I'm heading to Berlin in a few weeks and we figured we'd tell you what it's all about, the sessions I'm attending and why.
Firstly the networking
We're told its the best there is for tours, activity, experiences and events vendors. According to their app information 70% of the people going are tours and activity operators. The rest are industry leading tech companies, booking and reservation platforms, OTAs and distributers as well as associations and DMOs. It's basically all the people in the same room that a tour and activity operator could need and the sessions/parties are specifically designed to get people talking to each other.
The sessions were attending
There is a lot going on, more than I will outline here, so if you want to see the full agenda click here. From our perspective we'd like to hear more about the following and this is what Steve has signed up for and why;.
Introduction to Travel Tech and Distribution.
This is exactly what we do so we want to hear what the industry say are important differentiators, why tour and activity operators need the tech from the event organisers perspective. The talk is primarily for Tour, activity and attraction operators new to travel tech and distribution, or those who’d like a refresher course to enhance their Arival experience. However, it'll be interesting to hear why Arival think tools like ours are important for the tour and activity industry.
How to choose your booking technology
There has been so much new tech coming into our sector. This is great for our industry, but with dozens of systems available, which one should you choose? How do you go about evaluating them? What features are most important? Again this is relevant to Toristy as booking technology is part of what we do, so it'll be interesting hear what Christian Watts (the irrepressible mag from Magpie Travel) has to say about it as he's the speaker. Christian founded Magpie Travel, with a focus on content management for the tours and activities sector. He is best known in the industry as the founder and CEO of City Sightseeing, San Francisco's first operator of hop-on hop-off and day-tour sightseeing.
Working with Online Travel agencies
Love them or hate them you can't ignore the OTAs. Online travel agencies (OTAs) are growing rapidly and have big plans. So what’s your plan for them? Again, designed for our customer base, Tour, activity and attraction operators currently working with or considering selling through OTAs or other third-party distribution channels. As Toristy is primarily a distribution partner again this is great research. Hosted by Stephen Joyce of the CEO of Rezgo which is a direct bookings company.
Power of personalisation at scale
As digital marketing and analytics experts Toristy have probably forgotten more about personalisation tactics than most people know. However the travel industry is a unique animal, tools have been built specifically for the industry and it'll be interesting to get the withlocals.com take on it. During this demo lab, Withlocals will provide a unique insight on how to unleash the power of personalization at scale which should be interesting.
Responsible profit and a sustainable future
One of the reasons Toristy got into the travel industry is because the owners feel it gives us the opportunity to help build a sustainable future. Travel is one of the biggest growth areas but also one of the biggest opportunities to help improve the environment. This talk from the CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, an organization that has defined sustainable tourism standards and best practices for travel and tourism worldwide, walks through the state of sustainable travel today, and what every creator and seller of experiences should know to work towards a responsible future.
Facebook has become a growing ingredient in the digital operator’s marketing stack, but how travelers' use it, and how tour and activity operators must approach it, stands apart from other marketing channels. Chris Torres runs TMA a specialist agency catering for the tourism industry. Chris is a brand and digital tourism expert with over 26 years of industry knowledge. Chris speaks at many tourism events worldwide, offering his advice and guidance on how travel, tourism, and destination businesses can gain brand recognition and increase bookings.
So that's the plan at least, until we get talked into other things. However there is so much more going on it's possible we may get sidetracked. Oh and there are also parties every night. :) So we're looking forward to this. If you're going and you want to meet up let Steve know.