This year, the CTN & CLIA Cruise Summit is all about preparing agents for a key selling period.
The event, called ‘Maximising for Wave’, takes place on 9 October, and will encompass everything marketing related, from SEO, PPC, social media, content and more.
With expert speakers, specialising in different areas of the industry, attendees will get key insights into how they can grow their brand offering and therefore reach more people.
In the build-up to the event, we speak to P&O Cruises director of sales Ruth Venn and TikTok travel industry lead Hannah Bennett (pictured above), who will be providing expert analysis on the day.
How important is it for agents to prepare for wave as early as possible?
Even the most organised of us can experience the last few months of the year in a blur, with back-to school chaos, last minute half-term holiday bookings and Christmas getaways taking up what we generally expect to be a quieter period.
Try to carve out time ahead of the January and February rush to reflect on wave 2023. What went well, what could you build on and how can suppliers support you?
Plan any events sooner rather than later and, if you’re looking for suppliers to attend, send your invites out now.
What are your key tips for agents over the coming months and into next year?
Knowledge is power. Take advantage of the significant amount of training and experiences available to learn more about the products you’re selling.
For example, on our newest ship Arvia there are unique experiences for guests to try including Mission Control (P&O Cruises’ first multi-sensory immersive submarine simulation game), Green & Co feat. Mizuhana, or exclusive new stage show, Greatest Days – The Official Take That Musical.
Why are events such as the Cruise Summit important?
The summit is the perfect opportunity to hear first-hand from industry experts and to bolster your black book with in-person networking opportunities. Your team will thank you when you return with a host of top tips and insights to help them maximise their sales.
How important is TikTok to the future of travel and selling cruise?
Travel is a huge content theme on TikTok, now with more than200 billion video views for #travel.
Our community of 1 billion people is not just seeing this content passively, they watch it, with 47 per cent saying they give TikTok their full attention (significantly higher than other platforms) and they interact with it – with 37 per cent saving travel content on TikTok and 33 per cent sharing posts with friends.
How can people in cruise use tools such as TikTok to boost their business?
TikTok can be used to run an organic profile and/or for targeted paid activity. It’s easy to set up an organic profile for your business in the app and start posting.
As TikTok is powered by a content graph rather than a social graph, you don’t need thousands of followers to get traction on the platform, instead it is much more about the content you create and post.
What advice do you have for those with little social media experience?
Jumping straight into content experimentation on TikTok can be overwhelming and so I’d recommend taking a step back first to get an understanding of what travel conversations are most relevant to you and also how other brands and creators are showing up.