If travel agencies are only looking at the present - or worse, dwelling in the past - they are going to fall by the wayside, John Risner, Results! Travel vice president and general manager, told agents attending the Results! Fall Conference at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, September 13-15, 2012.
"Successful agencies are the ones that are forward-thinking and can anticipate and take advantage of trends. They are also the ones that are viewed as exceptional in the eyes of their clients - which is what we want for all of our Results! Travel members," Risner said.
The meeting featured speakers, supplier presentations, and networking opportunities. Highlights cited by Results! Travel include:
ResultsTravel.com - The consumer-facing website's redesign was unveiled at the conference. The focus of the website is still to help members promote their individual businesses - as evident by the "Find an Agency" feature. It also acts as a more robust tool to attract existing brick and mortar agencies. Prospective agencies can learn about programs offered, participation information, Member testimonials, and more.
Results! Travel "Speed-Dating" - Supplier round tables, which feedback has shown are one of the most valuable aspects of these conferences, allowed for interaction between all suppliers and all member attendees.
Sales and Marketing Workshops - Noted speaker Mike Marchev conducted three workshops designed to help members focus on marketing and sales that are relevant, important and meaningful, as well as challenge them to provide clients with exceptional customer service.
Worldwide Hotel Program - Results! Travel members will take part in Travel Leaders Group's fully-developed hotel program, beginning in 2013, so they no longer have to work through a variety of third party aggregators. Benefits will include: one booking rate code for the GDS, 10 percent commission, exclusive value-added amenities for clients and commission collection assistance.
"If there is one thing I see in our industry it's change‚ and change comes faster than ever. If we do not learn how to adapt, we will get left behind," said agent attendee Ken Mayer, owner of Galaxsea Cruises & Tours in Neosho, MO.
Prior to the start of the conference, members had the opportunity to complete a series of hotel site inspections. There were two itineraries for the inspections - the first included Planet Hollywood, Paris, Bally's, Ceasars and The Flamingo. The other site inspection tour included: Vdara, ARIA, the Monte Carlo and the Bellagio.