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on my mind ❖

On My Mind jeff gayduk

❖ jeff gayduk

Refilling the Funnel

Vol. 21, No. 5 October 2011 Editorial & Advertising Office

621 Plainfield Road, Suite 406 Willowbrook, IL 60527 P 630.794.0696 • F 630.794.0652 info@ptmgroups.com

Publisher – Jeffrey Gayduk jeff@ptmgroups.com

Managing Editor – Randy Mink

randy@ptmgroups.com

Senior Editor – John Kloster john@ptmgroups.com

I LOVE THIS INDUSTRY, but these are trying times. We’re faced with an aging traveler base, negative public perception about group tours and limited resources to tell our story. At industry trade shows we talk to the same group of people about the same book of business. Unless things change we’re either going bankrupt or will die from boredom. No doubt you’ve seen a healthy turnover in your clients. Some might be resigned to their fate, or happy to keep milking the same cow. Patience has never been one of my virtues and I’m not willing to sit back and hope things change. It’s our responsibility as guardians of the industry to ensure that there is a next generation. It is my supposition that by educating potential group leaders, our industry can refill the funnel of new groups. Luckily the fundamentals of our industry are strong. For example: 1) There are people who naturally want others to do the work for them and will gladly pay to be entertained. Since there are others who are naturally born to lead, we call this Follow the Leader. 2) There are people who love travel for a cause because it is both enjoyable and charitable. Call it Follow your Heart. 3) There are those who understand that traveling with friends is a better way to experience a destination and that memories created by togethering last a lifetime. Call this Follow your Friends. The challenge before us is how to bring potential new groups to the table. ATTENDING GROUP UNIVERSITY We started GroupUniversity.com in 4 October 2011

2007 as a place to sell our how-to guides and e-books. In 2010 it was re-launched as an e-commerce site with a dozen niche group travel planning guides and e-books, all about group travel. We are now building Group University into an educational portal for the group travel industry. We are providing free tools to anyone who visits the site. We are beefing up our niche planning guides to become inclusive “kits” with everything you need to plan and deliver trips. Also, look for a series of Special Reports/ Whitepapers on topics ranging from creating itineraries to website design to a comprehensive series of starter guides that will help you develop niche group business. We are also creating a rich Social Media platform around Group University to help spread the “Gospel of Group Travel.” Our lofty goal here is to grow the industry, recruit new group leaders and help those who already have groups do better. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, Group University will take time. We need your help in spreading the word. Share this with colleagues, by phone, fax, email, Facebook, Twitter or Pony Express – whatever your preferred method. Start by visiting www.GroupUniversity.com or find us on Facebook @ Group University. The next generation starts now, and education is our key to success. Here’s to the next 20 years!

Senior Editor – Elana Andersen elana@ptmgroups.com

Senior Editor – Dave Bodle dave@ptmgroups.com

Senior Editor – Carol Smith carols.csmith@gmail.com

Director, Design & Production – Robert Wyszkowski rob@ptmgroups.com

Director of Sales

Theresa O’Rourke P 630.794.0696 • F 630.794.0652 theresa@ptmgroups.com

Regional Sales Managers Illinois – Jim McCurdy

P 630.794.0696 • F 630.794.0652 jim@ptmgroups.com

Northeast & Eastern Midwest/Canada – Amy Janssens P 630.294.0318 • F 630.794.0652 amy@ptmgroups.com

Mid Atlantic – Ellen Klesta

P 630.794.0696 • F 630.794.0652 ellen@ptmgroups.com

Southeast/West Coast – Cheryl Rash

P 563.613.3068 • F 815.225.5274 cheryl@ptmgroups.com

Southern – Dolores Ridout P/F 281.762.9546 dolores@ptmgroups.com Florida & Caribbean – Prof Inc. P 813.286.8299 • F 813.287.0651 jimg@ptmgroups.com The publisher accepts unsolicited editorial matter, as well as advertising, but assumes no responsibility for statements made by advertisers or contributors. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information published, but the publisher makes no warranty that listings are free of error. The publisher is not responsible for the return of unsolicited photos, slides or manuscripts.

Leisure Group Travel (ISSN-1531-1406) is published bi-monthly by Premier Tourism Marketing, Inc. 621 Plainfield Road, Suite 406, Willowbrook, IL 60527. The magazine is distributed free of charge to qualified tour operators, travel agents, group leaders, bank travel clubs and other travel organizations. Other travel-related suppliers may subscribe at the reduced rate of $12.00 per year. The regular subscription price for all others is $18.00 per year. Single copies are $4.95 each.

Send Address Change to:

Premier Tourism Marketing, Inc. P.O. Box 609, Palos Heights, IL 60463

Jeff Gayduk, Publisher jeff@ptmgroups.com

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All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher. LeisureGroupTravel.com


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Discover one of Virginia’s favorite group travel attractions! The World’s Largest Candle Store, The World’s Greatest Christmas Shop and Yankee Candle™ Home, all under one roof! Yankee CandleŽ Flagship is more than just a store. It is always snowing in Holiday Park and visit with Santa in his Toy Shop! Hickory, Dickory & Doc, our animatronic band, will entertain your group in the Town Square. Mrs. Claus’ Bakery & Cafe offers an assortment of coffees, teas and tantalizing treats for dessert as well as an array of lighter fare. There is something fun for everyone! Group Tour Contact Information: Call 1-877-616-6510 or Email us at bhuss@yankeecandle.com.

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On My Mind