Gallery: ITE Conference

The Travel Network Group held its annual conference for its homeworking division, Independent Travel Experts (ITE) in London. Amie Keeley reports.

ITE offered free pop-ups

Members of The Travel Network Group’s homeworking division are being offered the chance to set up pop-up shops in major retail centres as it celebrates a record year.

Independent Travel Experts (ITE) will be supplied with free stands and marketing collateral to set up stalls in shopping centres such as Bluewater and Lakeside, Essex, as well as at centres in Portsmouth and Manchester.

Group membership services director Lisa Henning said its homeworkers had been requesting pop-up shops in the past year.

Members have to apply for a spot, with slots booked every Saturday and Sunday throughout January and February.

The announcement was made at the group’s annual one-day conference on the Sunborn London Yacht Hotel on the Thames last week, where Henning updated members on the division’s performance and announced next year’s event would be held overseas for the first time.

“Five years ago we were in one room in Birmingham,” she said.

“This year you have had the most phenomenal year so it’s important for us to find a location that reflects the group’s success.”

ITE welcomed 38 members this year, taking the total to 120.
Turnover from July 2017 to June 2018 was in excess of £20 million and passenger numbers rose 25%.

Two members will achieve turnover of £1 million each by the end of the year, with three turning over more than £750,000 and six more than £500,000. A total of 31 bookings across the group had a value of more than £20,000 each.

Performance levels were introduced this year with agents able to achieve bronze, silver, gold and platinum status.

As a thank you for their hard work, Henning announced each member would receive 1% extra commission throughout December, which will be paid in January.

Cruise ambassadors will also be introduced next year. They will receive additional training, funding and marketing support to grow cruise sales.

New CRM offers ‘360 degree’ view of client data

The Travel Network Group has rolled out a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to its homeworkers which offers a ‘360 degree’ view of client data.

The new platform was launched at the end of November for its Independent Travel Experts division allows members to build customer profiles, attach bookings, make payments and download quotes.

The site, designed specifically for ITE, is one of a number of new developments to be introduced this year.

The group has also recruited on the road business development managers and a dedicated marketing manager, introduced cluster meetings and a mystery shop service.

The group also held a gala dinner and honoured its best-performing members in an awards ceremony.

Winners

Newcomer of the Year – Chloe Anderton
Entrepreneur of the Year – Emma Westwood
Biggest Growth Year on Year – Kathy Kay
Most Supportive Homeworker – Lauren Jackson-Heath
Extra Mile Award – Marios Constantas
Institute of Customer Service Award – Leanne Moore
Business Development Manager – Pat Curtis & Steve Evans
Team of the Year – Team Steve
Outstanding Contribution – Wendy Plant
Homeworker of the Year – Tracy Pocock
Outstanding Excellence – Claire Body

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