There are more than 480 personal travel managers (PTMs) working under the TravelManagers umbrella, who share an average of more than sixteen years’ travel industry experience. But that vast well of knowledge is spread across Australia, making it difficult to share information and expertise in traditional ways.
The company’s latest initiative to foster information-sharing among its PTMs is a series of webinars, hosted by PTMs and aimed at giving fellow PTMs some valuable tools aimed at overcoming some of the challenges faced by the travel industry in general.
TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says the first two webinars have been very successful and have left the PTMs hungry for more.
“We have an incredible pool of talent and we have always focused on creating a family culture and spirit of mutual help where the sharing of information and provision of assistance between our PTMs is made simple. These webinars are just the latest addition to a toolbox that also includes intranet forums and closed user Facebook pages.”
Karen Farley, representative for Redbank Plains, Queensland, jointly presented the first webinar with Michelle Michael-Pecora, representative for Castle Hill, NSW, which focused on charging commitment and service fees.
“We have received some amazing feedback from the PTMs who logged in for the session – including several who had used some of our tips to secure valuable new business just one day after our session.”
This highly-successful first webinar was quickly followed by another, hosted by two different PTMs, and was this time entitled “Fun, Love and Money.”
Kim Mason, representative for Cronulla, NSW explains what the webinar involved: “the idea came about when we were asked how we personally go about ‘beating the internet’ – a scenario that most PTMs find themselves dealing with on a regular basis”.
Mason was assisted in delivering the webinar by Merran (Mez) Wiggans, representative for Warners Bay, NSW.
“We set out to demonstrate the importance of knowing your own worth and being able to confidently explain to a client the points of difference between using a PTM who can properly tailor a trip, compared with a transactional, price-based purchase.”
Both PTMs regularly use their own techniques to successfully combat online prices: “although those techniques remain a TravelManagers’ secret!” adds Mason.
According to Gazal, the success of the two webinars is reflected in the results that are already being reported by the PTMs who participated.
“These are webinars run by travel professionals for travel professionals, addressing issues that they have experienced over many years and are dealing with day in, day out. Our PTMs may have plenty of experience, but this shows that they are never too old to learn from each other.”
Simon Tinkler, representative for South Brisbane, is one PTM who is grateful to have participated in the webinar sessions.
“One of the great things about working for a company like TravelManagers is that I benefit from having access to my colleagues’ extensive knowledge and experience – it’s fantastic that everyone has the same willingness to share their secrets of the trade!”
Gazal says the format of the webinars is another example of the flexibility offered by TravelManagers to its PTMs.
“Our presenters and attendees can dial in from their homes or we can run the webinar from the National Partnership Office (NPO). The webinars are conducted during the work day which means that our PTMs can schedule their client interaction and processing of bookings/accounts around a webinar.”
Gazal says that the webinars came about as a way to further encompass the ideas behind “Inspiring Excellence”, which is TravelManagers’ service charter that was introduced along with the company’s new branding last year.
“The obvious success of the two webinars we’ve already have guaranteed that our PTMs will have more to look forward to in the coming months.”
For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.