Over the past year, my co-founders and I have been developing a new conference for a segment of the travel industry that has long been underserved: day tours, activities and attractions (basically all the stuff travelers do when they get to their destination).
From the outset, the opportunity seemed clear:
- It’s a huge market with hundreds of thousands of suppliers worldwide
- There is enormous digital change sweeping that sector of travel
- There is no event that provides education, networking and inspiration so that these suppliers can embrace and capitalize on that change
But two things seemed less clear: would suppliers come, and would they pay?
So, what the heck should we charge for an attendee ticket?
There are lots of usual things we could do to figure this out:
- Research other conferences in travel and related sectors to gauge pricing for comparable events.
- Survey suppliers and ask them what they might be willing to pay.
- Talk to scores of industry veterans who know this sector.
We did all that, but we still weren’t sure. So we looked closely at what was at the heart of our uncertainty: the vast majority of suppliers in the Tours & Activities sector (as it is known in the travel industry) are small businesses – many even individual proprietors. They do less than $250,000 a year in gross sales. They don’t travel on expense accounts. They are the backbone of this industry. They want to create amazing experiences for travelers in destination.
So we all agreed it should come down to this: let’s pick a fun location and venue and set a price point that will enable suppliers to attend the event, including travel expenses, for at or near $1000.
So here’s what we did:
- Our conference (Arival) will be in Vegas (yeah baby!), a low-cost destination for the majority of travelers.
- It’s at a really hip, recently refurbished but affordable hotel on the Strip (The LINQ).
- And our early-bird pricing is incredibly low. You can check out the Arival Event Pricing here.
So how are we doing it? Well, we won’t be able to provide our attendees with fancy gift bags like TED, and we won’t have three-course sit-down lunches (along with the usual boring speeches at industry conferences). But don’t worry attendees – we will feed you!
One more thing: we are NOT selling speaking slots. That’s right. Just because you sponsor doesn’t mean you get to speak in the Theater. That’s a sure-fire recipe for a poor attendee experience.
So what can Arival attendees expect?
- Relevant, powerful talks from great speakers – all of whom are industry experts and leaders who are having a big impact on tours and activities. They are donating their time to move the industry forward (check back for speaker announcements coming soon).
- Awesome hands-on workshops to guide tour and activity companies to digital marketing and sales success.
And we’re going to have a lot of fun, too, including – what else – unique experiences before, during and after the event itself. So if you’re involved in or curious about travel’s third-largest segment, join us at Arival. It’s going to be awesome – and affordable.
See you in Vegas!