WHY IT RATES: Repeat attendees reported an increase in business shortly after the Pivot & Prosper event. —Codie Liermann, editor-in-chief
Denise Canon, owner of Kansas City-based travel agency Travel Concepts, hosted her second intimate travel agent retreat in early May in Cancun, Mexico. Hosted at the Grand at Moon Palace and Sun Palace Resorts, the five-day Pivot & Prosper II retreat focused on affirming foundational business and marketing skills, cultivating a resilient mindset and creating a community of successful travel professionals.
Canon founded his agency over 25 years ago and has grown it through life-changing events like September 11. She attributes her longevity and growth (she now has eight CIs and two employees who generate $ 5 million in annual sales) to knowing how to run a business effectively and meet challenges creatively.
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“Knowing how to travel is not enough,” Canon said. “To be successful as an agent today, you need a solid business foundation, from executing a clear marketing plan to ensuring all your legal ducks are aligned. And as last year showed us, you also need to be nimble in the face of adversity – which is why this retreat focused on developing a creative mindset and empowering swing.
The Pivot & Prosper II retreat followed a retreat hosted by Canon in November 2020, which was well received by the officers in attendance. This first retreat revealed how hungry agents were to connect with their peers and work on their businesses. Canon therefore quickly organized a second event to capitalize on the momentum. In fact, almost half of the attendees at the May event attended the first Pivot & Prosper retreat.
One of the repeat attendees was Sarah Key, owner of The Keys of Travel, who credits participation in the retreats to her business boom. “Attending the first event in November 2020 helped jumpstart my business after a difficult year,” Key said. “I had the best 3 months of activity after this event, and I know for a fact that it was thanks to the inspiration and knowledge I gained from everyone at Pivot & Prosper retirement. It is an invaluable event for travel counselors who wish to develop personally and professionally.
In addition to intimate networking opportunities and exclusive site visits, Canon also used subject matter experts to strategize with attendees in targeted workshop sessions. Misty Percifield, a lawyer at Ment Law Group, explained how agents could shore up their contracts to protect themselves and their clients, especially in the uncertain post-COVID travel environment. She was particularly impressed with the caliber of officers who attended the event.
“This was my second time attending and presenting at a Pivot and Prosper event, and each time it was an amazing experience,” said Percifield. “Participants are always eager to learn from each other and from all available professionals. Because the size of the group is elitist, I appreciated being able to cultivate excellent relationships with all the participants involved. Spending time with others in the industry is a great way to grow your business and these retreats do! “
Canon also invited Emily Matras from Bon Vivant Copy, a content writing and marketing studio for travel professionals, to share strategies on creating effective messages that powerfully engage ideal customers.
“I’m so glad Denise has hosted this event now, as now is the perfect time for agents to revisit their messaging and position themselves as the go-to experts for the upcoming travel boom,” said Matras. “The grueling past year has given many agents time to think about who they really want to serve in their travel businesses. I was excited to be able to teach attendees how to target their marketing messages to their dream customers in an authentic and engaging way.
After the success of the first and second Pivot & Prosper retreats, Canon is already planning a third event for the end of the year; she is aiming for mid-November for the next retreat.
To see a recap and overview of the Pivot & Prosper II retreat program, visit https://travelconceptskc.com/pivot-and-prosper/.
THE SOURCE: Travel Concepts press release.