Travel Agents

Helloworld corporates tackle 2m SME sector

Daisy Melwani

Helloworld for Business members have been urged to foster relationships with Australia’s burgeoning SME sector, predicted to become the “bread and butter” for agents and TMC’s due to untapped “big opportunities”, according to the group.

Head of Associate, Corporate and Affiliate Networks David Padman told 120 delegates attending the Helloworld for Business Summit in Singapore the group had a “renewed attitude about the future”, which moves away from “evolution to revolution” – also this year’s summit theme.

“We’ve had our own revolution by having the courage to change the shape of our own industry,” Padman said, adding “a strong Hellowold is good for you, and good for the industry”.

Helloworld for business remains as Australia’s largest network of premium independently owned corporate travel agents and travel management companies, currently featuring 73 members. An additional 9 members – a mix from Showgroup and BCD Travel – joined the group in the past 12 months, with Padman telling Travel Weekly there was a “strong pipeline” for further growth, and that its “value proposition was sparking interest” with external companies.

Delegates heard part of the group’s proposition was to “help win partnerships” by way of lead generation and client opportunities in assisting members to engage with Australia’s 2 million-plus SMEs, which was “ripe for the picking” according to Padman.

“We’ve researched what it is that SME want. They want end to end service, less stress, customer service excellence and to be thought of as people. They want to deal with local, likeminded individuals. Small business is your bread and butter – no-one knows this space like you.”

Padman said reviews to benchmark the group’s value proposition against competitors over the past six months revealed “no one else is investing in your future the way we are. Helloworld for business is more than just a buying group. We start where the others stop. We deliver commercial advantage, network and business service support and profile. We are and will remain the right home for you.”

Padman told members while competition remained strife, it “keeps you healthy,” and technology was the “next big driver of change”, which lead to the group investing in a partnership with Serko, which will commence later this year and include white label access for agency members through a newly developed platform for the group to drive leads back to members, including tapping into Serko’s alliances with XERO and Microsoft.

In addition, Helloworld for Business has also signed a global partnership with GlobalStar, which operates in 80 countries with 3,500 locations to provide reporting and lead generation and a new Lead Generation Platform from QBT to drive business back to agents and TMCs.

“We designed this brand to be an endorser brand, it’s where we start. It’s designed to be a collective but we never brought it to life,” Padman said.

“Now we are bringing it to life to represent you and to give you a profile and marketplace. Helloworld for Business timing is right now, there’s great traction with the Helloworld brand.”

A new Helloworld for Business website www.hwfb.com.au was also launched at the Summit and will eventually feature an agent finder as well as a newly designed personalised agent brochure, branded specifically for each member.

Expanded high-end leisure corporate product through initiatives utilising Sunlover and Qantas Holidays brands were also on the radar, after discovering it made up nearly 20 to 30% of what corporate members sold.

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