Hawaii Q&A

by mailpound 10/29/2008 9:06:00 AM

 

Thank you for those of you that joined us for Hawaii’s webinar last Thursday.  It was a great presentation and hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.  We received many great questions and have provided the questions and answers below.  If you have any additional questions please leave a comment with your question or e-mail it to me at smiller@mailpound.com and we will answer them for you.  Thank you and have a great day!

Q.    What are the websites?
A.The agent website is www.agents.gohawaii.com and the consumer website is www.gohawaii.com.

Q. The DVD that you have.  First, can I use it to run a loop in my booth at a Trade Show? Second, can I use it to give to clients?
A.   The DVD is a 10 minute DVD of the islands of Hawaii.  Yes you can use it to show at the Trade Show.  To answer the second question you can show it to clients and even other agents, HOWEVER you cannot gift it to a client.  They can view it but they are not allowed to keep it.

Q.  Do you have a hardcopy of the training courses for those of us that are on the road?
A.  Unfortunately it is only available online.  You can print the pages though.  We are currently working on making it in pdf format so it is more convenient.

Q.  If you are already a graduate do you need to review your certification regularly?
A.  The course work was created in 1999 and was revamped in June of 2006.  If you took the course work before June 2006 it would be beneficial to do it again.  However, it is not required to maintain certification status.

Q.  Many of my clients book excursions while they are in Hawaii.  Is there an excursion company I can register who will pay me commission?
A.  Yes we work with a whole bunch but cannot promote one over another.  If you go to gohawaii.com and do a search for activities it should bring up our partners and tour operators.  Most of them do provide you with a commission.

Q.  Do you help your client with leads?
A.  Yes we do.  We have a referral program that we use.  When we receive a phone call or e-mail from an interested prospect we will send them a planner.  When they call back interested we will refer them to an agent in their area.  Once you graduated from our courses you will be provided to fill out a profile.  We use the information in the profile to give out our leads.

Q.  How do you make certain you are in the database as a specialist?
A.  You must go to www.agents.gohawaii.com and log in.  Once you log in you can go to “my training status” and it will tell you what courses you have completed to date.

Q.  The goodies you were offering-itinerary, etc- can the consumer print those directly from the consumer site?
A.  The consumer can print itineraries from the consumer sight.  The perk is for posters and other marketing materials you can e-mail them to yourself and customize them with your logo and so forth before sending to your clients.

Q.  Was this webinar recorded?
A.  YES!! Click here to watch the seminar

 

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How does a family of 7 do Disney and Universal without breaking the bank?

by mailpound 10/28/2008 5:19:00 AM

Help Wanted!

Question: How does a family of 7 do Disney and Universal without breaking the bank?


I need your help!

The next week is New Jersey's annual teacher's convention. Combined
with the election this year, the kids are off most of the week. So…I'm packing up the family
and we are heading down to Florida! I don't know who is more excited me or the kids.
We are planning on going to Disney World for a few days and then spend some time at
Universal Studios. Our boys are huge fans of Spiderman, Shrek and the Hulk, so visiting
Universal Studios will be a must!

Do you have any ideas on stretching my vacation dollars?

I'd love to hear how you and your clients visit the Orlando area without breaking the bank!
Please post your best stories, suggestions and pictures by clicking "comments" or by
emailing them to me at debbie@mailpound.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

~Debbie

Here is a picture of my kids taken
at Disney World 7/07

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MailPound

Open Suggestion Box- We want to hear from YOU!

by mailpound 10/24/2008 5:44:00 AM

Good Morning everyone,

 

We have now been doing the training webinars for a few weeks, and I am really enjoying them.  Now I want to hear from YOU! This blog is open for your comments, suggestions and questions.  Let me know how you have enjoyed the training webinars, any questions you may still have, let me know what topics you would like me to cover, your experiences with MailPound, what have you learned.  I would love to hear from you and know what you think.  If you have any questions or comments you would rather not post, feel free to e-mail me at smiller@mailpound.com.  Thank you and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

Sheona

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Q&A from October 17th Coffee Break featuring Ask Me Wedding Destinations

by mailpound 10/21/2008 3:08:00 AM

 Hi everyone!

Thank you for everyone that attended our coffee break last Friday featuring Ask Me Wedding Destinations.    We had such a great turn out and Marilyn gave an awesome presentation.  We received an overwhelming amount of questions and thought we would post the 10 most popular and provide you with the answers.  If you have any additional questions please leave them in the comment section.

Thank you and hope you all have a great day!

~Sheona

Q: What is the total cost of becoming an "Ask Me" Agent and, do I have to be part of the Ask Me Agent program in order to work with Ask Me?
A:
The cost to become an Ask Me Agent is $99 per month, for the first 6 months and $149 per month, for the remaining 6 months (1 year contract). To work with Ask Me, agents DO NOT have to be part of the Ask Me Agent program – we look forward to working with ALL bonafide travel professionals wanting to become pro-active and grow their business within the $10 Billion destination wedding & honeymoon market.

Q: What are the benefits of being registered with Ask Me?
A:
Agents that are registered with us will receive information on our latest company updates, promotions and co-op opportunities, allowing them the opportunity to jumpstart their business within this lucrative and recession proof niche.

Q: How do we register if we do not want to join the program?
A: Simply fill-out and fax the ‘pro-active plan’ which can be found on the Travel Professionals page of our website (http://www.askmeaboutdestinationweddings.com/travelproffessionals.html)

Q: How does your service differ from using a wedding coordinator directly thru the hotel?
A:
We save the travel professional time & money – no need to call the resort yourself and wait for a response, while incurring the expense of long distance phone calls; thus allowing you the time to focus on closing more sales. Our call center is US based and bi-lingual and because we have a concrete partnership with the hotels we represent, we have in-depth information on their services. If by chance we don’t have the answer to a question, we know exactly who to call to get what you need. More importantly, we pay travel professionals a commission – land packages start at 13% and wedding packages start at 10%.

Q: I have seen other Ask Me agents in bridal shows in my area. How would that work if I wanted to become involved in Ask Me?
A: If we already have an Ask Me Agent in your area, then any new agencies wishing to join the program would have to wait until the current agency’s contract is up for renewal. However, there are still many options available to work with Ask Me – all you have to do is ‘ask me’ for details – 877-44-ASK ME.

Q: Can we purchase Ask Me marketing tools if we are not in your program?
A:
Absolutely! All bonafide travel professionals can purchase any of our marketing tools – bridal show kit, polos, car magnets, etc. And the order form can be found on the Travel Professionals page of our website (http://www.askmeaboutdestinationweddings.com/travelproffessionals.html)

Q: What requirements does a travel agent need to work with Ask Me?
A:
Must have an IATAN, CLIA or TRUE card.

Q: Where do you find a list of upcoming bridal shows?
A: Our best advice would be to conduct a search on Google or Yahoo for ‘bridal shows’. There are several sites available for browsing.

Q: Are any of the destinations all-inclusive?
A: Yes, many of our hotel partners offer all-inclusive packages.

Q: How long has Ask Me been around?
A:
We are currently celebrating our second year in business. 

  Click here to view this seminar.

 

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Coffee Break

MailPound Training Webinars

by mailpound 10/14/2008 10:46:00 AM

I hope everyone is having a great week!  Monday we had our first MailPound training webinar. We had a great turn out and thank you again for those of you that participated.  We hope you all enjoyed it and start utilizing MailPound and the tools it has to offer.  We demonstrated step by step how to use our marketing tools such as e-Flyers, e-Brochures and Ready-to-go promos.  They are a great and easy way to market to your clients and they are FREE!!  We also showed participants how easy it is to set up your own personal webiste, PAWS, and all the features that can be added on it thanks to MailPound.   

If you have any additional questions or suggestions for topics you would like us to cover in our future webinars please post a comment.  To view the schedule of our upcoming webinars and to register please go to www.MailPound.com/training.  I hope to “see” you all at our next webinar!!

~Sheona

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Platinum Goes Wild

by mailpound 10/10/2008 5:58:00 AM

Platinum Goes Wild

 

 

Platinum’s Senior VP in action

 

Platinum Seminars just got through hosting their first Signature Luxury Series in Iceland.  20 luxury agents were wined and dined and shown the gentle and wild sides of Iceland.  Bill Brown, President & CEO of Platinum Seminars & Platinum Luxury Society and Dana McPherson, Senior Vice President joined Thorunn Reynisdottir, President of Destination Europe on an Icelandic Odyssey.  Thorunn is a native of Reykjavik.     Nick Jaksic, Sales Manager for GTA Wholesale arranged all the events once we landed in Iceland. The agents flew from Boston or JFK courtesy of Iceland Air. Many of the agents took advantage of the exceptional business class air that was offered.  Upon landing in Reykjavik, agents were transferred via luxury motor coach to the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica, one of the top hotels in the capital city of Reykjavik.  After a sumptuous breakfast, the adventurous agents boarded their coach for a short drive to Bolalda, a popular ATV wilderness area close to Reykjavik.  The Icelandic weather, ever changing, did not disappoint.  The sky was filled with rain clouds and the wind was blowing about 40 mph.  The agents suited up head to toe in all weather gear including gloves, sock hat and helmet.  Agents aged 40 to 80 all enjoyed the adventurous ride on the ATV’s.  At one point the rain was coming at you sideways and you could barely see the trails but that did not stop the agents from enjoying this one of a kind experience.  If anything, the weather that seemed to change every 5 minutes enhanced the experience.  What is more fun than going 30 mph through an 18” deep mud hole and remaining dry and warm?  After the first round of maneuvers, the more adventurous of the group ventured off to the wilder side of the course where jumping hills and huge 40 foot mud puddles were the norm.  After a short ride back to the Hilton, agents retired to their rooms for a short rest before the evening festivities.  Mother Nature, ever the trickster, keep the weather changing constantly from sunny to rainy to windy and sleeting to perfectly glorious weather.  3 seasons in 30 minutes was experienced on more than one occasion. 

 

That evening the agents donned their finery and were whisked off to a private dining room in the heart of the old city at Lækjarbrekka restaurant.  After two lovely wines were selected by Dana, the agents feasted on delicacies such as puffin and cured lamb.  Puffin, if you have not experienced it, is quite unique and tasty when prepared correctly.  The fish course was superb and the agents really enjoyed their first taste of Iceland.  After a

Few shots of the local schnapps, the agents were ready for well deserved night of rest.

 

 

MONSTER Truck

The next morning after enjoying another wonderful breakfast (how many restaurants have you seen that have cod liver oil offered as a starter?) agents were greeted by the MONSTER truck, the largest transport truck in Iceland.  After literally climbing aboard the truck the agents embarked on a must see tour; The Golden Circle.  The sun was shining and it was just beautiful out and a crisp 55 degrees.  Our guide, Garðar (officially dubbed one of the best guides I have ever had the pleasure of touring with) was funny, gracious, informative and never boring.  You could tell he really enjoyed his work.  After grinding through the 20 gears we were on our way.  After passing many geothermal wells we passed the first hydrogen gas station in the world.  Iceland is one of the most eco friendly countries in the world.  The houses and buildings are all heated by geothermal hot water.  We passed the continental divide where Europe and North America join.  You could actually see the line on the horizon and we actually stopped at a park where we could stand on the line and also see the oldest parliament in the world.  It was a beautiful setting with a lake and an amazing glacial waterfall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continental Divide

The air was so clear and for as far as the eye could see was natural beauty.  After a leisurely walk from the drop off point to the other side of the park, we were off to see the old geysir, no not that old geysir, the ones that spew up out of the ground.  I have never been to Yellowstone but they tell me she only erupts every hour or so and there are grandstands to view it.  Not so in Iceland.  This one erupted about every 4 minutes.  You could get about 30 feet from the mouth which was impressive.  See the eruption on YouTube here.

 

 

 

 

We then ventured to the majestic, dual-folding Gullfoss, the Queen of Waterfalls.  It was like Niagara, Iguaçu and Victoria all rolled into one but on a smaller scale.  And if you wanted to get right next to the raging rushing river there was no barrier to stop you.  A couple of our agents did just that.  I thought better than to tempt Mother Nature, she might have had a rough morning.  It started sleeting just in time for us to board our MONSTER truck.  We returned to the Geysir Park and had a lovely lunch overlooking the geysirs with a bird’s eye view of the eruptions.

 

The lunch included an exotic blend of local meats and fish.  My favorite was the reindeer pate,  Yumm!

 

 

 

 

No diving allowed

On the way back to Reykjavik we were treated to a sheep crossing.  The sheep were making their annual migration from the fields back to the pasture.  There were literally thousands of them and all traffic stopped for them to cross the main highway.  Once we got rolling again we spotted a rainbow.  Not just any rainbow, but a traveling rainbow.  You see where both sides of the rainbow touched the ground.  We were cruising along at bout 55 MPH and it followed us for about 7 minutes.  Pretty amazing.  It was one of the most vivid rainbows I have ever seen and it was not very far away either.  Once we were safely delivered back to our hotel, the agents had a much needed rest after their 8 hour journey.  Agents were free to explore the city on their own that night.

 

The next day we were scheduled to go on a whale watching cruise but the weather did not permit it and I think the whales had gone to St. Barts for sushi anyway.  Agents spent the day shopping and taking in the sites of Reykjavik.  That evening we were whisked away to the uber-chic Hotel Borg. We were greeted with a champagne toast in their gorgeous restaurant; Silfur.  The restaurant had prepared all sorts of tasty nibbley things like foie gras, sushi and several other treats.  The agents were given a tour of this wonderful deco hotel before then traveling a short distance to Kaffi Reykjavik. The agents were then secreted away to the Ice Bar.  After putting on the provided parkas, agents enjoyed a cold drink inside the ice bar.  It was really a unique experience but man was it ever freezing.  It was also really hard to shoot pictures in the ice bar due to the reflection on the ice and the ligting was very dim.  After experiencing the ice bar the agents enjoyed a traditional Icelandic feast of whale, puffin, lamb and various fresh fish.

 

  

VP on the rocks 

   

      

                                                        

Nick and his cool friends

 

 

 

     

            The agents chillin’     

 

 

                                    

Thorunn Reynisdottir, Bill Brown, Dana McPherson

 

 

The party did not stop there.  Thorunn Reynisdottir took several of us to a local nightclub.  There was a really good cover band and the crowd was interesting.  It was a very elegant bar but we happened to be there on Trucker night.  Now just because we rode in a MONSTER truck does not a trucker make.  It was a lot of fun and the ones who went enjoyed it.  Party like an Icelander!  There are no pictures of that merriment.  The censors would block us. J

 

 The next morning was time to leave, but not before visiting the world renowned Blue Lagoon. After arriving and slipping into something more comfortable, the agents enjoyed the soothing warm waters of the lagoon where it is traditional to get the white clay and put on a mud mask.  Talk about a bunch of pale faces.  The Blue Lagoon was actually started by accident.  They drilled a geothermal well and they thought the water would just drain back into the earth once the heat was exchanged.  Well the water had other plans and formed a small lagoon and the rest is history as they say.  The medicinal healing properties of the water have hordes of visitors coming from all over the world to partake in this ritual.  There is an excellent spa onsite as well. 

 

After spending a few relaxing hours it was time to jet back to the real world and once again Iceland Air  delivered beautiful service.  Þakka þér  or thank you in Icelandic.  

 

 

  

                            

We would like to thank Thorunn Reynisdottir of Destination Europe and Nick Jaksic of GTA Wholesale for making this all possible.   Destination Europe offers air, hotels and rental cars in Iceland and many other exciting countries around the world.  Book now for 2009.

Stay tuned for the next Signature Luxury Series by tuning into www.platinumseminars.com

Meet MailPound’s new Director of Travel Agent Relations

by mailpound 10/9/2008 10:58:00 AM

Meet MailPound’s new Director of Travel Agent Relations; Sheona Miller. 

We are so excited to have Sheona become part of the MailPound family.   Her role here is to assist you in increasing your sales by utilizing the marketing tools available to you on MailPound. Each week, Sheona will host short training webinars and write about our tools on our MailPound blog.

The first training webinar will be held Monday, October 13th, at 3pm EST and we would love to “see” you all there! To register please click the link below www.MailPound.com/training.  We will also be releasing a new marketing newsletter on October 20th. The newsletter will provide you with our latest blogs, our marketing tools, upcoming seminars, ready to go promos, marketing tips and the week's sweepstakes prize.

So I hope that you will join us in welcoming Sheona!

 

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