Written By; Andi Mysza , Senior Vice President, CTM North America, Head of Allure Travel by CTM and MTravel Hosting Services
Everybody loves a good shortcut. Whether you’re brand spanking new to the travel industry or an experienced veteran, who wouldn’t want the fast-track to profitability? But I’ll let you in on a secret that’s going to save you a lot of grief as you grow as a travel professional: to be achieve financial success, keep learning.
I can speak to this topic on a personal level. Decades ago, my parents bought Montrose Travel, and I cut my career teeth on everything from sorting brochures all the way up to becoming co-owner with my brother and sister-in-law. We quickly learned that to stay competitive in a time of internet booking, slashed commissions, mega-agencies and economic depression we couldn’t sit on our intellectual haunches. That meant constantly asking ourselves: What can we do better? How can we adapt to changing travel habits? What hard choices can we make now that will pay off later?
Get A Host Agency That Can Do Both
At MTravel, we are fierce advocates for ongoing learning—it’s the attitude that has helped us transform a small mom-and-pop travel agency to a multi-million powerhouse today. That learning involves two key components: practical development and personal development.
Practical development includes learning fun new stuff: streamlining your e-marketing, mastering key booking tools, experiencing and documenting the hottest new destination. Personal development channels the power of people: the bond forged with your preferred suppliers, the trust built with your host agency, the wisdom gleaned from your fellow travel professionals. Together, these components enrich your knowledge, minimize mistakes and protect you from falling a step (or two) behind your competitors. Partnering with a progressive host agency like MTravel provides ample opportunity for both.
Professional Development: It’s Different For Everyone, and That’s Okay
Variety is the spice of life! At MTravel, we’ve spent the last few decades observing how people learn and thrive as travel agency owners. Based on extensive feedback from our independent travel professionals, we’ve finessed our professional development programs down to a fine science to blend those two components—and our latest offerings are our best yet.
For Face-to-Face Learners: Jump Start LIVE!
Starting your own business is a serious undertaking. MTravel’s award-winning Jump Start Series began as a live webinar series designed for the beginner agent to help break up the process into bite-sized pieces. At the end of a month, graduates were ready to take on the world, fueled with enough knowledge to curate travel with confidence.
But not everyone learns best in front of a screen. To help, we created a face-to-face extension of our popular Jump Start Series, perfect for both new agents as well as those looking for a caffeine jolt for their business. This 3-day bootcamp style professional development covers crucial elements like how to develop your agency brand, top booking techniques for air, hotel, cruise, vacation packages and insurance, best practices for accounting, workshops, open Q&A forums and more. We also create bonding experiences with a cocktail hour, mini-trade show and farewell dinner to give you maximum networking time with your peers and preferred suppliers.
Like in 2017, we are looking to offer Jump Start Live twice this year. The first session will be hosted at our headquarters in beautiful Montrose, California just around the corner on March 9th-11th. Later this year, Jump Start Live will be heading on the road and becoming a perfect companion for our Annual Education Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
The proof of success is in the feedback. “The event was very informative, very organized and a great opportunity to network with suppliers and colleagues,” said 2017 attendee Sheena Dersidan of IAMSHEGLOBAL. “I appreciate all the hard work and effort that went into the weekend and it only reconfirmed that I made the right decision in joining M Travel. Everyone goes above and beyond for our success.” We couldn’t have put it better.
For the Tech-Challenged: MTech Academy
MTravel’s MTech Academy is our newest, stripped-down approach to helping travel professionals get comfy with technology. In partnership with Virtuoso, the nation’s leading travel consortium, this in-person event eliminates distractions and zeroes in on the best tools and programs to manage your travel business. Our intimate sessions demystify travel technology with critical workshops on affordable cloud-based business tools, social media advertising, digital marketing technology and an exclusive professional development session at Virtuoso’s own headquarters in Ft. Worth, Texas. We will even unlock the secrets of Agent Connex 2.0, our revamped proprietary back office portal coming later this year. Attendees leave refreshed, equipped and more tech-efficient than ever. MTech Academy will take place May 4 – 6, 2018 in the Virtuoso Headquarters office in Fort Worth, TX.
For Those Hungry for More: Annual Educational Conference This is our masterstroke, the most
rated event among our independent travel professionals. Held in a new destination every year, this 5-day conference represents the turning point for many travel professionals; the event that transforms the course of their career and forges lifelong friendships.
This year’s event, “Rise Above,” will change gears and offer two different educational tracks, one focusing on the basics for our newer independent travel professionals and the other honing in on assisting our experienced veterans learn more advanced selling techniques. Best-in-class professional development sessions, supplier focused workshops and intimate roundtables are coupled with plenty of time to explore Atlanta and the innerworkings of our conference host, Delta Vacations. Hailed as “invaluable,” “motivational,” and a “must-do” by our attendees, the Annual Educational Conference is the reigning king of ongoing learning for savvy travel professionals. Join us October 18th-22nd, registration is already open for all MTravel agents.
Professional Development = The Shortcut to Success
When it comes to professional development, having the right host agency partner is critical. MTravel represents the biggest shortcut to success by supplying built-in opportunities to fast track your practical and personal development in the travel industry. With more than 40 years of hosting under our belt, rock-solid supplier relationships and the resources of a top-11 international travel company like Corporate Travel Management on our side, we’ve already done the hard work for you. So what part can you take to get that competitive edge?
All you need to do is carve out the time. Just like we make eating, sleeping, exercise and socializing part of a healthy lifestyle, we must nourish our businesses for a healthy bottom line. Dedicate time for taking online classes. Show up to networking events. Attend conferences. Meet your peers for coffee. Engage in regular calls with your host agency. Join the webinars. Participate in your peers’ online forum. No matter where you are on your travel journey, you are never too “fill in the blank” to stop learning. So take our hand and let’s jump together—the result will be a more confident, competent and profitable you.
Are you ready to start your independent travel business with MTravel? We are here to help! Contact us here or call us at 800-870-5799. Be sure to check out our website at www.MTravel.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.