Certified Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Travel Consultant
Exquisite Vacations, Inc.
What a great opportunity to be a part of the Romance Travel Forum, and have the chance to fully experience all that Punta Cana has to offer for your clients. Site inspections, activities and FAM opportunities offer you unique sales value, with the chance to fully immerse yourself in the destination. Take advantage of your time on island!
Plan to wear attire that is not only comfortable for walking and the warm Punta Cana weather, but also clothing that appropriately represents your brand. First impressions go a long way! Be on time – site inspections and activities have been coordinated with the whole group in mind, so be respectful to your hosts and peers. Do a little research ahead of time, and think about what you’re most interested in learning about with the experience. Think of clients that may be ideal candidates for these unique itineraries and properties, and with them in mind, map out the right questions to determine if indeed it’s the perfect match! Remember, being in Punta Cana gives you the advantage to sell from your personal experience! Share pictures on your social media platforms while at the destination highlighting your current situation – this can really generate buzz and help move business forward! Don’t forget to hashtag!! Always be respectful of your surroundings, and other guests too – like your own clients, these travelers have paid to vacation in Punta Cana, and nothing should get in their way of enjoying their time! During site inspections, be mindful of other guests and your host. Keep noise levels down to a minimum in public areas, and never sit on a bed or touch items in the sleeping room. Take great pictures of the rooms’ accenting selling points, and again, share these images on social media! Last but not least, gratitude goes a long way, make sure to thank your hosts for this great opportunity!
President & Owner,
Wedding & Honeymoon Travel Group
Peer to Peer Sessions: My Wise Words quote Formal Education is a walk thru the zoo…..Informal learning is a walk thru the Savannah…..
In my first 3 years of my business I was so busy trying to chase and build my business that I rarely even noticed any other business/ agency owners when I attended educational seminars and conferences. This was a huge mistake!
Since then my company has increased revenues by 150% and much of my own personal growth as a business owner can be credited to advice/guidance/ education from my Peers and Supplier BDM’s whom I have met over the last 3 years at industry events such as RTF. In fact, there are several agents in attendance this year whom I often call upon to discuss challenges or bounce ideas off.
Get Involved – By interacting online and social media and start your conversations and peer building prior to arrival in Punta Cana.
5 A day Goals – Make it your goal to meet and talk with at least 5 new peers each day you are at RTF. By the time you leave, you should have at least 20 new peers in your network that can help you in ways you don’t even know possible yet.
Be Positive and Kind – No one likes a negative Nelly complaining / moaning constantly and not being courteous.
Be Prepared – Come ready to learn. The best way to learn from your peer groups is to Listen and be ready to talk. Come ready with your questions for the peer to peer sessions that are specific to you and your business model. Ask for different ideas and views on the topic. This is your chance to be specific and ask questions.
Share the Knowledge – There is always much more to gain than lose at Peer to Peer sessions. Sure you may share an idea with the group, and some will use it in their business, but you are likely to learn more knowledge than you will lose.
Inspiration – Look for peers at events who are Friendly, Positive and Inspiring. I’m turned off by someone constantly looking at their phone!
Embrace Change– Embrace new ideas and potential changes in your business model. Be prepared to look at yourself and admit that sometimes it’s just not working. Be open to trying new business methods and solutions.
Educational Sessions: My Wise Words quote If your cup is already full, you cannot fill it!
Be Engaged and Pay Attention- If you knew everything already, you would be the one stood presenting. Don’t be looking at your phone throughout the session.
Bring some Tools -Bring a small notebook and a mini stapler. Attach the suppliers business card to a new page and make your own notes.
Be Smart – Take photos of the screen presentations of the important slides and email them to yourself at the end.
What n Why – Have your own specific questions ready in advance to ask. They may cover it in the session but you can always ask them if they haven’t addressed it.
Further Education – Ask the supplier, how can you get further education on their product/services after RTF.
Let’s be Partners – Follow up after the conference with an email if this is a supplier that you want to partner with.
~ One Love~
Manager & Travel Consultant
To maximize your time on the show room floor, sign up for those suppliers who you are less familiar with, not the ones you book every day. Do your homework in advance and study the suppliers’ websites prior to arrival. Take good notes, ask detailed questions, and make sure you have plenty of business cards for everyone. Smile, be yourself and make good connections!
Paradise Travel Chick
We, right here and right now, are a peer network. There are many ways to be part of a peer network, whether it be through something you are (travel professional, blogger), something you do (Sell tour packages), or through something you attend, such as the Romance Travel Forum. They are all very different, but very much alike!
Getting to know your peers means that you are exposed to new ideas and many different outlooks, all of which can expand your knowledge and broaden your areas of preference and expertise. Sure, you may excel in one brand or product, but it can never hurt to add to that! PLUS… When you work in isolation, you repeat mistakes that others have made. Why not reach out, meet those who do what you do, ask questions, and do all that you can to prevent wasting your valuable time and effort!
Networking is about sharing, not taking. We are all in this industry for similar reasons, we all have personal goals, but we are not here to compete against one another. There is MORE than enough to go around. There are very seasoned professionals, and there are those who are very new the industry, both have so much to offer.
Helping others achieve goals, big and small, is an accomplishment in itself. When you help one another, you build trust. Making time to engage with your contacts helps you continue to grow relationships, after all, it is a two-way road. It’s great to be there for others, but it is equally as beneficial and rewarding to have someone who is there to assist you as well.
Be visible! Get to know your peers and suppliers! Being visible and present will help build your reputation and will show that you are reliable and knowledgeable in what you do! You will begin build friendships with your peers. Those who are learning what you already know will feel they can approach you and will ask for your tips, input, and will look to you as a mentor.
Where can networking take you?
You never know which exciting opportunities and doors may open for you just by being at the right place, at the right time! When you actively attend networking events, it helps to keep your name in mind when opportunities arise, such as introductions to others in the industry, to be considered when special events take place, when referrals come along, and so on!
Help them, help you!
Helping one another is great, but when you share common knowledge and interests, you’re truly building a huge support network! Receiving and sharing advice is such an important benefit of networking. Sharing ideas and openly asking questions (because we all know that one person who is afraid to raise their hand and ask a question, but are SO thankful to hear someone else ask that exact question), opens the door to valuable discussions, suggestions, and guidance.
In a nut shell…
Regularly networking within your industry will only set you up well and will help you progress in your career. Having healthy relationships with your contacts can be mutually beneficial. You can raise your profile and make an impact! Your chances at amazing opportunities and successes will grow. In the end, there is such satisfaction in assisting and connecting others in your network. Being successful is great, but helping others achieve a greater success is simply priceless.
There is power in numbers! Many minds are better than one!
Owner/Lead Travel Designer
Latitude Concierge Travels
There are many suppliers and agents just bursting with valuable knowledge and experience right at your fingertips! Time is very limited in between sessions and during supplier one-on-ones. You have an opportunity to take advantage of a laid-back environment to really connect to your peers and business partners. Here is your chance to ask more questions, download your thoughts from the day over a drink and express your interest in a property or on future endeavors. Here is your chance to tour an amazing property – an opportunity to experience what the brand has to offer your clients. The host property is excited to show you their brand, so take advantage of this opportunity to really explore and interact with the staff. Make sure you bring your business cards, cameras and a plan of action so you can absorb as much information as possible while still enjoying the amazing entertainment.
This is an awesome opportunity to use social media to advertise your expertise at a property. Take photos with your new business partners and show your clients that you have an edge above your competition. Let everyone see why YOU are an expert. Try to post as many as you can in real time but keep some very high quality shots for future posts to keep the prime pumped.
Arrive to get on the bus EARLY. Get a leg up on the crowd so you can get photos in better light and hit the bar and food first! 🙂
Chancellor of Travel
To Pack or not to Pack…
- Pack Appropriately – review the schedule ahead of time and pack the necessary attire for the different functions and theme nights. Pack a light sweater for the sessions if you think you need one.
- Bring comfortable walking shoes – whether for site inspections or tours/excursions
Prepare in Advance
- Get BACK UP – This will be 4 days of intense, packed days with lots of sessions and learning experiences! You may not have adequate time to take care of your clients and manage your business. Try to ensure someone is available to watch and manage your business while you are out of the office this week.
- Understand the itinerary – The event is packed with some great peer to peer sessions and lots of opportunity to learn best practices to take your business to the next level. Review the agenda ahead of time.
- Understand your Goals/Vision – Why are you coming to the event? What do you hope to get out of it? What can YOU bring to the table? Try to have a firm understanding of these 3 questions before you arrive.
While You Are There
- Get to know the sponsors/suppliers – There will be a lot of great suppliers and travel partners present. This is a unique opportunity to spend a few days with them to cultivate relationships to help you grow your business and help you create amazing experiences for your clients!
(GOAL: Try to establish partnerships/relationships with 5 new suppliers that you can conduct business with after you leave the event)
– Get to know your peers – like yourself, the other agents present were carefully hand selected from a large pool of applicants. You are all there for a reason and you all bring very specific skills sets and best practices to the table!
(GOAL: Try to establish friendships/relationships with 5 new agents that you can share and bounce ideas with after you leave the event)
SHARE, SHARE, SHARE – We are NOT each other’s competition! We can all learn a great deal from each other. Bring your ideas, your best practices, your success stories (and notso-successful stories where you learned something!) and offer suggestions for others to grow
Planning ahead, and thinking about what you’d like to get out of the experience