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Travel Counsellors takes global conference to the virtual stage

Following the highly successful Australian conference held virtually in July, this annual event, which saw almost 2000 Travel Counsellor business owners and colleagues tune in from multiple countries, marked the first time in the company’s history that the global conference was solely streamed live.

A key theme across the one-day virtual event was to recognise how individual Travel Counsellors have come together to show care and support to their customers over recent months. Creating positive experiences, and nurturing trusted customer relationships, was cited as the key to future business growth for the company’s business owners. The vital topic of looking after mental wellbeing was also featured throughout the agenda, as lockdown restrictions continue across the globe.

Amongst a jam-packed agenda on Friday 20 November, special guests included ‘free-from’ food entrepreneur Kirsty Henshaw and her journey from kitchen start-up to Dragon’s Den and growing a seven-figure business, and best-selling author Ruby Wax OBE. The world-renowned comedian, TV writer and performer holds a Master’s degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University, and was awarded an OBE in 2015 for her services to mental health. Conference delegates took great value from Ruby sharing her personal experience of managing mental wellbeing, and her work to raise awareness and a better understanding of mental health.

Conference favourite, author, and keynote speaker Dr Paul Redmond also returned to present his latest research on consumer behaviour. Recognising that the pandemic has shone a spotlight on remote-working, Dr Redmond provided insights on how Travel Counsellors business owners can adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and embrace digital communication to continue to offer highly personal experiences for their customers, as businesses adapt and face the challenges presented by the ‘new normal’.

The conference sessions reflected on the challenges Travel Counsellor business owners have faced over the last few months, using this time as an opportunity to ‘reset, rebuild and restart’.

Regional Managing Director Kaylene Shuttlewood says, “Whilst we would have loved the opportunity to get together in person to celebrate the achievements of our business owners, colleagues and travel partners at what has always been the annual highlight of the Travel Counsellors calendar, our virtual conference ensures our people still have the chance to connect together and look forward to the future, highlighting the tools, technology and community support in place to continue to grow successful businesses.

“We will all take huge learnings from this year, and will be able to use these experiences to build resilient corporate and leisure travel businesses, backed by the personal experiences Travel Counsellors have provided for their customers throughout this time, showing care and providing real, human travel advice when it really mattered.”

With spotlights on the latest innovations and best-practice in marketing, commercial trends, product updates and corporate travel, the virtual event featured panel discussions with Travel Counsellors business owners offering real-life examples of ‘triumphing through adversity’. The company also staged a virtual evening bash to recognise a host of ‘TC Heroes’ across the global community who have looked after their customers, fellow Travel Counsellors and colleagues over a challenging period, as well as a host of entertainment, including a dedicated ‘TCs Got Talent’ show.

Shuttlewood adds, “Despite this year’s challenges it was so important to set aside some time to recognise the achievements of so many within Travel Counsellors who have gone above and beyond to support their customers. It’s been awe-inspiring to see the company community band together, not only proving that together there is a bright future ahead of us, but recognising the very real requirement for experienced travel professionals to be on-hand with expert advice as customers continue to navigate changing advice and seek safe ways to travel. We will come out of this period ready to support people to travel the globe once more.”

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