The Anatomy Of A Virtuoso Week Sale

First image...
The Resort at Paws Up, in Montana...

Networking and Selling

How an itinerary in Montana emerged from connections at Virtuoso Travel Week

... Brown and Bigda at an event ...
... and the Virtuoso Travel Week appointments.

Virtuoso Week is the largest single annual event in the luxury travel industry; in 2015, over 4,800 attendees – travel advisors and suppliers of travel experiences – gathered in Las Vegas for the event. (You can read more about it at the link in this paragraph.)

Ultimately, Virtuoso travel advisors at Virtuoso Travel Week are shopping for their traveler clients: what hotels, cruise lines, tour companies, and experiences will be best for those they work with? For the suppliers, they're trying to match their product to the right kind of traveler. These relationships play out across 4-minute Appointments (essentially a hybrid of networking and speed dating), 10-minute Sales Appointments (for longer discussions), and happy hours, dinners, and private parties.

If you've never been to/seen something like this in action, it might confuse you: how can a luxury hotel and a luxury travel advisor make an actual sale in a series of 4- and 10-minute meetings?

It actually happens every year, and 2015 was no different.

Betsey Brown is a St. Louis-based advisor with SmartFlyer; she was aware of The Resort at Paws Up (a Virtuoso hotel near Missoula, Montana) but hadn't booked much of it for her clients. She had met Drew Bigda, the Resort's Director of Sales, three years ago  – but they hadn't spoken much in that time frame.

"Virtuoso is all about relationships," says Betsey. "I met him years ago but we got reintroduced at the event this year. I have these clients who want winter activities and skiing in a cozy environment. That's what The Resort at Paws Up can offer."

Betsey and Drew started working on a deal following their reintroduction. Within hours, they had booked a trip to the Resort for her clients.

"This is exactly what Virtuoso Travel Week is about," says Drew. "There's a ton of value in the 4-minute meetings but it's about more than that too. Most of us visit advisors during the year but I hadn't had the chance to reconnect with Betsey for a while. She's a rock star. A little face time goes a long way and once we got her excited about the property and the great things going on there, it was priceless."

Betsey agrees: "It's not just about the appointments. It's about the connections made between and after the appointments, too."

In less than one day, then, an advisor from St. Louis, a hotel sales director based in Los Angeles, a resort located in Montana, and travelers wanting a winter getaway all benefited from Virtuoso Travel Week.

If you'd be interested in working with an advisor and benefiting from this series of relationships, connect with one below.

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