Last January, cool coach Andrea Duarte visited the Vakantiebeurs in the Netherlands to coach the market information department of the Nicaraguan Institute for Tourism (INTUR) on how to do market research on a trade event. Below she reveals 7 tips that helped INTUR deliver a high quality market research report after their coaching session at the Vakantiebeurs.
- Research plan: good preparation is vital. Therefore make sure that you have set up a good research plan with concrete objectives before departure.
- Focus: select 2 or 3 specific tourism products and markets to focus on.
- Schedule appointments: product managers are very busy during trade events. Therefore try to schedule pre-appointments with product managers of tour operators 4-6 weeks in advance. Do not forget to use your network. Is there somebody in your network that can introduce you to interesting tour operators?
- Sales pitch: make sure that you have a captive introduction that invites people to continue speaking to you.
- Ask for details: do not settle with the first response but keep asking for details: what is the impact, what are the future expectations and what are possible considerations for action?
- Seminars: check seminars. Trade events often offer (free) seminars where insights are given in the latest trends. Furthermore, seminars are also an important place for networking.
- Competitor observation: observe stands of competitors. You can learn a lot from their product offering, stand presentation and promotional activities.