As storm Imogen battered Britain and Ireland, TrekkSoft made its way to London for the first Travel Massive event of 2016. I was glad to be there to represent another first: TrekkSoft exclusively sponsoring the event.
We recognise the impact Travel Massive has had in bringing the travel industry together to share battle stories and network in a relaxed setting. We thought this was an ideal opportunity to introduce ourselves to the UK market and more importantly, to meet as many people in the industry as possible.
We met some fantastic people that night, in what proved to be a highly diverse audience, comprising travel bloggers, tour operators and travel startup entrepreneurs. The theme of the night was business development. The goal: to increase our brand awareness amongst the travel community by highlighting some unique aspects about our company.
Before the event, we wrote a couple of blog post sharing some of the amazing things about our company: our story and our team. We’re young, international and located in Europe’s adventure Mecca of Interlaken, Switzerland. Not your average software company.
We brought along some goodies for the crowd too: some TrekkSoft hoodies, 50% off one of our top plans (worth over $1,000) and a canyoning trip in Interlaken. Oh, and the prize winner is Paul Stafford from Travel Mag.
In any networking environment you have to be prepared for the unexpected, be willing to open yourself up to meeting new people and be open to learning new ideas. For a while now I’ve looked at Snapchat with a degree of suspicion. I wasn’t quite sure exactly what it was and if I’m honest, I felt a bit out of touch with it.
The co-organiser of the London Travel Massive, Alicia Drewnicki, is a certified Snapchat diva. She put together a competition for a TrekkSoft hoodie faster than you could say “SNAP” and instantly has people engaging around the world. Very powerful.
While it is important to be relaxed and natural at any networking event, that doesn’t mean we can’t be prepared. At TrekkSoft we try to do as much detailed prep as possible in advance of an event. I thought I'd share how we do it at Trekksoft.
Follow these steps to ensure you make the most of your next networking event:
- Create an event planning board in Trello
- Set up a specific landing page or “book me” tool such as calendly. CRMs such as Hubspot also include these features.
- If there is an attendee list, search for who you would like to talk to, find them on Linkedin and try to connect with them beforehand. It’s a great ice breaker and they will appreciate the personal touch.
- Business cards, you need to have a strategy for business cards - collecting them and deciding what to do with them after the event. For the most part, we use apps to scan and store them. It makes it easier to retrieve information later on too.
- Follow ups: make sure to follow up by email and by phone if possible. What’s the point in all that effort and planning if you don’t follow through? Suggested tips: use mail merges to quickly send out personalised emails to a lot of people. You could use apps like Streak or Boomerang to help you out. Alternatively, you could create a sequence of emails to follow up, or add your new contacts into an existing sequence.
Finally, now that the event is over, here's what we're looking forward to:
Since Travel Massive London was a fantastic way to introduce TrekkSoft to the UK market, we don't want it to end there. We have a number of meet and greets planned around the country and beyond. So keep an eye on our events page for an event near you or subscribe to our blog to keep up to date with the latest trends in travel marketing.
Interested in joining our next networking event? Check out our calendar here!