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Inside the Minds of FareHarbor Leadership: Operations

Meet Christine Maedche

We’re back with another installment of our newest FareHarbor interview series! Hop on in and learn more about the General Manager of our Sydney Office, Christine Maedche. 

In this series, you hear directly from members of the FareHarbor leadership team about their journey within the company, some personal anecdotes, and their favorite FareHarbor features and experiences!  

When did you start at FareHarbor and how have you progressed since the beginning of your career at the company?

I started at FareHarbor in January 2017. I originally started in Client Onboarding, then transitioned to the Learning and Development team where I trained new hires on how to use the FareHarbor software. In November 2018, I moved to Sydney, Australia to fulfill the General Manager of APAC role.

What was your experience like moving from Denver, Colorado to Sydney, Australia to help open the Sydney office?

The transition was exciting but also challenging. When I moved to Sydney we were very much a “start up”, we had a small client-facing team, and no operational support. This was starkly different from Denver, where we had a number of client facing and operation departments. 

We hired consistently for two years and everything from our product to how we trained our teams needed to be adjusted to be locally relevant. Over the years, we have worked hard to create the team and client support in Sydney we have now. 

What has made you stay at FareHarbor for several years (and counting!)?

The product is amazing, the mission is inspiring, and the growth potential is unparalleled. The team and our clients are so inspiring, are always looking to innovate, and are committed to creating a phenomenal product that allows travelers to book incredible experiences seamlessly online. 

What is the most enjoyable project you are working on or worked on recently?

One of the most exciting things I’ve worked on recently was FareHarbor’s 2023 objectives. This year the team worked more closely than ever to curate objectives for the next year, with a lot of reflection on what we accomplished in 2022 and where we want to go. 

Do you have a specific client story that showcases how FareHarbor can help tour and activity operators?

When I first started at FareHarbor, a client I was working with in Hawaii was unsure how FareHarbor reporting would be able to align with the reports she used in her previous system. 

Through various phone calls, we built out each report together, nearly identical to her reports in her previous system. When she went live, she was thrilled to see how the system was capable of reporting on more than she was used to. This was nearly 6 years ago and the client is still onboard! 

What is your favorite FareHarbor tour or activity you have been on? 

One of the most memorable experiences I’ve been on was visiting the glow worm caves on the south island in New Zealand! The tour is pitch black to allow you to see the glow worms; it’s entirely silent and remarkable to see a cave filled with glow worms lit up as far as you can see. 

Stay tuned as we travel across the globe to our different offices so you can get the inside scoop on what it’s like to work at FareHarbor.

6 FareHarbor Product Updates That Will Improve Your Operations in 2023

Start the year off strong by taking advantage of all of the features FareHarbor has to offer. From zipline tours to boat cruises, kayaking excursions and gourmet food tastings — our Product team works tirelessly to provide our operators with best-in-class software that works for their unique businesses!

How do they do it? They listen to you, our clients, to help identify the updates that will make your business run seamlessly AND get you more online bookings.

Read on to discover how our recent product updates can help your business run more efficiently.

Speed up check-in with digital wallet tickets

With just one click from your booking confirmation email, customers can add digital tickets to their Apple Wallet or Google Wallet. When they arrive, quickly scan their digital wallet ticket and breeze through check-in. 

Add a revenue stream with branded gift cards

Whether or not you currently offer gift cards (and you should be! Learn why below.) — we have some exciting news for you! FareHarbor released new gift card design options that feature your logo along with customizable patterns and colors! 

Why sell gift cards? We’re glad you asked! In 2022, 63% of U.S. adults said that they would prefer to receive an experience gift over a material gift (Harris Insight & Analytics). 

Giving the gift of experiences is now more enticing than ever for your customers with our new branded design options.

Accept contactless payment with Tap to Pay on iPhone

You only need your iPhone for this new contactless payment solution. Whether you take walk-up customers for your steam engine train ride or help customers add a champagne toast to their sunset catamaran cruise, Tap to Pay on iPhone creates a seamless, secure and safe way to manage reservations and accept payments.

Give customers flexibility with online rebooking

Things happen, plans change. Your customers may need to switch the time or date of their reservation. Rather than losing that booking entirely, allow your customers to change their booking themselves! Online rebooking is one of our new features that puts more power in your customers’ hands (while helping you to maintain your revenue potential). 

Avoid extra phone calls with online cancellation

When a cancellation is unavoidable, allow your customers to cancel their own booking online. This saves your team administrative time and makes the process straightforward for your customers. 

Of course, online cancellation works with your chosen, pre-defined cancellation policy. Offer a full refund, transfer funds to a gift card, or use another option that works for your business!

Get more organized with check-in colors

Use different colors to manage your check-in process. You can now customize your check-in colors to stay on top of vehicle assignments, pre-arrival documents, or any other customer status. Easily view all information at a glance to maximize your efficiency. 

Interested in learning more about FareHarbor? Drop us a line to book your free, customized demo!

FareHarbor Wins Built In’s Best Places to Work in 2023

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that Built In has named FareHarbor among their Best Places to Work in both the Colorado and Boston markets (for the second year in a row!). We pride ourselves on giving our employees across the globe competitive benefits, an inclusive culture, and a supportive work environment. 

We could talk all day about the reasons we love FareHarbor — but instead, we’ll hand the mic over to some of our fantastic employees around the world. 

And, if you are looking for a new opportunity, take a peek at our current open roles

Chance Colpitt | Account Manager, Denver

“I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary at FareHarbor, and to this day I don’t have a single negative thing to say. Everyone is so driven, capable, and accommodating. The biggest highlight of my tenure is definitely the Spark 2022 conference where I had the privilege of presenting to our clients. It definitely displays how much FareHarbor cares about our product, clients, and employees. ”

Brielle Grassey | Account Executive, Boston

“Working as an Account Executive at FareHarbor is hands down the best job I have had. It brings me joy and pride knowing that as I connect with professionals in the tourism industry, I am truly helping their businesses grow by introducing them to a fantastic platform. Account Executives have a lot of autonomy, which I love, as it makes each day different and full of new possibilities.”

Sarah Urpi | Quality Control Associate, Amsterdam

“FareHarbor has given me many opportunities to meet my personal career goals. They helped me to learn what my strengths were and how to improve them. FareHarbor has a great, fun and healthy work environment. The fact that there are so many people with different backgrounds and cultures, makes it even more special.”

Hannah Dziura | Technical Support Specialist, Sydney

“I have found where I belong! FareHarbor takes excellent care to ensure I am happy, feel safe, and know where to go if I need help. Everyone is approachable and tries to set each other up for success. The FareHarbor ‘Ohana is real and thriving!”

Aubrey Heth | Bilingual Enterprise Account Manager, Denver

“Since being at FareHarbor, I have seen my love for tours and activities grow even fiercer. I am proud to work for a company that empowers small business owners to share their passions with the world!”

Tyler Sindel | Strategic Partnerships Manager, Amsterdam

“FareHarbor has provided me with a first-class education in the best parts of travel. Being able to make a tangible difference in our clients’ businesses gets me excited for work every day. When I see our clients adapt to technology that makes their lives easier and grow their businesses is the ultimate reward.”

Marc Duqette | IT Services Specialist, Denver

“I have been at FareHarbor for many years, coming up on five to be exact. During that time I have been lucky enough to work with some of the most dedicated, creative, hard working people I have ever met. I am beyond excited for what the future holds for this incredible organization and I am honored to have taken a part, no matter how small, in shaping it into what it is today!”

Igor Barinov | API Connectivity Specialist, Sydney

“My experience at FareHarbor has been nothing but positive. I enjoy getting to interact with the Account Managers and Support teams in Denver and Amsterdam. I work with a highly professional and efficient team, and if there’s a challenge too great for me to handle on my own there’s always support I can count on.”

Rita Nogal | Account Executive, Amsterdam

“FareHarbor has unequivocally exceeded my expectations and continues to do so every day. The supportive, encouraging atmosphere of the company — from top to bottom — is unparalleled. We are truly an ‘Ohana.”

We want to thank the wonderful team at Built In for this incredible award. If you’re ready for a new adventure, take a look at the current positions we have available across our many teams and offices. 

5 Travel & Tourism Trends to Motivate You in 2023

Compass Sneak Peek

After the excitement and positive momentum of the past year, we are thrilled to see what 2023 will bring for the tours and activities industry. 

Both distant vacations and local experiences continue to evolve as travelers creatively embrace trip planning this year. Individuals are willing to spend more on what matters to them, and they want to experience something new or different along the way. 

Here are five trends to take advantage of in 2023. 

1. Travelers who want to splurge on experiences

If 2022 was considered the return of travel, then 2023 is poised to see the return of travel spending. Simply getting out of the house isn’t enoughthis year travelers are itching to experience once-in-a-lifetime adventures like luxury trips, package tours, and activities that take them far from traditional “tourist traps.”

Travel sales are on track to be 47% higher in 2023 than in 2019 (Virtuoso, global travel agency). 

Encouragingly, almost three quarters of Virtuoso travelers say that creating a travel experience that fits their desires is more important to them than price. 

2. Upscale experiences that offer fun and relaxation

Luxury travel is shaping up to be popular in 2023. After all, everyone deserves to treat themselves! The upscale travel trend will include exclusive settings, private activities, custom itineraries, and thoughtful details like upgrades and add-ons. 

Upscale experiences are all about people embracing what they love to do. Whether they’re spending a bit more on a high-adrenaline heli-skiing tour or setting aside time to splurge on a private cooking class, luxury means something unique to everyone.

3. Trips that venture further from home

Bookers are looking for unique experiences like backpacking, multi-day hikes and excursions, and glamping or sightseeing adventures that take them slightly out of their comfort zones. 

From tasting exotic foods to learning a new language or activity, nothing is off limits. 

Package experiences offer the perfect opportunity to embrace this kind of travel. A full-day activity that combines multiple tours lets the whole family try something new and make the most of their time in your location.

Quick Tip: If you do not offer package tours or multi-day activities, consider using your platform to compile and share a resource with your guests and other travelers. Write a blog post that shares the most unique places to visit in your area and how they can get started with their planningwith a stop at your business of course!

4. A renewed focus on health and wellness vacations

Wellbeing trips will be a popular travel choice in 2023. We all deserve to unwind, in mind, body and spirit. For some, this could look like a yoga retreat, guided meditation or healing journey, like a visit to Colorado’s hot springs.

There are even more subtle ways tour operators can embrace wellness, like offering healthy choices for food options and promoting other local, health-conscious businesses.

5. In-destination and last-minute bookings are here to stay

As we heard from Josh Halperin, FareHarbor’s Managing Director (Americas), at Spark Las Vegas, tour operators are experiencing an uptick in last-minute, in-destination bookings. Travelers are booking on the fly, deciding what they want to do when they are already at their destination. 

How can you capitalize on this trend? For last-minute bookers, you can make the best impression by optimizing your online presence and mobile friendliness. Making sure your Google Business Profile is up to date and your website is easy to navigate on mobile are the top two tasks to help secure in-destination bookings.  

2023 is going to be an inspiring year for travel! As we progress in the coming weeks and months, we look forward to embracing the new trends and booking patterns that emerge. 

Have any predictions of your own? Tell us on the FareHarbor Community Facebook page.

Unique Holidays to Take Advantage of in the First Half of 2023

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season almost over, you might be feeling a bit of letdown returning to business as usual. But there’s always something to look forward to that you can use as a creative way to market your tours and activities.

Beyond the big shopping holidays like Christmas and Black Friday, you can promote your experiences during lesser known holidays like Plan For Vacation Day and Boating Day. 

If you’re looking for unique marketing initiatives year-round and want to bring a fresh approach to your promotions in 2023 (and make extra sales!), don’t miss the chance to celebrate these practical and playful travel and tourism holidays.

Here are a few holidays to get you started in the first half of 2023. Stay tuned for another post with the tourism holidays to celebrate between July and December. 

Holidays From January to March

Shop For Travel Day | January 12

Shop for Travel Day is all about planning your next trip and taking advantage of travel deals. This day is a great opportunity to promote your gift cards!

Plan For Vacation Day | January 26

Plan for Vacation Day serves as a reminder to plan your days off and map out your vacation time for the rest of the year. Post a reminder on social media encouraging people to plan their vacation and request time off work ahead of schedule!

Weird and Wonderful Holidays This Quarter

  • Dress Up Your Pet Day, January 14: A day to get our furry friends involved! Post pictures on social media and encourage your followers to share their costumed pet photos as well. 
  • Have Fun at Work Day, January 27: This is a great opportunity to show off your staff loving what they do every day—and it helps to personalize your business.
  • Mom & Pop Business Owners Day, March 29: If you’re a mom & pop operation, take some time to share your company’s origin story on social media or in a blog. 

Holidays From April to June

Read a Road Map Day | April 5

Time to put away our smartphones and unfold a road map! Take advantage of the road trip trend by encouraging your audience to go old-school. You can design a map showing common routes to your location and points of interest around town, or remind people to visit for a tour or activity during their next road trip.

Walking Day | April 5

If you offer walking tours, this day is for you! Celebrate with a discount on your walking tours or any other booking special that comes to mind. 

Even if your business doesn’t run walking tours, you can celebrate this holiday by posting a blog with tips on visiting your city or location on foot.

National Travel & Tourism Week | May 7-13

A whole week dedicated to travel and tourism! No matter what kind of experiences you offer, this week is the perfect time to draw new eyes to your business. Here are just a few ways to celebrate.

  • Feature a different tour guide or staff member each day on social media. Share their name, time spent working at your business, favorite food, dream travel destination, and other fun facts to create a personal connection with your audience. 
  • Create promos that guests can take advantage of all week long.
  • Send an email newsletter sharing how your business plans to celebrate the week.
  • Partner with other local businesses to create shared experiences.

Weird and Wonderful Holidays This Quarter

  • Pizza Party Day, May 19: Surprise your staff or guests with a pizza delivery during their tour. You could also partner with a local pizza joint for the day and cross-promote each other. 
  • National Selfie Day, June 21: Everyone loves a good selfie. Bring a selfie stick on your tours and encourage guests to use it to document their experience with you – then share on social media. 

These unusual and lesser celebrated holidays are only some of the many special days to promote each year. No matter what type of experiences you offer, you’ll definitely find a day dedicated to doing what you love. 

We’ll be back in June with more playful and practical travel and tourism holidays to promote in the second half of 2023!

Behind the Scenes: FareHarbor Employee Interviews

We’re back with more exclusive ‘Ohana team member insights! Get the inside scoop on their backgrounds and discover what it’s really like to work at FareHarbor. 

Below you’ll learn more about a few of our employees from offices around the world — all working toward the same goal of helping our clients grow and succeed. 

[See here for all roles that are currently available!]

Megan MacDonald

Small Business Account Executive, Needham

 

Tell us about yourself and where you are from.

I am from Billerica, Massachusetts. I volunteer, hike, workout, cook, and spend time with my dog and family in my spare time. I enjoy helping my mom in her garden or doing other various projects around the house. I’ve worked in retail, as a nanny, and at startups. 

Now, I get to help startups grow their businesses and watch their revenue soar with a great product! How fun. 

How has FareHarbor helped you grow in your role?

FareHarbor gives me the autonomy to make my own decisions to learn and grow at my own rate — which gives me a lot of power and confidence! I have seen growth and progress within a work capacity, but also in other areas of my life.

I love working cross-functionally with other teams, it’s really fun and it brings me back to my track days when I ran the 4×4 relay. 

How would you describe the culture at FareHarbor?

Fair, inclusive, down-to-earth, relatable, anti-grind/hustle culture.

What team outings have you participated in recently outside of work?

A group of women and I from the Needham office volunteered at an organization called Cradles to Crayons. It is a non-profit organization that provides resources such as school supplies and clothing to homeless and low-income children.  

Hannah Dziura

Technical Support Specialist, Sydney

Tell us about yourself and where you are from.

I was born in Miami, Florida and lived there until I was 17 years old. After I finished the 11th grade, I spontaneously bought a one-way ticket to Sydney, Australia, to surprise my Aussie mum with a visit. Since I am a citizen by descent, I flashed my passport from down unda’ at customs, and was not once prompted to think about how or when I would get back to the USA. 

Today, I call Australia my home. In 2013, I married a quiet nerd named Benj and so far we are still getting along. We adopted a weird cat named Samson. Samson’s favourite food is corn on the cob.

As a newer team member, what was your favorite part of the training process?

In my cohort of trainees, there was only one other support team member. Whenever it was just the two of us alone, we would excitedly check in with each other, which mainly consisted of questions like, “does this seem too good to be true, or is it just me?!”. 

Why do you like working at FareHarbor?

I like working at FareHarbor because I am making a tangible difference in the lives of business owners all over the world. I am also devoting my time to a company that I believe deserves it and has put in the effort to earn my trust and loyalty. 

What tour or activity would you be most excited to try?

So many! One of our clients has a petting zoo of exclusively baby animals. Another rents paddle boats in the shape of swans on a lake called “The Swan.” I have also caught myself daydreaming about a vacation whenever I am helping clients out who work in the Dry Tortugas. 

There is another client who kayaks through caves in Wisconsin that I spoke to recently, and I asked him if he ever dived the site. He said he hadn’t, but we agreed to do it together if I ended up in his corner of the world at the right time of year. 

Keiko Friar

Client Dashboard Specialist, Denver

Tell us about yourself and where you are from. 

I grew up in Kaneohe, HI, and moved to Colorado for college. My two great loves are the great outdoors (camping, hiking, backpacking, etc.) and art (theater, writing, music, painting and digital work). Personally, I aspire to contribute to environments built on equity, access and collaboration.

Why do you like working at FareHarbor?

I really appreciate the flexibility around in and out-of-office scheduling, days off, and collective understanding that your team has your back. People are genuinely friendly and open to feedback.

What is your favorite FareHarbor core value and why?

Be Curious and Learn. Learning ideally never ends; there are always new experiences and connections to make. 

What team outings have you participated in recently outside of work?

I’ve been on the FareHarbor Cares committee helping to organize and build charity events. I am really looking forward to our winter holiday volunteering.

If you’re interested in helping businesses grow across the globe and working with a devoted ‘Ohana — take a look at our open positions!

Joining FareHarbor: You’ll Feel Like a Part of the ‘Ohana from Day One

At FareHarbor, we want you to feel valued the moment you begin — and every day moving forward. We’ve already shared how we prepare each new team member for their role, but we wanted to divulge some of the fun stuff too. 

We want you to feel like you’re part of the team — we call it our ‘Ohana— as soon as you accept your new position. Read on for a few of the ways we work hard to make that happen.

Looking for a new opportunity? Head on over to our jobs page to see current openings across all teams and global offices! 

Mentor Program

During our new employee training program, you will be assigned a mentor.

While you learn one-on-one with a seasoned member of the ‘Ohana, you can ask role-specific questions, hear about team culture, and make a new friend. This is your opportunity to really find out what it is like to work at FareHarbor as well as get an inside look at what your new position will entail. 

A Bag of SWAG

Is it really a new job if you don’t get a bunch of branded goodies? On your first day of training, you will get a bag of goodies that includes items such as a FareHarbor t-shirt,  festive leis, a special new gift for each hiring class — and of course your brand new MacBook Pro.  

From day one, you have the tools to embrace the FareHarbor culture and get excited about your new position and organization. 

Set Up For Success in Your Home Office

Perhaps more importantly, we also want to ensure you have all of the tech and gadgets you need to have a comfortable home office. 

You also have the unique opportunity to order a free ergonomic desk (that can be turned into a standing desk!) and office chair that will be shipped straight to your front door. 

Additionally, for the time we are navigating a work-from-home/hybrid model, we are offering a monthly stipend to cover added expenses. 

Quick Tip: We understand that some people prefer working in-office, others prefer working remotely, or a mix of the two! We offer a hybrid work environment, and though there can be some variance depending on your team, we strive to offer as much flexibility as possible. 

A Chance to Meet the Team — and Share a Fun Fact

All employees are invited each month to their regional Aloha Friday — an office-wide event. 

Although, as a new employee, you are expected to introduce yourself, say where you’re from, and offer a fun fact! This opens the door for current team members to reach out and say hello. It’s a great way to meet people from other teams you may not come in contact with otherwise. 

Your fun fact can be a famous celebrity you met, an interesting hobby you do, an intriguing place you visited — whatever you want!

Happy Hour to Celebrate 

At the end of your FareHarbor training program, we will host a happy hour that is open to all employees. Have a few snacks and beverages and get to know your training class as well as other FareHarbor employees. 

The happy hour is a chance to get to know the ‘Ohana in a more relaxed setting — and a way for you to truly experience the culture!

We’re looking ahead to 2023 and are excited to be adding new team members and positions. Keep an eye on our job board to stay up to date on our new vacancies

Our Top 7 Learnings From Arival 360 Las Vegas

In the days following Spark Las Vegas, several FareHarbor employees had the valuable opportunity to attend Arival 360 as a sponsor of the event. While they connected with thousands of tourism professionals as they visited our booth and attended sessions covering a wide array of topics, our team identified and returned home with a handful of interesting insights.

FareHarbor had representation from our leadership, account management, sales, product, and marketing teams among others. After a few weeks of reflection, we collected some of those new strategies and findings so we could share them with you!

Read on to find out our top 7 learnings from Arival 360.

On social media…

“During the vertical video session, which focused on Instagram reels and TikTok videos, I asked the gurus for their take on hashtag usage. Ravi Roth told us that he had just visited Facebook (Meta) HQ and was told that on Instagram it’s best to use 8 hashtags – two of which should be broad and the remaining six to be super-focused on the content. Broad tags could be #lasvegas and super focused tags #foodtourslasvegas.” – Shane Whaley, Head of Community

“It’s all about the vertical video!”  – Erika Sternberg, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships

On Google Things to do (TTD)…

“I found out that with Google TTD you will be able to update your pricing directly in your Google Business profile.” 

“Excitingly, Google confirmed that they will never become an OTA.

“Google also acknowledged that the more positive reviews you have, the higher your business will be listed in the new experiences module. This was not hugely surprising in and of itself, but is another meaningful confirmation directly from Google.” – Bryn Abshire, Manager of Client Engagement and Marketing

On Dynamic Pricing…

“When leveraged correctly, dynamic pricing can be used to strengthen an operator’s community accessibility goals. The implementation of dynamic pricing offers consumers a much wider array of prices – many of which may be lower than the previous static price.”  – Colin Daniel Quinn, Director of Enterprise Account Management

On the importance of your online presence…

“I learned that 85% of global consumers look at reviews and pictures to decide which brand/retailer to buy from — and that the search term, “Unique things to do in ___” has grown by 100% globally year over year.”  – Rebekah Costley, Account Manager

We hope you enjoyed learning some of the most interesting takeaways we had following Arival 360. If you’re looking for more tourism tips and tricks, stay tuned because Spark Las Vegas sessions are coming to Compass soon!

5 Marketing Strategies for Black Friday Weekend (And the Entire Season!)

Compass Sneak Peek

The holiday shopping and gifting season is upon us, and with it, the chance to give the gift of experiences and spend quality time with friends and family. This seasonal excitement presents a huge opportunity for businesses in the tour and activity space. 

So how do you make the most of the Black Friday weekend (and the rest of the season!)? We have a few ideas up our sleeve.

1. Incorporate seasonal campaigns into your content calendar

The sooner you start preparing for big shopping days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday, the better your campaign will go. If you put time and energy into the process, the outcome will naturally follow suit.

Here are a few questions to get the brainstorm started:

  • What do we want to push customers towards? Seasonal items? Gift cards? Best-sellers? Package deals?
  • Will we offer a discount? A branded item with purchase?
  • How do we want to advertise our promotions?
  • Do we want to send out an email? Should we segment our email list?
  • Which social sites should we market on? What hashtags could we use?

2. Take advantage of gift cards

Because they eliminate the need for tricky details like dates, times, and even group size, gift cards are an easy sell in your off-season, especially as people begin buying gifts for the holidays.

If you use FareHarbor as your online booking system, you can sell gift cards just as easily as you sell any other item. 

Don’t hesitate to promote gift cards on your homepage and in your email marketing campaigns. They’re an easy purchase for your customers, and 80% of gift card holders end up spending more than the original value (Fiserv).

3. Offer a deal they can’t pass up

Consumers are constantly searching for the best deals online — and the holidays are no different. Even if you don’t offer promotions throughout the year, consider adding a Black Friday or Cyber Monday promo code to your website.

Promotions are also a great way to capture new audiences and first-time bookers. Try adding a 10% off code to your website and promote it prior to the holidays. Create a sense of urgency by putting a time frame on when customers can use the code to book. 

Make sure to promote your discount code and drive website traffic utilizing different channels:

  • Post the promo code discount on all your social media channels. Facebook and Instagram are great places to reach large audiences at once. Make sure to include a link to your website so they can start booking right away!
  • Send an email promoting the discount. Utilize your FareHarbor contact list or other CRM lists to promote your discount to customers. 
  • Add the promo code to your website. Update your website with a blurb or banner about your special holiday promotion.

4. Get serious about social sharing

If you collected user content last year, such as customer reviews and photos, now is the time to put it to use. 

If you didn’t, focus on collecting it this year and then use it to boost Black Friday sales in the future.

Here are some ways you can encourage social sharing from your customers:

  • Feature your customers’ content on your own social pages or blog whenever they tag your business or use your hashtag.
  • Offer a discount, stickers, or t-shirt to customers who @mention your business, check-in on Facebook, or use your hashtag.
  • Run a contest on social media. Check out these eight ideas to get you started.

5. Go big on email marketing

With so many sales and deals to choose from, it’s easy for your business to get lost in the noise. An email marketing campaign can put your offerings directly under the nose of your customer base, whether they are local or from afar. 

Here are a few tips to ensure email success:

  • Create anticipation. Sending your first email out before the promotion begins helps overwhelmed consumers prioritize their shopping strategy, and it creates anticipation for what’s to come.
  • Give extra love to past customers. The best way to create loyal customers is to show them just how much you appreciate them. An additional discount or early-bird access helps transform a past customer into a full-on brand advocate.
  • Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly. Big, bold, image-heavy designs can be tempting — just make sure it’s all mobile-friendly. There’s nothing worse than getting your email in front of the right person, then losing the sale because your call-to-action button is hard to find on mobile.
  • Include CTAs that link directly to the promotion. Don’t forget to link your call-to-action directly to the item that you’re promoting. This prevents the user from having to click around your site, thus increasing your chances of converting the customer.

Whether you try all of these strategies or just one, take advantage of the increased engagement that comes with the holiday season. 

Spark Las Vegas Highlights: It Doesn’t Always Stay in Vegas

What is your favorite thing about Spark Las Vegas?

“I think that some people do not realize how much FareHarbor wants you to succeed at what you do. And, when you are able to meet with FareHarbor employees in person, they know who you are and they’re so excited to show you all the new features and resources that will help you sell more tickets and grow your business!” – Midgi Moore, Juneau Food Tours

Spark Las Vegas was a major success and we’re thankful for each client, sponsor, and partner that was able to join us on October 10th, 2022. We’re still buzzing from seeing everyone face-to-face once again!

More than 70 FareHarbor employees traveled from across the world to make our annual event better than ever. Even more excitingly, more than 400 clients from 240 companies and over 40 states made their way to the Paris Hotel on the Las Vegas strip to explore breaking industry trends, connect with friends new and old, and (re)ignite their passion for their businesses. 

We know this is just the beginning of hosting in-person events again. So, if you couldn’t make it to Spark Las Vegas this year, we’ve rounded up the highlights (and we hope you can join us next year!) 

What we covered, from A to Z

3 Stages, 14 Sessions, Unlimited Learning

We had a jam-packed day of discovering new strategies, helpful resources, and Dashboard features. Throughout the event, attendees were able to hear directly from FareHarbor experts and leadership as well as fellow tour operators. 

The Main Events

During main event sessions, clients discovered what was to come for FareHarbor, insights about the future of tourism, discussions about OTAs and so much more. 

We’re going to discuss two of our most popular sessions from the day, but stay tuned because all SIX main event sessions will be available on Compass in the coming weeks. 

How I Grew My Business: Tour Operators Reveal Their #1 Growth Strategy

FareHarbor clients Justin Buzzi of Get Up and Go Kayaking, Jeff Woelker of Underground Donut Tour, and Midgi Moore of Juneau Food Tours took the stage with host Shane Whaley, FareHarbor’s Head of Community. In this casual yet incredibly informative chat, these three operators revealed what supercharged their success in the tourism industry.

Unmatched Support: Three Teams Working for You Behind the Scenes

You may not be aware of all FareHarbor resources available to our clients. That’s why we gave attendees an inside look at some of the more behind-the-scenes teams and how they assist in our clients’ success. 

This session featured:

  • Eliza Radeka talking about Compass, our resource hub including hundreds of articles, checklists, and webinars made specifically for tour and activity operators.  
  • Chelsea Love discussing software partnerships, a team that vets and secures all FareHarbor partners — from waiver integrations to marketing solutions and beyond. 
  • Alley Wilcox representing our quality control team, who interprets existing FareHarbor products and sees how they can be improved to better clients’ businesses. 

Breakout Sessions

We curated our breakout sessions by identifying the specific topics that will help tour operators succeed. Some covered Dashboard-specific strategies and others dove into niche topics like how you can win in the search results.

We have some select breakout sessions that will be available on Compass soon, including our most attended breakout session of the conference.

Tweak These Four FareHarbor Features to Drive Conversions

Account Managers Michelle Dierks and Carly Ryan revealed four FareHarbor features that, when optimized, will increase conversions along with revenue. Discovering booking flow best practices is just the starting point — be sure to watch on Compass once available to find out more. 

Excitingly, the most popular sessions will return as new live webinars in the upcoming months. First up…

What Every Tour Operator Should Know About Google Tag Manager and Goal Flows will be happening on Wednesday, November 30th at 12pm ET. Register here.

What are you going to do differently after attending Spark? 

“I am going to optimize my website better. That is really what I took from this conference the most. My website is just what I thought a nice website should look like; I had no idea it’s supposed to be functional on the back end too. I feel as though once I do that I will be able to get more bookings — which I am already getting a solid amount — but everything will just get even better.” -Beau La Fave, Portland Food Tours

Expo Hall – To discover partnerships and resources

One of the best parts of Spark Las Vegas was having the chance for attendees to connect in person with our sponsors and FareHarbor representatives at the Expo Hall. 

Attendees had the opportunity to network with GetYourGuide, Fotaflo, Wherewolf, Smartwaiver, and Clear Sky Tourism. Clients learned first hand how each company’s software or integrations will lead to countless hours saved and more efficient day-to-day operations!

We also had five FareHarbor booths available for attendees to chat with employees about various resources we offer. Our two favorites of the day:

In-Person Payment Solutions Booth: Clients got to interact with all of the FareHarbor-compatible hardware to streamline in-person payments. Most importantly, attendees saw Tap to Pay on iPhone in action!

Sites Booth: Every Spark attendee had the option to get a free FareHarbor website created and optimized by none other than our FareHarbor Sites Team.

And some of the other fun stuff

One-on-ones

As we’ve expressed already, you can’t beat an in-person discussion. That’s why we offered personalized one-on-ones for every Spark attendee so they could sharpen their skills for the topics they wanted help with. 

Over the day we held over 130 hours of one-on-one discussions with FareHarbor specialists. 

Happy Hour

It wouldn’t be FareHarbor Spark without our famous happy hour to end the day! Attendees and staff made their way over to The Chateau located just under the Eiffel Tower to raise a glass to an amazing event.

If you were lucky, you could catch a perfect view of The Bellagio water show while mingling and absorbing all of the strategies and learnings of the day.

We can talk nonstop about our favorite parts of Spark. So why not let one of our amazing clients finish it off? 

“I can’t thank you enough for hosting Spark! I honestly can’t wait for the next one. I recommend every business owner in our industry to check out this event and take advantage of what FareHarbor and its partners have to offer. – Big Bear Off Road Experience