Here are some tips on how to make sure your promotional party not only brings in more travelers, but also is worth your time and effort.
One of the most important marketing events a group tour planner can put on is the trip promotion party. These events are great ways to gain new enrollments and grow excitement in veteran members. Remember the main purpose when planning: generate interest for your trip.
Hold your party well in advance of the departure date, so you can get your leads in ASAP and your early birds signed up even earlier. A good time table would be six months in advance to your trip’s date. Remember this one is not the pre-departure party, so make sure you separate the organization for both of the events. Make sure you are meeting your members’ time limitations as well, because you want to have your veterans there, in order to help you recruit. If you have a retired group you can schedule early afternoon meetings; if not plan for an after-dinner event.
Pre-plan for this party just as you would for a party at your own home. Have you thought of where to put their coats? Where to park? Name tags and raffle forms? Do you need a microphone and can you easily work the video monitor? This way you know the event will run smoothly.
Ask your veteran members to attend. They can tell potential new members about how your trips work. Referrals from your seasoned members is a great way grow your group. A good idea to help generate a larger audience is to ask each of your members to invite a friend to the party. Make sure you stress this point if you want a bigger turnout.
Try not to exceed 90 minutes with the entire promotional event. People have things to do and they really don’t have the attention span to stay focused on your event for longer than that. Show a slideshow of pictures/videos of the trip you’ll be taking and let it play in the background while the members and guests mingle.
Be sure to have a trip brochure and reservation form at every seat. This portion should take 20-30 minutes. When the time comes, sit everyone down to review the dates, times and destinations the trip will include. Also, focus on the things members will experience that they normally wouldn’t if they travel on their own.
If you have a tour operator, invite them to the event. They can help you stir excitement up and will have more in-depth information to provide to the members and guests. Also don’t be afraid to try a theme. If you’re traveling to Asia, try making oriental-style finger foods. If you’re heading to Italy, it may be appropriate to serve everyone a glass of Bianco.
To end the party, try planning a give-away or raffle. This keeps people around until the end of the event and also can provide a lucky traveler with a vital piece of equipment, such as a nice piece of luggage, thus making them more likely to sign up for the trip. Also, raffles encourage everyone to give you their phone number, email address and home address to help you build your data base.