5 Things Travel Agents Should Know About Working Trade Shows

Written by: Stephanie on March 13, 2024

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Working trade/bridal shows is an effective way to share your travel agency’s brand with the world–or at least to your community. In addition to engaging with leads, you’ll also be able to network with other vendors who are at the show. You never know who is going to need the services of a travel agent (or might refer someone to you after a positive interaction!).

Here are five things you should know about working trade shows so you can maximize your time and energy for a successful event:

1. Set a Goal.

Each trade show is different. Some are large-scale events drawing impressive crowds, and some are more intimate, community-centered events. Some are focused on luxury, while others attract those who are more budget oriented. Based on your travel niche, determine which show has the most potential in terms of your target client. Then, set a goal for yourself – whether that is getting a certain number of phone numbers or spending quality time talking with leads. That will give you direction for planning and speaking to prospects at the show.

2. Stick to Your Budget.

With exhibit fees, advertising, marketing materials, booth giveaways, and decor, the costs of working trade shows can easily get out of hand. Determine what is reasonable for your agency to spend, keeping in mind the goals you’ve set. Before signing an exhibit contract, thoroughly read the contract so you know what is included and any extras you’ll have to pay for.

3. Prepare Yourself.

Promote the event to your clients and on social media. If the show has a website or advertising sponsors, see if your agency can be included. Make a checklist and gather everything you need for the show ahead of time. Give yourself plenty of time to set up. You don’t want to be setting out displays and looking for brochures when attendees start to walk by your table. It’s unprofessional and could cost you leads!

4. Don’t Be Shy.

It can feel awkward to approach people but remember: you are a travel professional! You have something to offer show attendees; they just might not know it yet. It’s your job to introduce your business and engage people in conversation. What brings them to the show? Where is their favorite place to travel? Do they have special occasions or milestones coming up? These questions are icebreakers that can help you determine how you can be of service to them.

5. Follow Up.

Your post-show efforts are almost as important as the show itself! Compile the leads you’ve gathered in a spreadsheet to stay organized. Depending on the number of visitors to your booth, follow up with a phone call or a personalized email. Record the information you gather, like where they’ve traveled, their preferred means of travel, and any special occasions that are coming up.

KHM Travel Group’s home-based travel agents work for themselves, but not by themselves! Our experienced staff knows what it takes to be successful when starting a travel agency, and we look forward to sharing our expertise with you!

If you’d like to know more about getting started, give us a call at 888-611-1220 or fill out our contact form.

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