Trade marketing body outlines plans for year ahead. Juliet Dennis reports
Tipto hopes to broaden its reach and hold more solus events for travel agencies as it marks its 25th year.
Chairman Richard Forde has revealed plans to hold SuperShows, hosting around 100 agents, in Cardiff and Southampton for the first time.
The trade marketing body is also set to return to Scotland and Northern Ireland, said Forde, with the hope of making these locations permanent fixtures for Face2Face roadshows in future.
In total the marketing organisation plans to hold 25 roadshows in the first half of 2024, out of a total 36 for its 25th year, which started in September 2023 and runs until the end of August 2024.
Other additional events include its annual afternoon tea, held this week, summer VIP events, and a Chairman’s Lunch in July, a special event to mark its anniversary. This will host up to 80 delegates, including previous chairs of the past 25 years and winners of the Tipto Agent of the Year award.
There will be three SuperShows and 22 Face2Face roadshows between February and June, including Dundee on February 29 and Belfast on April 18.
Forde said: “One of the main aims was to make it a core element that we always go to Scotland and to Northern Ireland for our Face2Face roadshows, rather than it being optional. Even if there are fewer agents it’s still worth going – it’s quality rather than quantity.
“With the SuperShows we have new events in Cardiff and Southampton coming up; we want to try out different areas.”
Forde said Tipto was also keen to host more solus roadshows, held exclusively for staff of one agency group. A solus event has already been held for Althams Travel and one is scheduled for Travel House in Swansea on February 7.
“We would like to do more of these in future. We are open to conversations with other similar-sized groups if they are interested,” he said.
Homeworker numbers rise at Tipto events
More homeworkers than ever are attending Tipto events.
The trade marketing body’s events have attracted more than 630 agents since September, with an average attendance of 58 agents per event, of whom 58% have been new to Tipto and almost half, 49%, homeworkers – up from 45% the previous year.
The increasing popularity of its events means it is essential that agents cancel in advance if they cannot attend as planned, stressed Forde.
“We have a waiting list for every event and it’s so frustrating if we have no-shows on the day,” he said.
The marketing organisation is at capacity in terms of suppliers, with 25 members, including six new for its 25th year: Ambassador Cruise Line, DriveAway, JG Travel Group, Red Sea Holidays, USAirtours and Yalago.
Other suppliers are already keen to join for Tipto’s 26th year, from September, he added, but there are no plans to have more than 25 overall as this would mean more roadshows and higher costs for suppliers at a time of stretched resources.
Tipto Roadshows, 2024