October 28-31, 2019     Orlando, Florida

Orlando 2019 Workshops

Arival Workshops go deep and get specific to help drive your tour, activity or attraction business into our digital future, improve the guest experience and grow your business.

Arival Workshops are not sponsored. The Arival team carefully selects presenters based on their market knowledge to lead practical, hands-on sessions.

Arival Primers

Pre-conference workshops designed for operators new to travel tech and distribution or those looking for a refresher

New for Arival 2019, two pre-conference workshops to help you get a head start on key tech and distribution topics and make sure you get the most out of your Arival experience. These workshops are scheduled for Monday, Oct. 28, from 3:30-5:15pm.


Introduction to Travel Tech & Distribution

Presenter: Jason Hackett, President & Founder, Brier Katama

The travel industry and its tours and activities sector have more than their fair share of jargon. And the distribution landscape – all of the different types of partners and ways to connect with them – is complex. This workshop will go through the basics, cover the key terms and definitions, map out the key players and give you an essential overview of how distribution works. 

Who’s this for? Tour, activity and attraction operators new to travel tech and distribution, or those who’d like a refresher course to kick off their Arival experience.

How to Choose Your Booking Tech

There has been so much new tech coming into our sector. This is great for our industry, but with dozens of systems available, which one should you choose? How do you go about evaluating them? What features are most important? This workshop will help you build a plan for evaluating and implementing a technology platform to manage your tours and activities, your customer profiles, your bookings and more. Consider this a prep course to make the most out of the res tech company’s Demo Labs and the meetings you will have throughout the week. This session will help you will develop a process to identify what matters most to you, how you should short-list and evaluate new systems and the do’s and don’ts of the implementation process.

Who’s this for? Tour and activity operators considering new reservation system.

Arival Workshop Tracks


Growth & Distribution

Scaling Yourself: The Path to Growth for Small & Medium-Sized Operators

It’s the one question every operator eventually confronts: How do I grow? Add departures? Create new tours or activities? Expand to new destinations? And how do I fund it? When should I hire more employees? In this workshop, successful tour operator and growth coach Josh Oakes walks through his model to help you tackle those tough questions and take your business to the next level.

Who’s it for: Small and medium-sized tour, activity and attraction operators seeking guidance on growing their business.

Workshop Leader:
Josh Oakes, Co-founder, The Sunshine Tribe

Working with Online Travel Agencies (So It Works for You)

Like it or not, most of us have to work with them. Online travel agencies (OTAs) are growing rapidly and have big plans. So what’s your plan for them? This popular workshop walks through the essential topics to develop a smart and balanced distribution strategy, how to best work with different OTAs, and how to optimize your sales while avoiding over-dependence on any one distribution channel.

Who’s it for: Tour, activity and attraction operators currently working with or considering selling through OTAs or other third-party distribution channels.

Workshop Leader:
Ken Frohling, Global Head, Business Development, EatWith
Operator Perspectives: Jessica Rebstock, Director of Sales & Marketing at Skyline Sightseeing; more speakers to be announced

Grow Your Sales with Global Tour Resellers, Travel Agencies & Hotels

While online travel agencies (OTAs) get most of the attention, they still represent a small percentage of total global tour and activity sales. Traditional travel industry distribution channels remain an enormous source of potential customers. This workshop by travel industry veteran Jessica Rebstock provides the overview you need to understand the global travel trade, identify the right channels for your business, understand their expectations of tour and attraction suppliers, and learn how to market to them successfully.

Who’s it for: Tour, activity and attraction operators seeking to initiate or expand their sales through traditional and offline travel distribution channels.

Workshop Leader:
Jessica Rebstock, Director of Sales & Marketing at Skyline Sightseeing 

Winning the New Chinese Traveler

As the Chinese outbound travel market has grown, it has also matured. The early days of large groups with uniform travel wants has given way to much more diverse, tech-savvy and independent travelers seeking more unique experiences. This workshop from China’s leading digital marketing agency for travel tourism delves into this new generation of Chinese travelers, how to win them and how to serve them

Who’s it for: Operators seeking to capture the outbound Chinese travel market.

Workshop Leader:
Matt Grayson, President, Americas, Dragon Tail Interactive

Marketing, Bookings & Conversion

The Essential Marketing Stack

Jason Hackett is back with his signature workshop on the key ingredients every modern operator needs in our increasingly digital landscape. This workshop presents an overview of the key digital marketing channels and the types of tools essential to today’s successful tour and activity operator.

Who’s it for: Everyone seeking an overview of the digital marketing landscape for tours, activities and attractions.

Workshop Leader:
Jason Hackett, President & Founder, Brier Katama

How Google My Business is Changing the Marketing Landscape

Looking for free ways to promote your business on Google? Wondering where your organic website traffic has gone? Join us as we look at how technology is changing traveler behavior and how Google Travel is shifting the consumer-path-to-purchase. This workshop promises:

  • A deep understanding of how and where your business information is being surfaced throughout Google Travel
  • How to increase your visibility in search
  • How to drive a 35% increase in web visits
  • Increase conversions by 30% and increase reach 5x

And do all of this by actively managing your Google My Business profile. Carrie Koenig of Miles Partnership will review case studies that demonstrate how optimization of your Google My Business listing can increase phone calls, reservations and clicks, and cover the universe of audience insights available to you through Google My Business that can help inform your overall marketing approach.

Who’s it for: Any tour, activity and attraction operator that wants to improve their traffic and booking volume though Google.

Workshop Leader:
Angela Vaughn, Marketing & Operations Manager, Miles Partnership

Marketing Measurement: Tracking Your Ads to Drive Your Growth

There are more advertising channels, more ways for you to spend money to attract travelers than ever before. Which ones work best for your business? How well do you track them? In this critical workshop, you will walk through the essential tools and tactics every modern tour and activity marketer must understand and master: Google Analytics, conversion tracking, call tracking and more to help you assess which of your marketing efforts are delivering the most bang for your hard-earned buck.

Who’s it for: All tour, activity and attraction operators engaged in multi-channel marketing and advertising.

Workshop Leader:
Tom Kratsch, President & CEO, TRK Creative

Master Your Online Booking Funnel (and Grow Direct Sales)

The digital marketing funnel is only getting increasingly complex as more customers shop online, last minute and with more options than ever. Touching on search (paid and organic), social, display and the all-important landing page on your website, this workshop presents actionable approaches and best practices to help you connect the right customer with the best available tour or activity you have to offer. Led by the digital marketing leader behind Walks’ growth, this workshop is a must for any operator serious about growing their direct online sales.

Who’s it for: Tour, activity and attraction operators with active digital marketing campaigns and direct online booking websites.

Workshop Leader:
Róisín O’Sullivan, COO, Walks

This workshop will be repeated on Thursday morning. 

Facebook & Instagram: An Audience Targeting Masterclass

The social media and advertising giants Facebook and Instagram are becoming more and more important to trip planning—and thus to travel marketers. Their audience targeting tools offer powerful opportunities for operators of tours, activities and attractions to reach specific customer segments. This masterclass from social media specialist Sparkloft will review the essentials and best practices for mining these platforms and winning more customers.

Who’s it for: Tour, activity and attraction operators with active digital marketing campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.

Workshop Leader:
Martin Stoll, CEO, Sparkloft Media

How to Use User-generated Content to Reach Travelers and Drive Bookings

Every day, people are choosing where to travel and which tours to experience based on the visuals they see on social media. Learn how to use visual content to market your tour business, whether you are a two-person tour operator or a larger tour or attraction operator.

Who’s it for: All tour, activity and attraction operators

Workshop Leader:
Amrita Gurney, Vice President, Marketing, CrowdRiff

Email Marketing for Tours & Attractions: Advanced Tactics to Grow Direct Bookings

Presenter: Lesli Peterson, Owner, Sunstone Digital Marketing

This workshop delves into detail on how operators of tours, activities and attractions can supercharge one of their most important – and often overlooked –marketing channels: email. In this session you’ll learn proven tactics on how to grow your list, craft revenue-generating, personalized content, conduct A/B testing, measure results, leverage the power of email remarketing, and more. Dive deep with a detailed case study, offering actionable steps you can employ immediately.

Who’s this for? Operators that already conduct email marketing campaigns

Using Your Online Reviews to Drive Sales

Presenter: Kelsey Tonner, Founder, Be A Better Guide

This workshop will cover the biggest (and most costly!) mistakes to avoid when responding to your online reviews; data-driven insights on how often you should respond; The ‘Firehose Technique’ for driving more Facebook, Google and Yelp reviews (and why it is so effective); and proven tactics to manage your negative feedback.

Who’s this for? All tour, activity and attraction operators

Operations & Guest Experience

Get Your Pricing & Profits Right

Pricing your tour or activity is critical to attracting the right audience and ensuring you are profitable in a highly competitive landscape. But having the best price isn’t necessarily the lowest price. It’s about understanding your customers, the competition, and the ups and downs of demand. This workshop dives into pricing strategies and key techniques that will help you develop the best pricing for your tour or activity taking into account the competition, customers, fixed and variable costs, marketing, and distribution.

Who’s it for: All tour, activity and attraction operators

Workshop Leader:
Lukas C.C. Hempel, Founder & Managing Director, bookingkit

This workshop will be repeated on Thursday morning. 

Grow Your Profits with Dynamic Pricing & Revenue Management

Dynamic pricing and revenue management—making frequent pricing changes to optimize revenue and bookings—have been a mainstay of other travel sectors for years. Now, it’s beginning to take hold in tours, activities and attractions. This workshop, geared for ticketed attractions as well as larger tour and activity operators, walks through the fundamentals of revenue management, how to think about applying revenue management relative to the unique attributes of your business and how you can grow your sales, profits and predictability for your operation.

Who’s it for: Larger tour and attraction operators interested in dynamic pricing.

Workshop Leader:
Evan Reece, Co-founder & CEO, Liftopia

How Tour and Activity Companies Can Create New Culinary Experiences

This workshop explores how tour and activity operators that do not specialize in food and beverage experiences can introduce culinary elements to grow their business and enhance customer satisfaction. This session walks through the essentials of how to set up a culinary experience, and identifies key elements of culinary success. This workshop is geared toward non-culinary operators, and features case study examples of operators that have been successful introducing new culinary tours and extensions to their existing offerings.

Who’s it for: Tour, activity and attraction operators seeking to introduce or enhance food and beverage offerings.

Workshop Leader:
Jeremy Mitchell, CEO, EzTix

Making Groups Great: Mastering Group Dynamics for Your Tours

In this improv-based workshop, you’ll be up on our feet, physicalizing and practicing skills that help us create “group mind”. Every moment, even the smallest interaction, can be mined to cultivate a stronger connection to your guests. You’ll learn expert ways to harness the soft skills of personal interaction, including how to access authenticity fast, how to “Yes, And” your guests and a few tricks to help create first impressions that last a lifetime.

Who’s it for: Tour operators and group leaders.

Workshop Leader:
Margaret Hicks, Owner of Chicago Elevated Tours & Founder of the TourBoost, the Improv Workshop for Guides, Docents & Interpreters


How to Elevate Guest Experience: An Open Discussion

Join us for this moderated, open discussion on creative ways to wow and delight your customers. Come prepared to learn best practices from your fellow operators, plus share some of your own. Hosted by the founder of Be a Better Guide Project, come be inspired with examples from the wider tours and activity sector.

Who’s it for: Tour, activity and attraction operators of all types.

Workshop Leader:
Kelsey Tonner, Founder, Be A Better Guide

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