Q&A: Andy Stark – The Global Travel Group

Guest Contributor

Contributors are not employed, compensated or governed by TD, opinions and statements are from the contributor directly

Travel Daily Media UK catches up with The Global Travel Group’s managing director, Andy Stark ahead of its forthcoming conference at La Manga Club in Murcia, Spain. 

Andy Stark MD The Global Travel Group.
Andy Stark MD The Global Travel Group.

Why is it so important that agents attend industry conferences?

Travel is a constantly evolving world, so it stands to reason that the most successful agents are those who keep up to date with the latest trends and techniques.

For me conferences are a time and cost-efficient way of broadening your industry knowledge whilst building the relationships that could help catapult your business to the next level.

How can networking at conferences help travel agents when they get home?

Whilst it’s tempting to sit next to your colleague during a session, you need a slightly different mindset if you’re serious about making useful business connections at a conference.

Remember that these events are a really great opportunity to share best practice and gain practical everyday tips from peers all across the country that you might not otherwise have the chance to meet.

Come with an open mind and a stash of business cards and don’t forget to follow up with the people you’ve met once back at your desk. After all, they could soon become a support network you rely on.

What can agents expect from this year’s The Global Travel Group conference?

This year’s programme is shaping up to be one of our most exciting yet. Ultimately the purpose of any agent conference is to equip attendees with the tools they need to drive more bookings, so every aspect keeps this firmly in mind.

The team has worked hard to cherry-pick the panellists and business sessions that we believe best address the biggest challenges facing independent agents, from how to make sure their shop window – whether online or on the high street – entices potential customers to whether it pays to specialise.

Of course, travel remains one of the most fun-filled industries selling one of the most enjoyable products in town. So it goes without saying that delegates will have the chance to play every bit as hard as they work – and La Manga Club is the ideal venue to ensure that happens!

How does this year’s conference address some of the biggest industry issues?

We’ve gathered together an inspiring group of experts who will speak across a wide range of topical subjects that we know are key to agent success.

Whilst most people have cottoned on to the importance of being social media savvy, there’s definitely an art to maximising your online presence. We’ll be having sessions with social media experts Ginger Juice and digital specialists Clicky Media to give our agent members practical tips on how to engage customers in a way that translates into all-important sales.

How do you ensure the conference is geared to agent needs?

It’s vital we represent the best interests of our members, which is precisely why we established our Global Advisory Panel (GAP) a couple of years back. The insight those agent meetings give us helps shape everything we do, from training initiatives and product developments to our conference programmes. So the feedback from last year’s annual conference in Dubai has certainly helped influence this year’s programme.

As an example, our members told us that they find the networking sessions invaluable so we’re making it even easier for attendees to meet their preferred suppliers via two afternoons of speed networking. With the chance to enjoy six 15-minute networking sessions on each day, we know these pre-booked sessions will help agents build the relationships that will be crucial to commercial success over the year ahead.

 

 

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