Australia’s leading personal travel manager network TravelManagers experienced strong personal travel manager attendance at its latest round of bi-annual state meetings across Australia. A total of 273 personal travel managers, 13 national partnership office staff and two partner suppliers participated in six meetings held across four states.
TravelManagers has been holding local state meetings with personal travel managers twice yearly, recently March and November, for the last seven years.
South Australian personal travel managers and national partnership office representatives all smiles, at recent state meeting in Adelaide
Michael Gazal, Executive General Manager believes consistency and providing relevance and adding value is the reason for maintaining extremely high participation rates across all states.
“Our first state meeting was held in March 2009 with 90 personal travel managers in attendance and supported by two national partnership office representatives. We are extremely proud that seven years later we have tripled the number of personal travel managers attending and provide a much broader involvement from members of the national partnership office support team. The content of the state meetings continue to change in line with the shifting requirements of our personal travel managers.”
New technology updates were the key focus of the latest round of state based meetings.
TravelManagers recognise personal travel manager five year milestones at recent state meetings. Top left to right – National partnership manager Suzanne Laister congratulate Victoria based personal travel managers Julie Lunn representative for Ferntree Gully, Maria Rainone representative for Sassafras and Megan Stanley representative for Cranbourne West. Bottom left to right – National fares & ticketing manager Jose Canas with Debra Deane, representative for Port Macquarie and Suzanne Laister with Lillie Smith representative for Toowong, Queensland
Pru Gallagher from national partnership office (NPO) provided an update on the development of the company’s in-house booking system ‘Splash’ which will provide personal travel managers with direct access to wholesale rates with live availability. This is currently in live test mode.
The other development introduced by NPO’s Tanyu Cilek is customised business intelligence reporting, which is designed to provide personal travel managers with an instant view and improved management of their bookings.
“This improved business reporting will further empower our personal travel managers, enabling them to make informed and focused business decisions. As a booking is initiated or updated, information will be immediately available via a dashboard. With real time interaction and data visualisation through charts and graphs, it will analyze each individual personal travel manager’s sales, commissions, airline spend and such like,” says Gazal.
“I love that TravelManagers is such a forward thinking and innovative company, particularly around technology and customer service. I am excited about the potential this new innovative business tool can offer as it will allow me to more effectively manage my bookings day to day with improved efficiency while also enabling me to more effectively measure my performance. It gives me confidence and motivation, the knowledge we are in partnership with a company that will help us achieve,” says personal travel manager Bonnie Malam, representative for Surfers Paradise.
The development of the enhanced business intelligence reporting with its interactive dashboard customised to individual personal travel manager requirements, is expected to commence beta testing in July 2016.
Pru Gallagher also updated personal travel managers on refinements to the TravelManagers client App. This new TravelManagers App is available in the App Store for i-phones and Play Store for Android devices.
“I was so excited to learn more about the availability of the client App and how it’s evolved since the concept was initially launched at our 2015 national conference in Adelaide. I know this App is going to be so popular with my clients where they can easily store, manage and view all of their travel itinerary details and documents all in one easy location. I can’t wait to start using it,” says personal travel manager Lesley Cavill, representative from Mosman Park.
TravelManagers also recognized eighteen personal travel managers for their five-year service at the state meetings.
The fact that over thirty-five percent of personal travel managers have been with the company for more than five years does not surprise Gazal.
“TravelManagers is a company that really cares about its people and recognizing talent and providing opportunities for growth is of absolute importance to us. We treat each personal travel manager as an individual and valued business partner. The ability to be your own boss with the freedom and flexibility to work how and when you choose, is a winning formula.”
Maria Miller, representative for Parkes in New South Wales has attended thirteen state meetings since joining TravelManagers in 2008, and considers this the best meeting yet.
“I find these twice yearly state meetings so valuable, and love that they are local. It’s a way to be kept up-to-date with the latest developments that are happening in our business, interact with suppliers and connect with our team at the national partnership office. I really got a lot out of the entire day and have come away with some tips from the other personal travel managers that I plan to implement. It was the first time I really came away thinking ‘I can do that too!’ The speakers and updates were so interesting and informative, I can truly say it’s the best state meeting we have had.”
Gazal is proud that the TravelManagers’ state meetings are a winning formula with personal travel managers.
“The feedback over the years from our personal travel managers has always been that our inclusive strategy, strong business focused agenda, large contingent from our national partnership office and hosting by our locally based business partnership managers really works,” he says.
A virtual state meeting was held via webinar for the personal travel managers who could not attend in person.
“We follow up with a webinar so that everyone has the opportunity to be part of the partnership process and across new developments,” says Gazal.
In addition to the bi-annual state meetings and annual conference, personal travel managers enjoy a range of networking and training opportunities throughout the year.
“The national partnership office together with business partnership managers facilitate frequent regional meetings around suburban clusters and major centres in country areas, Regular supplier and technology training as well as multiple weekly webinars covering a wide range of both general and specialist subjects are ways in which we continually ensure our personal travel managers receive the latest information at a time and place that suits them best,” says Gazal.
For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.