Over my 16 years’ experience as a travel manager I consistently look forward to the end of the program, not necessarily because it is over and my job is done; but more so that I look forward to hearing the comments of the participants of the program and their joy in expressing it. “Thank you Deven, you and your staff did a wonderful job and we are so looking forward to next year’s trip” are the quotes that I am used to hearing. This makes me feel great in many ways not just that we orchestrated a flawless program but also that they were generally very happy with their Incentive Travel program. If the participants of the program are happy then, of course, my client is also happy which leads to a long-lasting relationship with them and their Incentive Travel programs.
When the economy went south in 2008 I never realized that it would have such a dramatic effect on our industry, but what I really didn’t know is the strain it put on companies relationships with their best customers and top salespeople. I found out that if there were not sales meeting or incentive trips then the time shared in building and maintaining relationships was lost and so was that strong bond. I have a client who told me that the few years they didn’t have a meeting they lost some very good customers to other companies because there was no time to strengthen those relationships in a personal setting.
The job of a Travel Planner is much more than coordinating transportation, arranging flights and ensuring the program operates smoothly. It really is a mix of all that and creating a lifelong experience for the participant, one that he/she may never have done themselves or were able to do themselves.
I love what I do!