There’s no doubt that Tourism Rendevous New Zealand (TRENZ) is a significant annual marketing opportunity for any small-medium tourism operator in New Zealand. The decision to invest in becoming an exhibitor to connect with those vital international agents can be a tough one for many as the upfront outlay and financial commitment can really make it a strain when revenues may be still be small, but can you afford not to?
I think the answer to that question will come down to answering a few things:
- Does your tourism product cater more for/rely on international visitors?
- Is your location/region strong for international visitors providing opportunity for your business to more easily attract these visitors?
- Can your business afford the outlay of attending TRENZ year after year not just as a one-off? (keep in mind you will need to budget $10,000+ per year for fees, booth and marketing collateral, travel and accommodation costs etc). To keep your TRENZ fees down considerably it’s worthwhile being a TIA member.
These are vital questions because
- TRENZ is all about creating opportunities and relationships with agents in the key international markets, and
- You can’t just go to TRENZ once and expect it will deliver the results you desire, it’s a year after year commitment (certainly for at least 5 years initially)
My advice would be:
- You can’t be half hearted about TRENZ, you need to either jump into it boots and all making it a significant part of your marketing strategy or don’t bother at all
- You have to be ready as a business to present yourself professionally with quality marketing material and be willing to offer famils to get agents experiencing what you have to offer
- If you do attend then it’s a must to have excellent follow up with each appointment after TRENZ – no follow up = no business
- Make it a focus to attend the social activities at TRENZ as they are a key networking opportunity. Often it’s the social occasions where the deals are done. If you can, tag along with more seasoned exhibitors from your region who may be able to introduce you to their agents too.
- Budget to attend consecutive years for at least 5+ years. After this you will find that your relationships with agents will become strong and it may be that you can then attend every 2nd year, or when you have new product to promote
If you are a seasoned TRENZ exhibitor feel free to comment adding more tips for new operators. For tourism operators considering attending TRENZ for the first time you can find more information here, or ask questions on this blog post.