Yesterday we held another successful online event, Virtual Vacation Agent Expo, with more than 1,500 live attendees. They spent their afternoon sipping coffee at their desks while they networked and learned how to increase their leisure travel sales.
Our online event has evolved to incorporate the most powerful tool on the web today — social media – where travel agents can network and chat with hundreds of colleagues and potential vendors while knowing that everyone is a travel professional. You can’t do that with Twitter or Facebook chats. You can’t follow up either with those platforms, but you can with the Virtual Vacation Agent Expo. Each participant registers and opts in to be part of the discussion and to continue that discussion long after the show itself has ended.
We also use video extensively. According to Google, 95 percent of all media consumed today is video on the web. Each of our Virtual Events includes dedicated video segments that include, but aren’t limited to, the following: Editor Insights, Agent Insights, Workshops, Seminars and Booth videos.
In addition, we feature live interactive presentations and webinars, a powerful B2B marketing tool, have been taken to a new level with our Virtual Events. Agents can participate in live polls, interactive discussions and learn from top presenters in the industry.
When these events first came online years ago, many jumped on board temporarily, only to fade into the distance. Part of that was related to subpar providers that couldn’t deliver on the experience and left the market as a result. They left a group of dissatisfied vendors and agents in the process and soured the market on such events. We never wavered and have continued to invest in next generation technology to meet the gap for the 95 percent of travel agents who never make it to a physical event, as well as many who do, but love the ease and access of the virtual world, too. The focus on the technology, and the end user, has resulted in a resurgence in demand to host events that produce quantitative results for all involved.
Now you’ve heard me talk about the extraordinary benefits of our Virtual Events. Now hear directly from the travel agents who just participated in our two-day virtual Vacation Agent Expo:
“I like the ability to talk freely and communicate as opposed to feel like I am being pressured to buy a product or service.”
“I like virtual events because the do not take time away from your business to travel to an event.”
“I love the fact that I can access all the info I need and already have it stored on my computer as a PDF, not a paper brochure that can get lost or damaged.”
“This is my first Expo……loving it so far!”
“Thank you. I’m also an event planner. Virtual events allow me to participate when time and budget keeps me at my computer.”
“I would like to participate in future virtual trade shows — the last one I attended I did not learn much so I quit attending. This one has turned out to be very beneficial.”
“Anytime I can sit at my desk and do an expo is great. It saves me time and money. I especially enjoyed the presentation by Munich Airport and the IATAN exhibit. The setup is wonderful…I love technology.”
“This has been a great expo. Vacation Agent really knows how to help travel agents. I especially liked all the webinars, especially the Munich Airport Experience and How to Make Money Selling Airlines. I look forward to the next expo!”
“It saves money with hotels, travel expenses and registration costs, plus I can always view the presentations at a later time.”
Now that’s just some of the agent feedback. Now to wrap, here’s just one supplier’s thoughts on Virtual Events:
“For the past three years I have represented Munich Airport (MUC) at numerous travAlliancemedia Virtual Travel Expos. I find these virtual expos to be an invaluable educational medium for reaching both current and potential travel agent partners. Virtual booths engage travel agents in an exciting online experience of the airport. They offer educational and entertaining videos, downloadable brochures as well as communication via live chat with follow-up e-mails and phone calls after the show. This makes this the ‘perfect forum’ for travel commerce. I always receive positive feedback from travel agents, who now book their clients via MUC after visiting the airport’s virtual booth. In addition, with this technology we are able to potentially reach a much larger target audience with just the click of a mouse.”—Angela Geissler, account director-North America, Munich Airport.