By CJ Himberg, Events and Communications Manager
Last month, 31 travelers and four staff members came together in Dublin for our most recent Convention Tour. As many know, Conventions are exclusive Group Coordinator trips that combine an immersive tour with a special meeting for Coordinators and their guests.
In Dublin, we explored the city and surrounding landscapes, gained new perspective on Irish history and of course, toasted with a few pints of Guinness. Our favorite moments happened during our Convention meeting, when the Go Ahead team and Group Coordinators met to brainstorm fresh ideas for the top questions posed by Group Coordinators. We’ll be sharing some of the best advice we heard in two parts—here are our favorite suggestions for how to successfully recruit new travelers.
Build a network:
• Start with friends and family. Post in community newspapers or magazines.
• Connect with local retired teacher associations.
• Market at the local rotary clubs or library.
• Start your own community travel club.
• Keep an ongoing email list of everyone that has ever traveled with you or expressed interest.
• Tell your hairdresser!
• Have a pre-tour party and tell each person to bring a friend.
• Connect with another local GC and combine networks.
• Organize a meet-up through Meetup.com.
Get the message out about your tour:
• Have a pre-tour party to discuss upcoming tours–theme it around the tour if you can or keep it simple with wine and cheese.
• Send personalized emails to each traveler that has joined you in the past to let them know about upcoming travel plans.
• Are your group members active on Facebook? Create a Facebook group or event as a place to share photos, info and more.
Fill your group:
• Use Go Ahead Groups promotions as an added incentive and benefit for your travelers.
• Remind prospective travelers that space is limited to create a sense of urgency.
Keep ‘em coming back for more:
• Capitalize on happy travel feelings during your tour and discuss future travel plans. Either decide with the group on where they want to go next or pick a tour beforehand so you can share info and get people excited. The Tour Director may also be a great ally in promoting the next tour and answering traveler questions.
• Make the memory last—send a postcard from tour to each group member’s home, email photos of the trip or create a photo video or slideshow to share. Extra crafty Group Coordinators can put their skills to use for a photo gift like Sunny and Jeff’s door posters. Bonus points for something that group members can proudly display to spur questions from prospective travelers.
Have you ever been on a Convention Tour? What were your favorite moments?