5 Ways for Travel Agents to Ride Out the Slow Season
Travelers are just returning from their summer getaways and getting kiddos are getting settled into their back-to-school routines. Temperatures will soon drop, and along with that you might see a temporary decrease in the number of client inquiries. Depending on your niche, fall can be a slower season for agents, and it’s the perfect time to infuse your marketing plan with some new ideas!
Whenever your slow season is, we have a few tips to help you out. Turns out, there are more productive ways to bide your time than watching your phone and refreshing your email every five minutes while you chew your nails to the quick. Read on and let your worries go on vacation!
1. Build up Your Website:
Travel Weekly reported in a recent Travel Consumer Survey that 47% of consumers said they found their agent online, and even clients who get referrals are likely check out the agent's site. There’s no better time than your slow season to take inventory of your website. This is a good time to customize your site and make sure it’s up to snuff. If you already have a site and just want a few bells and whistles, we have a few resources for that, too:
- 6 Places to find free images for your website: Yes please!
- Free Forms for Travel Agents: These embeddable forms can be customized to your agency in less than 5 minutes. They’ll help you easily identify your clients’ interests, make sure you haven’t overlooked any details (very very important details). Put in a little time now to save a ton of time (and potentially heartache) over the long haul.
And this brings us to your social media presence . . .
2. Social Media:
There is no better way to kill time. Though your agency’s social media posts may not always directly translate into sales, a social media presence is a must to give a little boost to your branding and help clients get to know you. This article gives a hard look at your social media and explores where you can find your clientele.
3. Trade Shows/ Conferences
Slow-going times for travel agents means peak season for trade shows and conferences. They’re a great way to network and keep updated on the industry’s latest. At a loss for what’s going on? Here are a few events around the bend to check out!
- Sept. 25th-28th: ASTA Global Convention, Reno Tahoe
- Oct. 2-5: Travel Agent Forum (CCRA), Miami
- Oct. 6-7: ARC TravelConnect
- Nov. 3rd-9th: NACTA 2016 Conference
It just so happens that we have a newly-minted article about how to get the most mileage out of your participation at a trade show or conference, so you can read up about how to maximize your time. Also, several hosts have national meetings during this time (check in with your host to see if they have one).
4. Developing a Work Community:
Networking doesn’t have to be scary. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be done face to face. Slow times are a good excuse to branch out, develop a new skill that might sharpen your marketing and meet new people.
This article has a few tips and tricks to help you boost your work community so you don’t have to feel like you’re all by your lonesome. That way if you begin to flounder in the high season (or low season), you’ll have built-in supports.
5. Go on Vacation
Oh the joys of working in the travel industry! When you travel, any trip is an opportunity for career development. An important part of a travel professional’s job is to stay ahead of the next traveling trend—whether your goal is to recharge, research a destination you’ve never visited, or join a FAM trip. (Don’t forget to relax, too!) And if you’re doing inspections or making connections on your trip, remember you can write off your travel expenses for your taxes. Just don’t forget to pay those estimated taxes every April, June, September, and January!
Doing this prep will help you jump-start your biz when it begins to pick back up again. How do you bide your time in the slow season? Share in the comments below!