Monday, February 27th
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM Please note: All five solution sessions run concurrently
OPERATIONS: Managing Multiple Locations
Acquisitions and mergers in this industry have increased greatly over the last few years, causing more companies to handle an additional two or three locations. Learn how to successfully face this challenge.
FINANCE: What Finance Companies Need from Operators – And What They Find Instead
Too often lenders express that operators are not properly prepared when attempting to borrow money. Among many other things, borrowers need to be aware of several national and worldwide influences on U.S. borrowing requirements. For example, the “Brexit” vote may temporarily keep interest rates low, but the U.S. may decide to increase borrowing requirements in the future due to its other possible effects. This session offers guidance on smart borrowing.
MARKETING: Transforming Your Business
It is absolutely possible to reach entirely different audiences by overhauling your business. Repositioning your business can attract new and more profitable markets. Learn from two companies who have been successful attracting new customers and growing their business.
TECHNOLOGY: Technology 101 to 301
Where we were, where are we now, where are we going with technology in the chartering world, on the vehicle, and after the trip is complete. This 1-hour course will help to set the stage for the other 3 courses in the track and will cover the following:
- Browser vs installed software
- Defining banner ads, content marketing, social media marketing
- Explaining Hi-res and low res, basic HTML commands
- SaaS, CMS’s, Front end and Back office differences, Environments: Sandbox, dev, integration, test, and production
- Basic analytics, site report examples, and KPI’s reviewed and explained
SMALL FLEET OPERATOR: Session 1
This session was created specifically for small fleet operators. Subjects are discussed for 15-20 minutes each for a total of three 1- hour sessions.
- MARKETING FOR SMALL FLEET OPERATORS, PART 1 – You operate a small fleet of motorcoaches providing great service; yet, many users simply do not know who you are. This concentrated session discusses the building blocks of marketing; helping you design an effective strategy to successfully attract those customers that will appreciate your product. (Sales and Marketing) 11:15 – 11:35 am
- DAY ONE – Sometimes you “don’t know what you don’t know” and the first day in business may have been a few years ago, and you always seem to be catching up. This brief session takes a snapshot of the ideal beginning and covers steps to incorporate the fundamentals into your operation to begin operating from a stronger position rather than always catching up. Day One is never too late! (Owner/Management) 11:35 – 11:55 am
- REGULATORY UPDATE – This session will review the latest proposed and final regulations and how they will affect small fleet operators and what is required to comply.
(Safety and Compliance) 11:55 am – 12:15 pm
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Please note: All five solution sessions run concurrently
OPERATIONS: Maximizing the Sale of Your Company – Prudent Everyday Business Practices
Whether or not you are selling your business, there are countless items that need upholding as part of the business operations. Unfortunately, important issues may be neglected in favor of matters deemed more urgent. Overlooked, but still crucial items can be as simple as recording board meeting minutes, filing contracts, organizing legal documents, or responding to items requested from buyers.
FINANCE: Spader Business Management – Part 1
Reviewing the financial trends that we see in 20 Groups we have observed this year that we are trending upward from a Net Income perspective. Learn what is contributing to that upward trend and discuss the continued control over all expenses.
MARKETING: Expanding into new Markets
Who isn’t seeking additional revenue sources? Learn how to take advantage of opportunities beyond your standard business operations.
TECHNOLOGY: What’s in the New Technology Tactics Like; Apps, SEO, SEM, Analytics, and Social Media
How are these things influencing the bus chartering landscape? So much has changed with the emergence of the social web and the smart phone that even in the last 4 years new approaches and tactics have presented themselves to the small business owner that really level the playing field. This course will cover:
- Do I need an app or will an adaptive web site cover me?
- How do I get my site to be SEO compliant?
- If I am taking care of my site’s SEO, why do I need SEM in my marketing mix?
- Blogs are the center of your social media universe and your marketing activity.
SMALL FLEET OPERATOR: Session 2
This session was created specifically for small fleet operators. In the 2nd session the following subjects will be discussed:
- FUNDAMENTALS OF FATIGUE MANAGEMENT – This session will highlight the basics of fatigue management and how a small fleet operation can have an effective program, from drivers to management, at little or no cost. (Safety and Compliance) 2:00 – 2:20 pm
- MARKETING FOR SMALL FLEET OPERATORS, PART 2 – Your fleet may be small, but you can position yourself and your company as the “go-to” company in your market. This brief session reviews how small fleet operators can position their company with community leaders for growth. (Sales and Marketing) 2:20 – 2:40 pm
- THE NEW UNIFIED CARRIER REGISTRATION – The Unified Registration System (URS) is a new electronic on-line registration system designed to streamline and simplify the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s registration and update process. This session will primarily cover the update process required of every carrier. (Safety and Compliance) 2:40 – 3:00 pm
3:15 PM – 4:15 PM Please note: All five solution sessions run concurrently
OPERATIONS: ELD Pitfalls
What do young professionals in the motorcoach industry see are the industry’s future challenges and growth opportunities? What do they plan to do differently than previous generations? This session will discuss the next generation’s issues, challenges, and accomplishments in their transition in to their family’s business.
FINANCE: Spader Business Management – Part 2
Learn how to identify what Plateau your company is in and how to manage your growth profitably through good Plateau Management.
MARKETING: How Much is Too Much Online Marketing
At a time when customers have become immune to online sales pitches, is it possible to overuse online channels? How do you know if you’ve reached a saturation point for Facebook ads, for example, and should you switch back to local newspapers? This session will discuss having a proper marketing mix and the use of more traditional channels like print, broadcast and cable.
TECHNOLOGY: How Technology Is Influencing the Fundamentals and Choices of Group Travelers
From acquisition, to comparison shopping, to price, and amenities, how technology is aiding the overall group travel experience. People no longer settle for just word of mouth, they want to look at a property’s total package, from amenities to types of linen and pillows, groups desire the same level of treatment that individual guests receive. The internet has done a lot aid the group travel planner and give them the feeling that their members will get the best service. But it goes past free breakfast and Wifi to how well does the hotel work with the bus company, how well does the front desk set up the bank of rooms and what kinds of group amenities does the hotel offer.
*This class will be taught by a guest instructor from the hotel industry
SMALL FLEET OPERATOR: Session 3
This session was created specifically for small fleet operators.
- WHEN THE TRIP GOES BAD – This session will highlight an actual trip that should have been an uneventful charter, but turned out to be a regulatory nightmare. How it happened, the response, and some retrospect. (Owner/Management) 3:15 – 3:35 pm
- FUEL AND TIRE TAX EXEMPTION – Understand the fuel-tax and tire excise tax exemptions and how to advise your accountant to file for your fuel tax refund and obtain tire excise tax exemption. (Finance) 3:35 – 3:55 pm
- MARKETING FOR SMALL FLEET OPERATORS, PART 3 – With sound marketing, small fleets tend to grow. This session looks at how to gauge your market and anticipate your growth needs. (Sales and Marketing) 3:55 – 4:15 pm
Tuesday, February 28th
Continental breakfast will be served prior to these sessions
8:45 AM – 9:45 AM Please note: all four solution sessions run concurrently
OPERATIONS: Best practices for installing 110 Outlets
Customer demand for 110 outlets grows by the minute. It is near the point where it is expected when customers board the bus. Explore this issue on a broader basis in this session. The discussion will include inverters, size options, installation approaches that minimize the impact on luggage space, best practices on wiring, and maintenance. Also, find answers to such questions as, should this be a chargeable service? How can this be built into a cost structure?
FINANCE: How Equipment Valuations will influence your purchase arrangement and payment schedule
Should you lease or secure an equipment loan? Should you use your bank or an equipment lease/loan specialist? How do credit ratings impact finance models? Answering these questions will help you structure payment terms that will help preserve the cash when you need it the most. This session will discuss the steps required to determine and secure the best financing equipment purchases. .[copy likely to be updated]
MARKETING: Is My Marketing Working; Measurement Techniques
Every single person on the bus represents a potential, future customer. Everyone on board has connections too their profitable leads. What are companies doing to maximize their “install base.” All of this culminates in to one important question: how do we make salesmen out of our drivers?
TECHNOLOGY: Managing Your Current Digital Presence
How to find, manage, and upgrade it to find more prospects and hold onto the ones you already have. All of us have a digital presence, and so do our businesses, finding out how you appear in these spaces is critical to making sure you put your best foot forward with them. Managing the photos that appear in search results, the copy that shows up in organic SERPs, should you or are you connected to social media, do you have reviews and how do they affect your potential prospects? All of this will be taught using Google, Facebook and BusRates, along with other sites:
- What makes for good supporting content?
- How many photos do I have and are they the right kinds?
- Should I list my social media sites on my 3rd party web presences?
- How do I know that my reviews are accurate and fair, and do I have recourse to have them removed or altered?
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