Increasing luxury travel sales, enhancing agents' web presence, new tools to achieve higher levels of profitability and training to 're-engage and re-energize' frontline agents are among the initiatives announced at Results! Travel's 2013 National Meeting, in Bloomington, MN.
Results! estimates that nearly 250 agency owners, managers, agents, independent contractors (ICs), suppliers and travel industry executives are attending the conference being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington – Minneapolis South.
“There are a total of eight, separate initiatives being announced that we will deliver to our members through the fourth quarter of this year and into 2014 that will allow them to be far more competitive in their individual marketplaces," Results! Travel Vice President and General Manager John Risner said. "These programs will also offer enhanced customer experiences to both our members’ clients and their employees.”
‘Over the Top’ is not only our Results! Travel meeting theme, it also aptly describes the myriad new programs, initiatives and training opportunities we are providing our members who expect more and get it. We have never brought forth as many enhancements to the program as we are this year,” Risner said.
Among the features of meeting is the network’s first-ever Services and Technology Showcase. “Because we believe so much in the retail travel agency – and in our Results members in particular, we are making a significant investment in terms of dollars, time and personnel resources,” added Risner. “We want our Results members to be completely prepared for the future and to be able to give their customers – whether they are business, leisure or luxury travelers – the ultimate customer experience.”
Among the new initiatives, workshops and highlights at this year’s conference:
Certified Training and Engaging Employees: Using researched and tested employee engagement steps, members will gain a better understanding of the correlation between engagement and top performers in one’s business. In addition they’ll learn more about when and how to motivate and engage employees. One specific program being launched by Results! Travel is a specialized training curriculum to help frontline leisure agents become re-engaged, revitalized, and more effective in the sale of leisure and luxury travel.
Selling Luxury Travel Using the Results! Travel Tools: To increase revenue, agents must either continue to sell more and more, or focus on higher yielding sales. This workshop will assist members in confidently selling the most profitable travel experiences without compromising the needs of their customers. By learning about the Results! Travel tools available, agents can compete effectively for more upscale and luxury travel bookings.
Advantages and Challenges of Independent Contractors (ICs): In the recent Results! Travel Census, over half the survey participants indicated they have ICs, and the vast majority (88.5%) stated they have 1-5 ICs working for them. Because of the importance of ICs to Results! Travel brick-and-mortar agencies, panel discussions and workshops will address the challenges of managing ICs, understanding legal ramifications, recruitment of new ICs, training, motivation and retention, as well as determining which tools and compensation plans to provide these agents.
Stay on Top of Business Travel: Results Members will have access to an informative, interactive session to learn more about the online booking tools available specifically for business travel. Live demos for each tool are included, along with details on product features, latest enhancements and how Results members can stay on top of business travel and be profitable by including online booking as part the tool kit for one’s business travel accounts.
Enhanced Website Program: Results Members will now have access to a revamped website program that will increasingly link to ongoing marketing initiatives to engage each member’s clients. Clients, and potential new customers, viewing promotions online will be linked back to a member site for more information as well as additional Results! Travel exclusive promotions – something that can’t currently be done because of technology using third party website programs. Members will have the ability to customize their site, but – because Results! Travel headquarters will create and load site content – members won’t need to spend valuable resources on a dedicated website manager.
Results Enterprise – New Marketing Platform: The launch of a new marketing platform will ensure members can effectively use more of its marketing tactics, from direct mail to email, available to them. Results Enterprise is easy, effective, and will help generate sales for each agency. Members will choose which campaigns/offers to participate in, based on their clientele, and which clients to target. From direct mail to emails, the choice is up to each Results member. Every piece is customizable to the agency and – new in 2014 – members will be able to extend this program to ICs.
Trusted Traveler Programs: The Ins and Outs of Ensuring Hassle-Free Airport Screening for Your Clients(Presented by Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration): Attendees will gain a better understanding of the Trusted Traveler Programs and how it can help their clients in getting through airport screening more efficiently. This workshop will take an in-depth look at how the TSA Pre-check program works and how it is expanding. In addition, attendees will gain valuable information on how the Global Entry program expedites “trusted” travelers through U.S. customs and immigrations.
Results! also reports it held its first-ever Services and Technology Showcase - an event separate from the Supplier Trade Show - during the conference that featured the latest services and products in the marketplace from top technology suppliers for both business and leisure travel. This included office services vendors such as phone services, equipment and systems.
The meeting will conclude with entertainment at the Mall of America featuring a mini-concert by David Cassidy.