By Matt Castell @MattCastell10 Feb 2017Last week I handed out tips on how Agents can make the best of their upcoming Travel Expo. It’s not exactly rocket science, but every single Expo I witness a bunch of unprepared, mopey Consultants whinge about wasting a beach day to be there. But sometimes, for all the studying of Expo fare sheets, supplier deals and memorizing of the floor plan we can do, we can still get bogged down with customers that don’t really know what they’re supposed to be doing there – which is, to put it bluntly, book some bloody travel. So I’ve followed up this week with some tips to share with our customers and potential customers on how they can get the best out of Flight Centre Travel Group’s (FCTG’s) quarterly travel flogathon. 1. Come Prepared A lot of Travel Expo customers have been there before, they know how it works and are usually well prepared for what to expect in terms of deals, discounts and payment terms. These guys are the ones who are in and out, deal done and back to their Sunday plans in a jiffy. It’s not very common that someone will come to Expo with absolutely no idea where they want to travel and actually book something on the day (kind of the point). I recommend visiting with your local Travel Agent prior to the Expo and getting your options down to one or two choices, then when the deals drop on the day you simply have to make a deposit and rub your hands together about how much you’ve saved. 2. Book With Your Local Agent I know it must be hard pushing back the barrage of eager Travel Agents asking every couple minutes if you need some help. But when it comes time and you want to ask serious questions or actually book something in, please either use the FCTG consultant you already have a relationship with; or find an Agent from your local area. We all know each other and will help you find someone from Balmain, Balgowlah or Bondi. This is so when you need to visit the shop to tweak your trip, make changes or pick up documents we can make sure it’s close to where you live or work. It can get messy to transfer a booking to another Consultant and you want to stick with the same person from the beginning for consistency. 3. Eat Breakfast Before You Arrive Image source: Everydayhealth.com I’ll be blunt; the coffee and food options on-site are usually pretty bad. Also, there isn’t really much point in arriving thirty-minutes early to queue up outside. The first couple of hours are usually the busiest, which means it’s harder to find parking and the Qantas stand will be five-people deep until at least lunchtime. 4. Don’t Ask For a Quote I think I may have mentioned this a few times, but I will again. Travel Expo is for making bookings, not getting quotes. These deals are unbeatable and need to be locked in on the day to secure your discount and reservation. If you bring your quote into a store three days later you most likely will not be able to get the same deal – or worse, it’s not available anymore. 5. Ask For A Deal At the end of the day, you’re at an event full of salespeople. It’s totally acceptable to ask for a better deal, but remember, deals work both ways. If you’re shopping around for a discount on your $59 Tiger Airways fare to the Gold Coast for Christmas, you’re in the wrong place. Booking multiple things at once is a sure-fire way to get further reductions. Ask your Travel Agent what they can do for you if you bundled your airfares, tours and travel insurance – or ask if there could be any extra savings for an earlier full payment. Travel Expo is a super fun, highly charged atmosphere where people go to book their trips of a lifetime, whether it be a Honeymoon, a first trip overseas or a lads trip to Vegas. Happy customers mean happy Travel Agents! Have a great Expo! What are you top tips for a successful Travel Expo? Other stories you may like 3 signs you’re a total peacock (travel agent) & what you can do about it You don’t have to be a stay-at-home mum to be a home-based travel agent Flight Centre employees, are transfers to Paris in your future?