What can new information technologies do for my business?
- A. I know it can help my business, but I’m not sure where to start.
- B. We’ve made some investments, but want to learn more to turn them into profit.
- C. I want to get ahead of the competition with more investment.
- A. What’s the world wide web?
- B. It’s all about social networking.
- C. It’s about creating ‘mashable’ websites, such as combining Google maps with your own content, like Opodo does.
- A. What’s wrong with the way businesses use the Internet?
- B. It’s the new version of HTML.
- C. It helps different software systems to talk to each other over the Internet.
- A. No, we do our marketing in the shop window and local newspaper.
- B. No, we’d like to start using the Internet for marketing but don’t know how.
- C. Yes, but we’re always looking to improve our search engine optimisation.
- A We don’t have electronic marketing or distribution.
- B. It sounds like a good idea, but we don’t know where to start.
- C. It’s part of our plan, but there are a few hurdles to overcome before we get there.
- A. What is a podcast?
- B. I listened to the one by Ricky Gervais, but I don’t know how it would apply to us.
- C. We’re just starting out podcasting and would like to learn more.
- A. I haven’t got time to take the calls.
- B. I’ve heard about automated text services.
- C. We’re looking at automated texts but not sure on our strategy yet.
- A. I’m not sure what user-generated content is.
- B. I don’t see where they fit with my business.
- C. Pretty soon everyone will check their destination on TripAdvisor before booking.
You are likely to be fairly new to technology, so rather than diving in at the deep end, you might prefer to learn about some examples of how technology has helped travel firms. The seminar titled Real-life Stories from the Travel Industry Coalface will help. It’s on February 5, from 3.45pm to 5pm.
If you have more specific questions on technology and your business, Equinus and SourceIT-Travel.com will be running the Advice Centre, offering free technology advice. Pre-book consultations by e-mail.
Those with some experience might want to know where it’s all heading. Facebook hit the headlines last year and people are asking how social networking sites will affect travel businesses. Find the Building Travel Brands Using Web 2.0 discussion from 11.15am to 12.30pm on February 5.
If you’re already using the Internet as a commercial tool, but want to get more from it, why not try the session How to Find Fulfilment from E-business. It will address subjects such as how to link e-brochures to the booking system, integrate the delivery of e-vouchers and tickets, and set up alerts that can be directed to mobile phones. It’s on February 6 from 2.15pm to 3.30pm.
Those more expert in travel technology might want to plan ahead for the future. You can find out the predictions of experts from Anite Travel Systems, Dolphin Dynamics and HyperTech Solutions during Future Travel Technology Needs from 12.45pm-2pm on February 5.
If you’ve already got a strong Internet presence but want to improve your hit rate, then delve into the world of search engine marketing. The Searching for the Perfect Search Engine Marketing Strategy session looks at search-engine optimisation and pay-per-click, offering advice on best-practice. It’s on February 6 from 12.45pm to 2pm.