Over 50 key suppliers along with 175 personal travel managers (PTMs), have completed a series of extensive Market Day workshops that were conducted by TravelManagers in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
The workshops provided a timely opportunity for the assembled PTMs to catch up on product updates, new product offerings and post-COVID enhancements, and talk about future joint marketing opportunities.
Michael Gazal, Executive General Manager of TravelManagers said each event consisted of a 4-hour business session which concluded with a sit-down Christmas celebration, aside from Adelaide the event was more informal and personalised.
“Each of the Market Days presented a great opportunity to bring people together in person after two years of maintaining relationships mostly online and via email or phone.”
Gazal says TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office (NPO) team has worked tirelessly throughout the last two years to facilitate a variety of COVID-safe and digital events that would ensure PTMs were well placed for the eventual recovery of the international travel market.
“These took place in multiple formats throughout Australia and were extremely well-received by attendees. However, I think they would all agree that there is no substitute for the face-to-face interaction delivered by the Market Days,” Gazal adds. “Being able to enjoy a festive celebration at the conclusion of each event was the cherry on the top.”
“Ensuring that PTMs had ongoing, direct contact with supplier representatives was a key focus for our NPO team throughout the pandemic,” Gazal notes. “TravelManagers’ state-based Business Partnership Managers (BPMs) played a vital role in this – as well as organising smaller-scale, COVID-friendly events, they ensured that our Oracle intranet was kept up to date with full details of all that was happening with suppliers.”
After forming a new partnership with luxury brand, Signature Travel Network, at the start of 2022, Gazal says the presence of a Signature Travel Network booth at the Market Days, which showcased Signature’s luxury product opportunities, was particularly important.
“It provided PTMs with an overview from Signature’s annual conference in Las Vegas the previous week, pointing out the benefits which PTMs are likely to obtain from themselves attending the 2023 conference,” he explains.
The booth also provided PTMs with updates on Signature’s Hotel & Resort, Destination Program, the varied specialisations of participating DMCs, guidance on online training content, and a discussion about how the meaning of luxury can differ from customer to customer.
PTM Louise McCarthy, who is TravelManagers’ representative for Castle Hill, NSW, says the Market Days complement the other support provided by the NPO team, which includes its Oracle intranet resource along with frequent webinars and regional and suburban cluster meetings.
“I particularly enjoyed getting to learn new ways to process bookings with new suppliers and received guidance on using new booking engines and booking tools to improve productivity, especially accessing luxury product through Signature Travel Network,” she explains.
From a supplier perspective, Gazal says feedback on the Market Days has been equally positive. He says the close relationships that TravelManagers enjoys with its key supplier partners has been integral to its success over the course of the pandemic and believes that continuing to maintain these relationships through events such as the Market Days will be key to TravelManagers’ success in what promises to be an exciting year for the brand and its PTMs in 2023.
“What I love about working with TravelManagers is that every PTM’s business is different,” said Ki Williams from Globus Family of Brands. “The Market Days provide an environment in which we can talk about their clientele and personalise our approach. I enjoy hearing their beautiful stories about their relationships with their customers: it’s a very beautiful, personal approach.”
“What a fantastic way to wrap up the year,” added Sue Wright, who is TravelManagers’ representative for Mackay. “My business is all about connections, whether it’s my clients, our suppliers, NPO or fellow PTMs and that is why I have travelled to Brisbane for the Market Day. I wanted to keep up to speed with all that’s happening in our industry.
“I learnt a lot, laughed a lot and left feeling really positive about what next year hold,” Wright added.
Lead image: TravelManagers’ Market Day at the Sydney Masonic Centre.