How to effectively promote your group travel program
Designing the perfect group travel program for your organization or institution is fun, but deciding on the itinerary is only part of the process. Once you’ve finalized the details, the next step is getting the word out. The key is to start early; by announcing the trip sooner rather than later, you give people time to plan their schedules and budgets, ensuring you recruit enough travelers. Here are 7 more useful tips to help you effectively promote your trip.
1. Perfect your elevator pitch
Before you start publicizing your travel program, familiarize yourself with the details of the trip and what makes it special or different. You don’t need a script, but it’s a good idea to know what to say when people ask why they should go. Be prepared to answer follow-up questions about the itinerary, logistics, and what the price does or doesn’t include.
2. Know your audience
Depending on your particular organization or institution, different methods of communication may be more effective than others. Is your audience tech-savvy or more old-fashioned? Do they all live nearby or are they spread out across the country? What’s their common, unifying interest? Keeping these factors in mind will help you tailor your approach to be more effective.
3. Don’t limit yourself
A multi-pronged approach to your communications will help you reach more people. Depending on your target audience, you could announce the trip via your newsletter, email listserv, a direct mail campaign, community calendars, social media, or your website or blog. Hang posters in your organization’s lobby, on your office door, at the local library, or in other high-traffic areas (with permission, of course). You might even consider distributing a press release or advertisement.
4. Tap into your network
Sometimes, word of mouth is still the best way to reach people. When travelers join your trip, encourage them to spread the news among their friends. If there are other organizations you regularly partner with or that have missions similar to yours, their members might also be interested in joining. Ask your contacts at these organizations if they’d be willing to publicize the trip to their audience.
5. Make it personal
In a blog post or on social media, share why you’re excited about this trip. Putting a more personal touch on your communications will help people envision what the experience will be like. If you’ve visited the destination before, include photos and anecdotes from your previous trip and what made it memorable. If you bring any special expertise or will be providing insight on a particular topic, it’s worth mentioning that as well.
6. Get some face time
Hosting an information session, either in person or online, can be one of the most effective ways to create excitement. A talk and slideshow will inspire people and get them talking. Incorporate beautiful photos, fun facts and trivia, and maybe even music from the destination. Familiarize yourself with the itinerary and be prepared to answer questions. Even if they do not sign up on the spot, the attendees are likely your best prospects to follow up with.
7. Create incentives
Consider offering an early enrollment discount to start your recruitment off on the right foot. This will help create urgency and encourage people not to delay in making a decision. Alternatively, you could offer early enrollees a small gift—ideally something that’s relevant to your organization or the travel program itself, like a book or travel gear—or offer to waive a single supplement or deposit fee.