“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom—nor cancellations—stays these NAJ staff from the swift completion of their appointed rounds …”
Sometimes it takes a simple epiphany to wake me up to understand what has made the RTO Summits unique from other travel trade shows.
First, the trend-driven content we develop the first day of each event is designed to help international sales professionals to find ways to increase their sales using today’s digital tools that can supplement relationships and help them advance their careers.
Secondly, our staff takes operator cancellations personally. Here’s what I mean:
On Friday, Sept. 15, prior to the RTO Summit in Orlando (Sept. 19-20) one of the tour operators who planned to attend told us that she had booked flights for the wrong dates and was scheduled to fly out late on the day before the one-on-one marketplace. Sofia Williamsson (left) told her she would reschedule all her appointments during the education sessions the first day of the show.
Betsy Cooper (right) called all operators the day before the appointments to remind them to attend. During those calls one operator told her they would not be able to attend and she told him he had a full list of appointments and it would be like standing up 35 suppliers. She had a solution: she would simply set up an iPhone at his empty table and conduct the meetings by Facetime.
After a pregnant pause, he agreed to attend–but only until 2:00 pm. “That’s no problem,” she said. “We’ll reschedule your afternoon appointments from 12:30-2pm– during the lunch.” And she did!
I think it’s this terrier-like commitment to fight for what is truly important to our attendees that sets the Summits apart and I’m proud of our incredibly talented staff that, in the wake of I-don’t-know how many potential crises that could have arisen in the wake of the Hurricane Irma that operators may have had to attend to, in the end we had only one cancellation.
I am grateful every day for two things—my fabulous team and our wonderful group of clients.
The NAJ Group, which publishes both the INBOUND Report and The Travel Vertical, organizes and hosts the RTO (receptive tour operator) Summit series—educational, networking and business appointment events in Los Angeles, New York and Orlando. The NAJ Group also stages the upcoming (Oct. 18-19) eTourism Summit in San Francisco and the Active America-China Summit (March 25-27, 2018 in Atlanta).