What does "Networking" really mean?

What does "Networking" really mean?
Networking… it is a word that we have all heard before. The question is, what does it truly mean? Is it meeting new people? Is it attending travel agent shows? How does it benefit an agent in the long run? These are all questions that are important for a travel agent to know. Networking is one of the key aspects in business and ultimately what brings agents success within the travel industry. Here we breakdown how to easily network and grow your business into two easy steps.
  1. Attend events and collect contact information
Have you ever heard the saying “Business is all about the people that you know?” Well, as an agent you can grow your business just by attending events and connecting with other agents and consumers. By growing your network pool, then you allow yourself the opportunity to learn more from others and increase your chances to be invited to future events and social gatherings.

When attending events, there are a lot of workshops, booths, people, and it can be a bit overwhelming at times. Therefore, it is important to set a goal before you step foot into the convention center or event space. You need to know your WHY and WHAT. Why are you there and what do you hope to get from this experience? Is it that you want to leave with 100 potential new consumers interested in booking or maybe there is a potential agency that you want to talk to and create a partnership with? This ultimately ensures that your time and money is spent wisely and is effective in the long run.

The number one most important thing while attending events is to collect the contact information of all the new people that you meet. Now we aren’t saying that you should walk around and grab every business card. This will just create more work for you later and will be difficult to filter what are valuable leads vs. those that aren’t. Instead, ask for the contact information of those agents or consumers that you know could grow your business and that you had meaningful conversations with.

After the event, you should organize your cards by priority. Those leads that are more critical/need to be contacted right away should be put at the top, while others should be saved for a later date. By having an idea in your head of the contacts that are most beneficial for you and your business, then you will be able to focus on the HOW aspect of events. How are you going to continue the relationship? You should follow-up with your contacts through email or a handwritten card thanking them for their time. You should also include something that you are excited about or reflect on a topic that you discussed at the event. For example, “It was a pleasure meeting you last week. I enjoyed our conversation about Agent World and how we both think it is a useful tool”. It is also beneficial to mention that you look forward to working with them in the future or proposing a follow-up meeting with your contact information.
Agent World USA has a calendar that lists upcoming events for agents here
  1. Have Social Media Accounts
In today’s times, it is critical to have social media accounts. Social media is ultimately where you are going to reach your consumers, maintain relationships with your current clients, and reach potential new clients. Everyday consumers compare prices and are looking for new experiences and new places to travel to. As a result, younger generations are turning to the internet and away from using travel agents. How can your business reach these audiences? First, you need to setup a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These are the four main social media platforms. There are also other platforms, such as Snapchat and Pinterest that agents can use. When setting up an account, you can either use a personal account or create a business account. Either one can work, but it is ultimately up to you and your company to decide. A personal account could appear more relatable to consumers and your current clients would be able to easily recognize you when sending them a friend request or inviting them to an event. However, a business account could appear more legitimate to new clients who have never heard of you or your company before. They have to feel a sense of trust with who they are communicating with, so a business account or even a specific Facebook page for your business could provide the clarity and trust that they are looking for.

The next key aspect of social media accounts is staying active. A lot of businesses create accounts and will only post once every three months or do not stay engaged with their users. To stay active and engaged means that you are posting at least one a week, interacting with users by liking their posts, commenting, sharing similar posts, etc. In order to truly build up your network on social media, you need to be a company that is memorable and is willing to communicate with others. It is a good idea to setup a plan for your social media accounts. Determine how often you are going to post, what content you are going to focus on, how you plan to market your social media accounts, and how you are going to create a community.

Agent World USA has social media accounts, and we would love to connect with you!

There are many other ways to also network and continue to expand your connections. These two steps are an easy place to start to build a community of dedicated clients.
We would love to hear of any tips/tricks that you have for networking! Please feel free to email