It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again: the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event, is just around the corner.
The Tourism Australia event, to be held this year in Perth’s Convention and Exhibition Centre from 8 – 12 April, will be attended by around 1,500 Australian sellers from 550 companies, 650 key buyer delegates from over 30 countries and 70 international and Australian media.
Whether you’re a seasoned ATE veteran or a first-time attendee, we believe these top tips will help you to maximise your return on investment for the event in 2019.
1. Know why you’re going
It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a key one. Why are you attending ATE in 2019? Is it to connect with new markets, reconnect with existing partners, showcase new product? Are there any other people you want to meet with while you’re in Perth? These things are all worth a thought before you go.
2. Be organised
It’s no joking matter: ATE is busy. Planning carefully – well in advance – what you’ll need to take, how you’re going to get there and what you’re going to do once you get there, as well as preparing your appointment schedule, will prevent countless headaches and stressful moments once you’re there. Once you’re in Perth, get to the convention centre early, make sure your booth is set up how you want it, go over your plan of attack for the week and – of course – determine which State has the best coffee so that you can minimise running time in between appointments!
3. Know your markets
Who are your current target markets, and who do you want to attract in the future? Do you know what these markets are looking for, and how your product suits their needs? Do as much research as you can before you meet with a potential buyer, so that your conversations are focused, tailored and purposeful. Tourism Australia has some great resources that can help with this (see example below).
4. Get cultured
Relationship building at ATE often involves interacting with buyers from various cultures. Have you ever considered the power of learning just a few words of another language, to help break the ice and create a memorable experience with the buyers you’re meeting with? We suggest common phrases like hello, welcome, how are you and thank you are probably more appropriate and useful than I’d like a beer, please (keep that one for the networking sessions).
5. Tailor your networking
Let’s face it – the time you have between buyer and seller appointments can be extremely limited, and after repeating the same 15-minute spiel 25 times a day, it can be seem like an effort to wander off and network. We suggest prioritising finding other members of the Ecotourism Australia tribe and catching up on what’s happening in the ecotourism world – it’s a world driven strongly by passionate people who likely share your values, so you may find yourself carried off in all sorts of wonderful, inspiring conversations over lunch!
6. Take the opportunity to stay up to date
This year, Ecotourism Australia will be attending ATE as a Buyer only. Our CEO Rod and Communications and Audit Manager Lina look forward to catching up with you in Perth to:
- Better understand the key issues your business is facing, so that we can represent your needs to our industry partners,
- Update you on how we’re ensuring you stay ahead of the game through things like revising our certification criteria to meet scientific and market demand, growing the business case for sustainable tourism and taking climate action seriously
- Share the key trends, topics and discussions that we’re seeing in our industry to reassure you that what you’re doing is making a difference
If you haven’t already, do make sure you lock in an appointment with us, as we’d love to check in with you and see how we can add even more value to your Ecotourism Australia membership.
Do you have any tips on how to make the most of your attendance at ATE? Tell us in the comments below!
For a little extra help, check out these great resources:
- Tourism Australia | Tourism Export Toolkit
- Entrepreneur | 10 Questions to Ask When Preparing for a Trade Show
- Small Business Trends | How To Use Social Media To Make An Impact At Your Next Trade Show
See you in Perth in 6 weeks!