There are so many conferences to attend when working in the travel industry. Why go? Which one should I attend? A good conference keeps me engaged and gives me information that I can retain for future use. I really enjoy the fun and interactive conferences where everyone is getting to know each other and making connections. I also enjoy the conferences where we meet our representatives and tour operators have an opportunity to show us or speak about their products. But do not bombard me with so much information that it all goes in and out just as fast.
I have just returned from MLT Vacations 3 day conference. Though I would have liked a little more pizzazz, most classes that I chose, kept me engaged. I enjoyed the classes that not only gave me great insights into the destination, but also gave personal tips and stories about their travels to that destination. When their is a personal story attached to the learning, I am more apt to remember, so getting the right person to teach it, is key. Each class was 40 minutes. I had 4 in a row and then lunch, followed by 2 more and then I was done for the day.
MLT Vacations brought in 3 key speakers(1 a day) to speak about their experiences that related to our travel business. I especially enjoyed Scott Stratten( Social Media Expert). At first, I thought he seems a bit full of himself and I have heard all this stuff from others before about social media and why and how to use it. I wasn’t interested UNTIL he started to tell his story. Now, I did hear about his story last year at this same conference from the Social Media class I took last year. It was more engaging to hear his story how using social media changed his view of the company that irritated him so much, that he wanted all of his followers to know about the injustice. That company immediately apologized via twitter and all was well. WHY? Because there was an immediate response, not lets look into this and get back to him much later. I appreciate and use companies that do not string you along and can act and react immediately. I have always tried to use this policy when dealing with my clients. Travel is fun and I want them to have the correct information to make an informed decision about their vacation. I have also adopted the practice to let clients know how or who to contact if something should go wrong while traveling. I DO NOT want my clients to wait until they get home to tell me something went wrong. I want to fix it before they get home. I am their agent and advocate, so I try my best to make it right.
I will continue to attend conferences because they give me a lot of information to share with my clients. But at times I have to be selective. I like to attend conferences that offer different destinations that I am not familiar with or need more information about. Or maybe types of travel that I need to learn about. People travel for all different reasons. What niche market is up and coming? Who is traveling? I look forward to learning about the world and that’s what engages me. I can not go every where immediately, but I can learn about it and effectively engage my clients with the information I have learned.