Wait for Rebound or Run Virtual Experiences – or both?

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Community Event - Dream Trips Workshop

The world is reeling, but it feels like we’ve gotten a moment to catch our breath after the initial shock. If you aren’t on the front lines, you’ve got a lot of time to worry about what comes next. When can I start taking bookings again? Should I run virtual experiences? Should I just hibernate and wait for the rebound?

As business owners, it is our JOB to set the direction for our clients and our employees. For those of us that rely on travel as a core part of our product offerings all we can see is a long road of contradicting government guidance plus rapidly changing laws that vary country by country and often locale by locale.

The Rebound is Coming

We are chanting the mantra that there will be a rebound, that the pent up demand will explode and boom the industry back. Someday. But we can’t know for sure when it will be safe for everyone and it may never be exactly the way it was before.

Instead, we must adopt an “agile” mindset. We must accept that we make our own future and we must see these challenges as opportunities to rebuild our businesses and our industry. Some things will return to “normal”, some things will not. As long as we are rebuilding with kindness and commitment to our core values, it will be ok. Somehow.

So what to do in the meantime?

As a Travel Tech platform for Group Travel Organizers, we are focused on ensuring our clients use this time to:

  • Improve their product listings to create a beautiful Trip Shop integrated with a Website
  • Integrate their YouLi Trip Page registrations with their email systems and CRMs (Zapier integration is here!)
  • Continue to do awareness based marketing on social media to build your audience and inspire your travelers to dream with you
  • Collect interest rather than bookings by making your Trip Pages into “Brochures” without set dates
  • Consider what new products you’ll need to relaunch with – new destinations, new segments?
  • Explore whether Virtual Experiences are right for your business

Rebound or Virtual Experiences – Let’s Discuss

I’m a passionate traveler and a responsible group organizer. I don’t want to travel if it is not safe and I don’t want to lead people if I don’t have confidence I can keep them safe (within our level of comfort). We must recover in a responsible way so that we don’t end up encouraging people to take unreasonable risks.

With that in mind, I expect we will be doing more online experiences and domestic tourism in the beginning. Potentially linking the two so that more people can do armchair international tourism. This may be a good thing, this may allow our destinations to heal and it may allow us to restrict the numbers so that more people in the long run can experience the wonders of the world. It may also mean we make the world accessible to people who couldn’t move as easily through the world before all this.

To further the conversation as we forge our future together, I am hosting and moderating two interesting events:

Sound Journey & Tech Q&A (Virtual Retreat Demo) – Hosted by YouLive to Travel, in partnership with Soundsmith Wurden. April 24th.

I’ll be experiencing a virtual sound journey for the first time and then interviewing Chris to understand how he’s running his virtual retreats while he cannot connect in person.

Implementing Travel Tech for the Recovery – Hosted by General Assembly, in partnership with Rezdy. April 30th.

I’ll be moderating an excellent panel that includes the OTA, reservation system and operator perspectives.

LIMITED TIME OFFER

If you are ready to focus your free time on preparing for the rebound, we have the FUTURE READY package available for a limited time. Get US$100/month worth of value for only $5/month – lock in the savings while you still can. Get started for FREE, and upgrade when you’re ready, but don’t wait too long, the rebound is coming…

Future ready package
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Jen Fein
Jen Fein
After years of building digital products as an engineer and product manager for others in America and Asia, Jennifer Fein is now determined to make software that empowers passionate people to create unique group travel businesses. She met her co-founder Bron at a #shehacks event in Melbourne, Australia. Together they are building YouLi, the best software to organize group trips. She is also the co-author of Ready to Start? Becoming an Entrepreneur in Australia.