville there was only one screen and that flapped in the wind and swung back and forth in front of the porch door. In the 1950’s another screen entered our lives and that was the TV screen. Fast forward to now, we’re up to a new a different set of screens, 5 in all (at the moment – eight if you count digital wristwatches and Google Glass and touch screen direct mail) and those screens are as mentioned: TV, desktop, laptop, smartphone and tablet. Each one of those screens is a pathway to your customer’s eyes, hearts, minds, travel genes and wallets. Here’s five marketing tips on using the 5 screens: 1. CONSISTENCY Whatever message it is that you are sending out, make sure the same message plays on all screens. Sounds easy and it is if you know how to do this. Most website platforms offer a mobile version today. Check to see if that’s true for your website. Where the message you are sending is not compatible with all 5 screens – call in your tech’. 2. VIDEO Video is where most travel marketing is going and your suppliers are already there. Learn from them. Ask for their videos and factor them into your 5 Screen Marketing Plan as their videos would be compatible with all or most players and configured to play on all screen sizes. 3. YOUR OWN YOUTUBE / VIMEO CHANNEL This tip is simply a “just do it!” one. Open a YouTube account and create your own travel channel. Do not upload family videos etc., keep the content 100% related to your travel business. Once you have a selection of your own videos and the videos borrowed from your suppliers you can inform your client base by sending them the link to your channel allowing them to use their screen of choice on which to view your videos. 4. INSERT CTA BUTTONS Be sure to add in a CTA button. This is a Call to Action button that resides somewhere in your video, usually at the end, and it offers the viewer no matter which of the 5 screens they are using to watch your video, a chance to click on the video and be taken to your website and the offer you are promoting. 5. BECOME YOUR OWN NEWS ANCHOR With 5 screens ready and waiting for your appearance, what can you do? First things first: learn how to present yourself well and groom yourself for be a 5 Screen Star. Be able to talk about your services, your offers, your niche tours and statements to close out the video and suggest the viewer click on the CTA button and check out your offer. You can create your own video using the webcam / video feature of any of your handheld and desktop devices / computers. Create meaningful and current content that would be of interest to your clients. Remember my quote: “Whoever owns the news, WINS!” The key to video success is practice.  What news can you glean from current trade papers to repurpose?
    • The NEXT Screen = #7 Okay then, for all you tech loving travel agents and travel trade suppliers – here’s one more screen you might want to learn about. Imagine the next generation of brochures combining traditional marketing as in Direct Mail and new technology such as a touch screen. Not cheap but then those travel trade suppliers of luxury products might want to chip in – pun intended. As the company Structural Graphics says: Touch has become such a natural and intuitive way to communicate and interact with our world each day. By providing your target audience with a new way to interact with your messaging, it makes the communication more impactful and memorable. Here’s a few video facts that make a lot of sense and as to why marketing travel by video makes even more cents. The sights and sounds of a vacation don’t truly come through a photograph or a postcard – but through video, absolutely.  Video increases understanding by 74%.  97% of video viewers more inclined to buy.  64% of brand marketers have plans for using video in their marketing strategies.  Seeing and hearing real people gains trust.  More than 1000 branded video campaigns topped one million views last year.  80% of online users will remember a video ad for up to a month.  Human brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.  Marketers are finding that video can drive home brand messages with an appealing authenticity that brings results. Source: Structural Graphics 
    • The Travel Institute's New E-Book The Travel Institute's Financial Planning book has been completely updated and is an excellent resource for travel professionals and travel entrepreneurs who want to put their business on a sound financial foundation. In this e-book, you will learn why accounting, bookkeeping, and financial planning are crucial to the success of your business. The information generated from a proper accounting system can help you improve your business plan, manage your cash flow, and save on taxes and professional fees. After completing the readings and activities in Financial Planning, you will be able to:  Explain the primary purposes of financial planning and accounting;  Determine whether you should hire a bookkeeper;  Define the link between customer relationship management (CRM) and accounting;  Identify the components of external financial statements;  Describe the importance and functions of internal financial reporting;  Analyze the relative financial strength of your business;  Improve your cash flow;  Use several different strategies to analyze the performance of your business You can get this e-book and other helpful tools to make your business prosper by visiting our “Resources for Professionalism” section in our bookstore. Travel Institute members save 10%.
    • Did you know… that 1 in every 4 agents in Canada works from home? The landscape is changing rapidly in the travel industry worldwide and Canada is no exception. It used to be that if you wanted to sell travel, you had to work either in a travel agency or a call centre. In fact, in Ontario, that was the law. You could not operate from home. Well all that has changed over the past 15 years or so, to the point where almost 25% of all Canadian travel agents are home based. In the U.S., when the economy was hit hard in 2008, many travel agencies closed and this left a lot of agents with some tough decisions about their careers. Many of them chose to go home- based and today, it is estimated that over 50% of all travel agents in the U.S. work from home. The same is true in the UK, about 50% of agents are home based. That is an astounding shift! Given the UK and US percentages, it is expected that Canada’s home based group will grow to reach the 50% level too in the coming decade. This series will explore the huge opportunity for Canadian travel agents to go into business for themselves. We will discuss why this is happening, all the how-to details, advice on many aspects of running your own business, everything from how to deal with your family, to how to set up your accounting records, to work/life balance. Running your own business and being your own boss have many rewards, especially if you have all the right support systems in place, and the tools to do your job well. When you talk to home based agents and ask them why they made the decision to work for themselves, the answers are usually the same. They like the control it gives them over everything from what hours they work, to what to sell and how to service their customers. They like selecting their own marketing strategies. They love not having to commute to work! They can earn more and keep more of their earnings. Most of all, they all have a great sense of accomplishment in their own success, knowing they are fully responsible for their results and feeling huge pride of ownership.  Brought to you by The Travel Agent Next Door By Jill Wykes
    • Spam ‘N’ Chips As you may well know “one person’s spam is another person’s interest” – however most countries are forging ahead with their anti-spam rules and both the USA and Canada have very tight legislation with Canada presenting one of the toughest which also affects US businesses if they are emailing north of the 49th that is. The challenge is that the rules and regulations although meant to protect everyone, the aspiring travel agent and the new home-based travel agent are going to have a hard time gaining new clients unless they go social. The US have had their CAN SPAM rulings for some time now as has Australia and the UK and many other counties. There are some pretty harsh penalties if you’re caught bothering the average person online. Not that it’s stopped certain drug, lawnmower or birdseed spammers from loading up my email with trash! And those telemarketers still disturb my evening meal! Why is it that the “crooks” can always get past the rules despite my being on a “no call” list and having anti-spam / anti-virus installed? But then the rules are written not for the crooks – only to prevent the good guys from generating a decent dollar – or so it seems. The Canadian spam laws are going to hinder any new travel agent from building a book of business unless they work their magic in accordance with the rules and also invest more time in building social media connections. Check In With Your Host If you have not yet done so, American HBAs should check here at this link and also explore what your local and state rules are too. http://www.fcc.gov/guides/spam-unwanted-text- messages-and-email Canadian HBAs can check here for their spam information: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/casl-lcap.htm Next is to check in with your host agency and ask how they suggest you handle the anti-spam rules. You cannot do very much to avoid them but you can make sure you are using the right tools and correct text. Your host agency should be ahead of the game and have ready-made templates and or scripts for you to use. Going Social Social media is going to play a bigger role in how you build a mailing list. Better start now and create an account on any and all social networks. Travel is very attractive and if your host agency has ready-made social media tools then now is the time to apply them. You’ve got to go Facebook as most people using social media are on it. Then there’s all the other social sites and although you’ll be spending more time at the keyboard to pump up your social buzz, it’s got to be done. So you’ll be Tweeting about your recent and most fabulous trip to entice someone to make contact. Same for what you pin on Pinterest. Got to be such a powerful image that pulls people to you. Keep going… make sure you take a look at all current social networks and even the niche networks that service only book lovers, golfers etc., whatever your travel niche is, be sure to locate the social network that serves it. More Ad Money Too You’ll need to fund more local advertising to attract would be customers to opt-in to receive your newsletter or simply to subscribe to your email list to give you what all spam laws are requesting: a person’s permission to email them or send messages to their mobile phone. That’s spam law and the chips are down!
    • You must be aware of what you send out unsolicited to someone’s mobile phone – however you can post that fantastic video of your most recent trip and post it on YouTube, Facebook and Tweet about it and eventually that social media marketing activity will be picked up, watched, forwarded, shared, sent viral – all the things you want to have happen to your post BUT your video content must be BEST. Not only must it be BEST, you’ll want to build in a call-to-action to encourage whomever receives your post to connect to you socially or opt in to your email list. As mentioned before in previous issues of IC TA it’s time for you to become very familiar with creating video, using your own images and learning to write about your travels – all being done in an attractive format that suits social media and aimed at building the list you need and want. You’ll want to study a variety of tools such as Animoto, PowerPoint, The Logo Creator, Snag It and a host of other easy, DIY creative tools. At this point Canadian home-based travel agents should start to take a hard look at what they have to do to meet the June deadlines. American home-based agents should double check the federal and state anti-spam laws should there be any updates caused by the Canadian program. For the rest of the world, if your anti-spam laws are not so tough at the moment they will change in due course. It’s the way it is. So it’s best that you start working more social media marketing into the general marketing activity. LOCAL CONSUMER EVENTS You’ll be familiar with the word Mixer as it applies to monthly gatherings of small groups of travel agents mixing with suppliers, enjoying a few hours together after 5pm to share knowledge, learn something new, develop relationships, taste some food and sup some beer. The MIXER concept is a terrific spin off of the generic consumer event – the Cruise Night, the day time Coffee Event etc. You would do well to start a series of consumer mixers, you being the speaker and perhaps involve some of your known clients to chat about their travels. If you can work with a supplier or tourist board do so. Now with the arrangements made – start marketing the event. Here’s a rough layout that you can use to kickstart your own ad ideas. 
    • Games People Play Impacting training through Gamification There are usually two meanings for the expression “games people play”. One refers to the cynical head games that some people play in order to induce sympathy, feed their ego, confuse, obfuscate, humour and more. While there are several songs on the subject, perhaps the most direct was Joe South’s 1968 composition with the words “Oh the games people play now/ Every night and every day now/Never meaning what they say now/never saying what they mean”. The second meaning of the term refers to fun and educational games that replicate life situations and experiences, solve problems, encourage interaction, or teach and review skills. One of the buzz words in the industry these days is “Gamification”, which may be defined as the use of games to encourage participation during a training meeting or conference and thereby make the event more meaningful, relevant and memorable. This is not a new concept. Take it from me, a former summer camp director, who used games to successfully train 100 staff every year, who in turn used games to teach everything from swimming to canoeing, to arts- and-crafts, drama and sports. Today, one of the biggest challenges for event organizers is to ensure that the participants have a ‘take home’ of information that not only justifies their having attended the event in the first place, but has a lasting effect. By ‘Gamifying’ the event, there is an excellent chance that this objective can be reached and surpassed. Know Thy Audience A successful meeting or conference starts with knowing something about the audience. That’s the reason why seasoned speakers introduce their topic by asking questions of the participants. How many of you are bricks and mortar travel agents? How many are home based? How many managers in attendance? How many agents have been in the industry for 5 years or more? Etc. Now you thought the speaker was just killing time to arrive at their own comfort level before they begin their presentation. Not so. Actually, the speaker is ‘gamifying’ the conference from the very start by asking members of the audience to participate—to interact if you will—and provide some background on their careers or personal lives. If the audience wholeheartedly raises their hands or shouts out answers, then this may indicate that the group is gregarious, sociable and extroverted; one where members of the audience enjoy getting up and speaking, participating in skits or being singled out. This is a group that will be engaged and contribute to brain-storming sessions without worrying about whether their ideas are silly or far-fetched. These are the high energy ‘hams’ that will bring out the fun in an event. But even more so, an audience that includes extroverts has an interesting effect on the introverts in the group. Introverts are those whose comfort level naturally leans toward being more reserved or keeping their thoughts to themselves. These are the people who avert their gaze when the conference speaker asks for volunteers, or who mentally run for cover (or silently mouth expletives) when they are forced to interact during a meeting or conference. The curious thing is that introverts often feed off the energy of the extroverts in the crowd. A rambunctious extroverted audience can gather in those who tend toward introversion and involve them in the spirit of the event: participation, interaction and fun. Everyone By Steve Gillick
    • leaves the session in high spirits, feeling great about the experience and about themselves. And that one audience game, sandwiched amongst the seminars, workshops, break outs, field trips and banquets may in fact be the only session that the participants buzz about for weeks and months afterward. Conference games come in all shapes and sizes. I began by suggesting that the very act of asking the audience questions is, in a sense, a game of involvement. If the group tends toward introversion (even the most successful travel agents may be personally introverted while at the same time being professional extroverted) then games might include:  A quiz that asks some serious as well as fun questions. Eg. Do you like the GDS we are using? If you could change one thing about the GDS what would that be? What is the most enjoyable destination you have ever visited? How many countries have you visited? Who is your favourite cartoon character? Somehow this should relate to the session being attended. The quiz can either be ‘marked’ by the person who completed it or handed to a seat-mate to mark.  A map. This is useful at destination seminars (draw a free-hand map of Mexico and identify Cancun, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas). But this can also be used in general travel skill seminars to drive home the importance of destination knowledge. (E.g. Draw a map of South East Asia and identify the following countries: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia…). It’s a fun and challenging exercise that gets the audience involved, as well as making the point that they probably need some assistance with their geography skills (and potentially their drawing skills). Those who score 100% can be acknowledged and given a small prize, which helps to establish an energy-field in the audience and encourages further participation. A more extroverted group will enjoy exercises that are more socially interactive:  A structured Experience. This is usually a team exercise in groups of 4-5. No chairs have to be moved. Some will opt to move to another area to complete the experience, others will sit where they are. But the entire room will be buzzing with discussion—which is what organizers want. The actual ‘game’ consists of asking the group to list 10 things. It could be 10 reasons to send a client on a cruise; 10 selling skills; 10 customer service points you would want an entry level staff member to know; 10 reasons to buy travel from a real, live travel agent, etc. Or it could even be an exercise where each group is tasked with the challenge to start their own travel agency and they must list 10 aspects of the new corporate culture, or 10 ‘codes of ethics’ for the make-believe agency. After a few minutes, when each group has their ‘10’, you announce that a new law has been passed that says each group can have only ‘5’ items on their list. Now the group has to discuss again what are the top 5 skills or reasons, out of the original 10. After a few minutes, you make a similar announcement that another law dictates that only ‘3’ items can be on each group’s list, and once again, the group must decide on the 3 most important skills or reasons or features. The purpose of the game is to get the audience to interact, think, brain storm for ideas, argue their points, and ultimately arrive at a consensus. Then you can ask for a few volunteers to speak about the results they arrived at or the dynamics in arriving at those results. The exercise must be tied to the session they are attending, and now having participated in a game, they can fully relate to the topic. They will be more attentive, more engaged and more apt to remember the session days and weeks afterward. Other games may include...  Skits, where audience members volunteer and are coached before acting out a
    • scenario, or are provided with a simple script to read.  Game shows, pre-planned with quiz questions and based on popular television shows such as Jeopardy, Deal or No Deal, Family Feud, Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Let’s Make a Deal, Truth or Consequences, The Price is Right, The Dating Game etc.  Icebreakers: human bingo, fact or fiction, mixed-up nametags, truth or dare etc. Conference and meeting games simulate situations, problems, dilemmas and challenges and by doing so, encourage creative thinking, problem solving and involvement. And let’s not forget some of the most important aspects of any event: fun, relevance, enthusiasm, energy and promoting a spirit of education that is memorable. Steve Gillick is the president of Talking Travel and a former camp director. In 1991 he founded Board of Life, a gamification company that not only created staff training games, but also the travel board game “Peregrinations”. In his role of Keynote speaker and conference presenter, Steve created the live Industry and Consumer Conference Game “Are you Smarter than the Average Traveller” to engage, enthuse, enthrall and energize his audiences. Contact Steve@talkingtravel.ca for details or to customize gamification exercises at your next conference or meeting. This article appeared in a slightly different format in trade magazine www.travelindustrytoday.com A variety of games shown above: The Rope, Team Traversing, Log Cutting and The Trust Wave
    • A Book Is the New You know you’ve always wanted to write one. Everybody has it in their mind to do so. Fact is, it’s not that easy to write a best seller and then you have to wonder who would be interested in reading about you out of the 7 Billion people on the planet. But then, hold on. This is a book of a different nature. This is a book about travel, your travels, your client’s travels… how to book this and that and more! And this book, or books once you get to grips with the concept, becomes your NEW business card. Keep your business cards and hand them out when you get the chance. They are two-sided with limited information unless you go to those 5 panel jobbies. As you look at that box of business cards, think about handing out, sending out, posting an e-book and using that book as your calling card. The word author elevates you for some reason and probably because of the above introduction – everyone wants to write a book and so few do. Well they start but never finish. The book you can write does not have to be a 300 pager – it can be a 30 pager and very focused. Topics For your first topic you could actually write about your own travels and use some of those amazing images that you shot. Think about it: one glorious image on one page and your text on the opposite page. It’s the imagery that will capture the eyes of the reader first and then the excitement builds as they read about your adventures and experiences. The Reason for Writing Our focus in IC Travel Agent is always about generating income – so we meaning you, need a reason for writing. The reason is to boost your sales. This means you’ll need more than one call to action requesting your reader to “Call Me to discuss your trip to this very spot!” One Book or Many? No need to give it all away in one shot. One book could fill 100 pages as you describe your travels. If you’ve travelled far and wide then you could still be writing come page 822! I can tell you from experience – your reader won’t make it that far. Those who know, tell us that an eBook (of this type) should be about 10 – 20 pages and that’s it. Following that advice, you could set yourself a goal to write a cruise eBook, a touring Europe eBook or a book about the top three adventures you have enjoyed the most. The New Business Card The concept here is to promote yourself using the eBook format which as the title of this page suggests, becomes your calling card. It’s the new business card that you send out to your clients and post on your website. Now a Famous Author! Today you can publish your own books and eBooks without any editor or publishing house telling you NO! As soon as you publish your first eBook, you are an author. Not well known yet, but you could be. Market yourself the right way and a publishing house could knock on your door. In the meantime – write, publish, promote yourself as an author, use your eBooks as business cards and generate new sales.
    • Going By The Book Anyone watching the re-runs of Great Continental Railway Journeys with host Michael Portillo with a copy of his 1913 Bradshaw’s tucked under his arm? Aw come on… you have to be. It’s entertaining, educational and one heck of an idea for travel agents who love books, history and able to create and lead their own tours. Imagine your own Going By The Book tours… Pick a place. Any place. One you love. One that has captured your soul and one that you wish to share with your clients. Now… is there a book about this place? An old book. A historic anything that could serve as your guide as Michael Portillo’s Bradshaw’s does for him? That’s your first task. Find that book. Found It! Next: okay here’s what you do. You head to a Barnes & Noble, Chapters, Indigo and or your local book store and you look for those large coffee table books that actually deliver everything you need in terms of places, routes, itineraries, history etc. Wonderful tools for planning. The only challenge is, they are so large and heavy that they’ll not fit in your tote! Found It #2 Your mission continues and here it’s time to change book stores and look for an old to antique bookshop. Ask if they have any old guide books. That’s all you ask. Don’t restrict the request by naming a country or mode of transportation as many times the front end person is not the store owner and not up to speed with what’s on their shelves. Once you locate those old travel books then you can start rummaging. Found It #3 Now it’s time to go online and start searching for old to antique guidebooks. This time you’ll need to be more precise in your search terms. Take a click around the following online bookstores and search by keyword or dedicated author’s name if you have one. Believe or not, there has been a revival in old guide books being reprinted. Here’s the webpage to a company that has reprinted the Bradshaw’s guide featured in the show. http://bradshawsguides.com/books-and-maps.html You may also wish to tour around local used book stores and look for original, leather bound, gold stamped books like this one in my collection… Invest $50 and then use the old guide to explore and marvel at the changes or the fact that nothing has changed! Also there’s nothing wrong with factoring into the price of your tour the cost of a brand new guide and hand a copy to everyone at the start of your tour.
    • Screen Slidin’ You’ve heard of Death by PowerPoint well how about Breathing Life into Sales by PowerPoint? Working your marketing magic using grand images, poetic text and even featuring your ole mug along with an embedded video and you might just have the presentation you need to sell you and your services for the rest of the year. And the best thing is, whatever you produce, your clients and your prospects can view your Travelogue on their preferred screen. PowerPoint to Slide Show & Video If you didn’t know you do now… after you’ve created your PowerPoint you can, within PowerPoint itself create a slide show and or a video that can be exported. Simply click on the top left arrow to return to the main menu and select Export, Create a Video then select your preference as to where you intend your PowerPoint to be viewed such as Portable Devices, and follow the clicks. Slide Share You can upload your PowerPoint to SlideShare and put your presentation in from of 60 Million visitors to SlideShare each month. This is where I post copies of my digital magazines. The basic account is free. Empressr Here you can post and also create your slide presentation using all the tools of Empressr – great for those who do not have a current version of PowerPoint. A free program with many tools and analytics – not such a large audience or user base as SlideShare but worth exploring. Knovio I like this program as it allows you to upload your PowerPoint and then add in a video using your webcam as you advise your audience about those glorious images showing on screen. This program is also free. BrainShark One more program which operates very similarly to Slide Share. Look for other, more local outlets where you can upload your slide show and pitch it. It’s always a long shot when you pitch worldwide, so local may be better. 
    • Marketing Tip What have you got planned around the FIFA World Cup event? It’s a prime time to be promoting your tours to South America and to take advantage of the TV coverage as they showcase Brazil. FIFA World Cup 2014 begins on Thursday, June 12 and ends on Sunday, July 13
    • Why YOU might consider becoming a home based agent. Most agents are not aware of the many reasons that becoming a home based agent is so beneficial. One of the more compelling reasons is the tax breaks you will get. If you are an employee you will have relatively few opportunities to reduce the taxes deducted on every pay cheque. Not so when you are home based. That’s because when you are home based, you are running your own business, and there are many tax breaks associated with operating your own home business. Everything from expensing a portion of your household costs (condo fees, mortgage payments, utilities, etc.) to writing off all business expenses. It is worth getting good accounting advice to make sure you take full advantage of this. But the benefits don’t stop there. How many times have you heard people talk about “work/life balance”? Well, that is within reach when you run your own business from home. You decide how many hours you work, and what those hours are. You can work from anywhere; just take your smart phone with you when you go to the gym, or grocery shopping, or to pick up your kids from school. Stagger your hours…work when you want to! With today’s technology, with VOIP telephone capability (internet phone) you can literally be anywhere on the planet and look after your clients. You can manage your life as you choose. Another benefit that home based agents talk about is being able to sell the product you want, meaning that if you want to specialize in a certain destination like the Caribbean, or Europe, or Asia, or type of product like cruise or coach tours, …then you do that. You are your own boss. You can choose what you want to promote on your own website and other marketing tools. You will have way more control over what you want to specialize in. Using a good Customer Relationship Management tool (CRM), you can reach out to your clients regularly, and remember their birthdays, anniversaries and other important milestones. Setting yourself up to work from home is easier than you think. It does not have to be complicated. Make sure your host agency provides help in all of these areas, and has the systems, training and programs you will need to be fully supported in running your own business. Best of all, you can watch the traffic jams every morning and evening on your home TV and smile!  Brought to you by The Travel Agent Next Door This series will explore every aspect of establishing yourself as a home based travel agent. By Jill Wykes
    • Screen Survey As you will appreciate, the world - the marketing world that is - is seeking information on who uses what device to view the news, videos and brand advertising. The concept of 5 Screen Marketing is very real to those companies selling products and services that a loyal customer purchases or uses each and every day. Purchases such as coffee and services such as online communication. To know who uses which device screen to view their travel dreams is as important to you as it is to those firms selling an everyday product. A study by the BBC is very revealing and should be used as a base for travel trade companies. Although the survey focused on how consumers consumed their news there is a correlation to travel as and when YOU release something that is newsworthy. Here’s the reason for the study: The study, conducted by InSites Consulting, surveyed more than 3,600 owners of digital devices in Australia, Singapore, India, UAE, South Africa, Poland, Germany, France and the US in order to determine the growing impact of TV, smartphones, tablets and laptops on people’s news consumption habits. Survey participants were top income earners and owners of at least three devices amongst television, tablet, smartphone and laptop/desktop. The survey finds tablets complement TV viewing and finds the 25-34 age demographic the biggest news enthusiasts. Key findings include: • Tablet owners watch more TV news, not less, with 43% of tablet users saying they consume more TV than they did five years ago, and most saying they use tablets alongside TV. • Young professionals, the 25-34 year old demographic are the biggest news enthusiasts. • Second screening for news is becoming commonplace, with users often using devices in tandem. 83% of tablet users say they have used their tablets while watching television. • TV still dominates overall usage, taking 42% of people’s news consumption time compared with laptops (29%), smartphones (18%) and tablets (10%). • News audiences expect to see advertising nearly as much on mobile (79% tablet, 84% smartphone) as they do on TV (87%) and online (84%). • People respond to advertising across all the screens, with 1 in 7 users indicating they responded to a mobile ad in the last four weeks whilst responses to TV and desktop are 1 in 5 and 1 in 4 respectively. Smartphones and laptops are most popular throughout the working day, peaking at around 1pm. The survey found that, rather than competing, different platforms complement one another allowing people to layer their device usage throughout the day. Smartphones and laptops are most popular throughout the working day, peaking at around 1pm. TV usage spikes dramatically from 5pm onwards, and at its peak time of 7pm TV use is 50% higher than for any other device.
    • The survey also found that, in breaking news situations, users turn to television as their primary and first device (42%), with the majority (66%) then turning to the internet to investigate stories further. Users rated national and international news of most importance (84%, 82%), closely followed by local news (79%). Financial and business news (61%) were more highly valued than news about sports (56%) and arts/entertainment news (43%). Whoever owns the news, WINS! One of my favourite expressions and what comes to mind after reading this survey that the word NEWS is a word well worth embedding in your travel 5 Screen Marketing campaign. Perhaps up until now the trade has focused on Savings and Discounts and 2-4-1s to attract attention whereas the word NEWS seems to have a much greater attraction. So what news do you have for your clients that would send them scurrying to one or more of their 5 Screens? Okay time to shine! DAZZLE me with something FANtastic. What do you know that would be music to a client’s ears and then some. That then some would be what your clients send viral to all their social pals, friends and colleagues. Are there any, and not necessarily discounted new tours, new destinations, any place in the world that’s just been discovered? Is there a new golf course opening, a new cruise itinerary? Anything? What have you got for me? Time out: check with your agency team and ask if anyone has anything NEW to tell your clients about. This is very important as it is NEWS that will attract new clients to your agency. Once you have some NEWs to tell, think about how you plan to release the information.
    • The PFC Factor As a business coach, I expect to lead by example, demonstrate superior customer service, follow up and follow through with patience and diligence and pretty much display excellence in just about everything I do. YES, I do place high expectations upon me by choice but also understand that I am human and make mistakes and am grateful for them as I learn and grow. I think that a slight edge I have in life and business has always been my positive attitude. I have always seen (and again, choose to see) positive versus negative, opportunity versus dismay and growth versus stagnation. I know it's not always easy to maintain a positive attitude, so I try to incorporate this equation into my life when dealing with negative situations. The PFC FACTOR Perspective + Focus + Creativity = A Positive Outcome This means keeping your perspective, putting yourself in the other person's shoes and trying to look on the bright side. This requires deliberate focus on making the best of the situation and using creativity in problem solving. As travel professionals, our positivity is challenged many times a year as we travel so often. It's bound to happen to us road warriors with the more flights we take...the law of averages. To illustrate this, last month as I entered my home airport, LIFE reared its ugly head and allowed me to put my theory of positive thinking to the test. I found out my 09:15am flight had been cancelled due to mechanical problems and the next available flight wasn't til the next day. No flying that day was NOT an option. So, I stood patiently in line to talk to a customer service agent regarding my options. Naturally, negativity began to try and dance its little jig in my head, testing my positive fortitude. It didn't help that others began to complain to each other as emotions were running high. There were so many young families flying on this last day of Spring Break. I observed hostile acts of defensiveness and bursts of anger regarding the obvious inconvenience. As we all know, you never help your situation by yelling at the only person who can help you. I took a breath and chose some perspective here in order to stay positive in a couple of ways. One, I am always grateful for getting information about a mechanical issue while my feet are still on the ground. There is nothing worse than being 30,000 feet in the air and told the same thing. Two, I knew I had to stay positive, focused and get creative on doing whatever I had to do to get to my final destination that day. I knew I had to work patiently and politely with the agent. Annabelle, the most excellent West Jet ticket agent demonstrated why West Jet continues to position itself as a best-in-class airline. Her personal acknowledgement of the inconvenience, her professional desire to help me and her use of active-listening skills helped me find some options in real time. The key words that Annabelle used during our 30 minute conversation were "acknowledge" and "confirm". Once she demonstrated these skills and behaviours to me, I knew I had a trusted partner on my side. Together, we determined the only available flight that day was out of an airport that was a 4- hour drive away and that I would need to rent a car and drive there. I sincerely believe that keeping my mind focused on a state of positivity allowed me to think creatively to get where I needed. She booked that flight, up-graded me and checked me in at the new airport to save me By Cory Andrichuk
    • time at the gate when I arrived. I took care of my rental car myself, easily made my flight and eventually arrived safely at my destination that night. The feel good ending continues as West Jet promptly reimbursed the cost of the rental car plus gas. It took almost 18 hours, 4 airports in total, 2 rental cars and 2 flights to reach my final destination, but to put it in perspective, that was better than not arriving for a very important income-generating opportunity. So, my takeaway learning experience that I want to share with you... 1. "Positive thinking lifts our energy, negative thinking drops our energy level; our mindset directly correlates with our energy levels" Source: Principles of Energy Healing, the Heart of Healing by Napoleon Hill, Mary & Richard Maddux. 2. Acknowledging, Questioning and Confirming are key skills and behaviours to be used in everyday life and business. Annabelle and her fellow colleagues diffused a negative situation with personal care and compassion, inserting questions and actively listening to solve a problem. Bottom line, they walked the West Jet talk and displayed a meaningful difference, thus creating another loyal client. 3. Life, as in business, is best performed and observed with a positive mindset. It literally gets you where you need to be. Travel with a smile and enjoy the journey! 
    • Digital Touch Points You’ve heard of touch points, MOTs - Moments of Truth, well they apply to the digital world too and that makes knowing your MOTs are nothing short of superb. What this means is this: every time your client makes contact and engages with you across a digital platform, is whatever you have waiting for them, simply be BEST. The question: will your clients be WOWED, however they connect (touch point) with you, online? Think in terms of a generic mind map and add YOUR own touch points to include all things digital, IT, internet based etc. What constitutes an E-Touch Point? Right away your website comes to mind and we know, and you’ve read it here in IC-TA many times, that so many travel agency websites are not at all inviting. Is this an area for you that requires upgrading?  How about your mobile points of contact?  Any autoresponders need updating?  After a client subscribes to your newsletter – what happens?  Social media: any updating required? Okay your turn: take the time now to record where you need to add more WOW in order to boost your client’s online & digital service experience: TOUCHPOINT WHAT TO UPGRADE? 
    • CANADIANTRAVELLER.NET APRIL 20144 I HAVE just had the most awful experience. If you buy books, love books and treasure them as members of the family then you’ll bleed a little ink over this story I am sure. Like you perhaps, I have collected National Geographic (NG) for years and years. I read them and studied them to build my world knowledge and finally as the house went lopsided I had to get rid of them.Anyone? I say anyone want them? Nope. Nobody and no one. Where’s the bin? Chukka in. Fast forward to now. A set of 1972 Encyclopaedia Britannica (EB) – a $400 purchase, mint condition and used only once when I turned to the C pages to find out if my name was listed. Well yes, Crowhurst is listed, but the information refers to the English villages in Surrey and Sussex. Not ‘imself. Did I mention I also had every yearbook and the applicable Science and Future volumes, too? Well I do and like my pile of NGs, my EBs are weighing me down. They have to go. We’re downsizing you see. With their future set, I tried to dispense of my EBs. First offered them on Kijiji for $900. All I received back was a rude message. But I had read somewhere online that there were people who collected EBs. Not on your nelly. Offered them to the local library. No thanks. Offered them to friends and neighbours. No thanks. Offered them to the local Thrift store. Before they said no thanks, they advised me they once had an 1870s set and could only get 20 bucks for them. So to cut a short story long, Wayne the Hauler is coming this week to pick them up along with yard stuff to take to the dump! Beyond What We Hold Dear by Steve Crowhurst, CTC A Life Lesson In Moving With The Times Steve Crowhurst, CTC, is an author, speaker and trainer specializing in New Business Generation for the travel and tourism industry. Visit Steve’s online store for travel agents here: www.thetravelagentsstore.com Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sellingtravel. E: steve@thetravelagentsstore.com T: 250-738-0064. I thought I would take a look around the Encyclopaedia Britannica website, see what’s up. Well would youAdam ‘n’ Eve it? They’re still selling leather bound, paper editions and not cheap at $700. But what’s this? EB has moved to current technology. A DVD for $35 and then you subscribe monthly to access all that knowledge. WOW! When that DVD is old and tired you can simply dangle it by the peas to keep the birds away. No hassles. No begging. So here we are. Selling travel at a time when things have moved beyond what we might hold dear. It’s a wake-up call to connect with all things current, online, social media driven and whatever is flapping around in the clouds, too. It’s a fast paced world and there’s only so much time to flip a page and read it. Better to access it online and have your computer read it to you while you shout “Espresso!” to your voice activated coffee maker and clap your hands to turn on SELLING TRAVEL WITH STEVE the music. Ah the fast lane. What a beautiful ride it is. Marketing travel today means thinking beyond the bound and printed. You have to move to where it’s all happening and that means using imagery, video and podcasts and when do we want it? We want it NOW, baby! NOW! NOW! NOW! So look around yourself and study how you sell. How you market. Are you back in the 1970s EB style, or are you social steaming ahead and making sure your next gen’ clients are accessing your dream travel brochures online? Is your agency equipped with interactive desks? Can your clients walk in and review brochures on the agency tablet? Where can they go to sit and watch a series of “Ooh and ahhh!” videos that will nudge them into booking on the spot? Same question for home based and virtual travel agents only your interactive sales tools will be playing off your website – and that works’ too. Let’s step back a moment. There are still more than a few million Baby Boomers who love to thumb through a glossy brochure and perhaps one or two Gen X and Yers, too. Going forward you’ll need to know who wants which so that you can target market correctly and not send paper based brochures to those that are trying to save the world’s trees and those that would rate your services as old, tired and not for them. When and where you can, jump on the latest marketing technology bandwagon and that means using tools like Animoto, Social Go, Elements, Sprout, YouTube, Vimeo, Dragon, SnagIt, Camtasia and naturally your choice of social media channels. Now about my LPs. Anyone? “You have to move to where it’s all happening and that means using imagery, video and podcasts and when do we want it? We want it.” PHOTO:SHUTTERSTOCK SW_C It’s a wake-up call to connect with all things current, online, social media driven and whatever is flapping around in the clouds, too.
    • The Photo Page Blending In Taken with an iPhone 5 Have you considered Butterfly Tours of the World for a niche market? Steve Crowhurst Steve Crowhurst
    • When you need one-to-one training contact the Home Based Travel Agent Trainer… If you would like a one-to-many training session, invite your local home-based colleagues to your home office then gather round your computer screen for the training session. All sessions are conducted using Skype – so be sure to download the program here: www.skype.com Send your topic and request an hourly or project training quote. steve@ic-travelagent.com
    • A HOME FOR THE HOME BASED AGENTS Big Bark has all your print-marketing needs covered! 201 – 3011 Underhill Ave. Burnaby, BC V5A 3C2 BonVoyage BonVoyage THE HUNTINGTON GROUPHUNTINGTONThe agents choice since 1973 Thank you for choosing to travel with MyEscapades.com.We take pride in providing one-of-a-kind travel experiencesin Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. The majority of ourclients require a trip customized to their likes, interests andbudget.Whether you wish to travel in the lap of luxury or chooseto indulge in an authentic adventure (we call it ‘roughing-it’) wewill create a trip to suit your preferred tastes. In other words,we will give you a travel experience that goes beyond yourexpectations. Rest assured, MyEscapades.com is your perfecttraveling companion. Before You Travel:• Ensure that you are carrying your up-to-date passports and have obtainedany required/necessary tourist visasfor entering the country(s) you arevisiting. • You trip involves cancellation penalties in the unforeseen eventthat you cancel/postpone your travelarrangements. Ensure that you areaware of these penalties. • Carry your Out-of-Country Hospital/Medical/Travel InsurancePolicy with you. • Be aware of luggage restrictions such as weight, size and type of suitcasesallowed on the international anddomestic flights on your itinerary.Excess baggage charges are steepand can cause great inconvenience• Ensure you have obtained recommended or requiredinoculations. Certain inoculations are mandatory for travel to endemicareas. Your travel agent will have provided full details. • Check out the availability of local ATMs in your destination and/orpurchase some local currency ortravellers cheques. • Give family/friends the contact information at hotels/lodges youwill be staying during your travel.Information on your accommodationsis provided within your documents.• We recommend that you put your newspaper subscription on hold forthe duration of your trip and haveyour mail collected by a neighbour orheld at your local post office.• It is always recommended that you secure your home with a securityalarm before you leave. 0 Ridgeway Dr., Suite 17, Mississauga, ON Canada L5L 5M5 8.887.9710 | info@myescapades.ca | www. myescapades.ca BonvoYage THE HUNTINGTON GROUPHUNTINGTONThe agents choice since 1973 BIGBARKGRAPHICS.com T: 905.857.6333 | TF: 1.866.607.1556 | sales@bigbarkgraphics.com THE TRAVEL AND TOURISM PRINTER FOR OVER 30 YEARS TOP 6 WAYS WE ARE DEDICATED TO THE HBA: 1. Easy to use, do-it-yourself, 24/7 online print-ordering store. 2. No design/setup fees – choose from our selection of pre-designed templates or Design Your Own. 3. Full use of our image gallery at no extra charge. 4. Travel related marketing products such as calendars and magnets plus all your standard business products – business cards, envelopes, letterhead, flyers, and more. 5. Wide selection of ticket packaging options for groups, weddings, and niches. 6. All products available in small quantities (some as low as 25).
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