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Tonight was a casual affair — no speakers, no heavy B2B discussion topics. Instead, we wanted to hear from you, and garner some of the wisdom you’ve gained having made it through our industry’s toughest year. Our family of tour operators was enthusiastic, hopeful, and most of all, motivated to make the most of 2021.

Here are some of the shiniest pearls of wisdom gleaned from our tour operators tonight:

Don’t be afraid to take a chance.

While the market for food tours might be depressed, there are a number of ways our tour operators have pivoted to keep revenue coming in. From foodie boxes to retail spaces, anything you try that’s outside of your comfort market is a risk. Don’t let that stop you! If it doesn’t work, just keep trying until you find something that does.

Keep your eyes open for new possibilities, and keep thinking about your next steps.

It’s easy to get your blinders on in tough times. Keep your head on a swivel, because new and unexpected opportunities are coming at you all the time. If you plan ahead, you always have a next step to take.

Don’t forget about locals.

Sure, folks aren’t traveling as much these days, but you may be sleeping on a built in market right in your backyard. Locals are itching to get out and about in fun and safe ways, and your tour is the perfect way to spend an afternoon with friends and family. Think about shifting your marketing focus to target your own community.

Keep your connections strong!

As a thriving business, you already have an infrastructure of invaluable resources built up at your fingertips. Keep your email and social media marketing active. Even if you’re not offering a tour right now, you can stay in your audience’s mind with engaging content and messaging.

Networking also remains vital. Your most important resource might be the partners you’ve worked with over the years. Dust off your CRM address book and reach out to the other businesses you know and see what you can learn from them. We do best when we help each other!

If you got knocked down, GET BACK UP!

The best thing we can do is always remember: it’s not whether or not you got knocked down in the last twelve months; it’s how quickly and confidently you get up. In order to get through this, we have to work together and, most importantly, keep going! We are the ones who get to shape what happens next! Time to get to work.

We hope you’ll join us for the next town hall on Wed, Mar 24th at 7pm CT.

Uplevel Tourism is a Chicago-based creative agency that helps tours with their website and email marketing.


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