Michelle Tupman wasn’t able to attend the 2021 UMA Motorcoach EXPO in person last month because Canada’s borders remain closed due to COVID-19.
Fortunately, thanks to a new UMA program called EXPO Encore, she was able to see what she missed from the comfort of her home this past week.
The unique online event featured recordings of EXPO’s educational sessions combined with live discussions with many of the original presenters. The format offered the attendees a chance to ask questions, adding a live, interactive dimension.
“The combination was really good,” said Tupman, Vice President of Great Canadian Holidays at Great Canadian Holidays & Coaches in Kitchener outside of Toronto.
Encore bonus content
For those who couldn’t attend the 2021 UMA Motorcoach EXPO in Orlando, Florida, EXPO Encore offered an affordable and convenient way to experience the 50th-anniversary UMA event.
Packed into three short days, the program featured presentations, bonus video content and live discussions.
The virtual event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of sponsors such as Budget Truck and Auto. Graphic Sales Manager Sandie Marquis says attending the virtual event allowed her to see the programming she missed while she was on the exhibit floor.
“It was really interesting,” said Marquis, adding that her company recouped its investment in attending the EXPO with new business generated during the meeting. “We were able to meet new people out there and reconnect with customers.”
EXPO Encore kicked off May 18 with practical sales advice from Christian Riddell and Jim Pancero. They both focused on the importance of making value your selling point, not price.
“If price is your No. 1 factor, then once you quote a number, your sales team is done; the conversation is over,” Pancero said.
‘It’s not about price’
Riddell’s advice: “Quoting is not selling. Selling is presenting solutions and helping your customer see the value.”
“When someone asks you to match another price,” said Riddell, do not take that as them looking for a specific price. Instead, that customer is giving you an opportunity to show them a reason to go with your company. “It’s not about price.”
Everyone registered for EXPO Encore received a sales workbook Pancero prepared for the motorcoach industry. The content was designed to provide operators with relevant education for their team that could be shared during the online event or for use whenever it’s convenient.
EXPO Encore also included access to recorded mechanic and driver training that took place during EXPO.
Other highlights included UMA founder Wayne Smith’s history lessons about the organization’s origins and challenges through the decades.
Distinctive Systems’ Eric Elliott and Lancer Insurance’s Bob Crescenzo offered tips on how to pay attention to the right things as business opens up. Crescenzo focused on training for drivers who’ve been sidelined for a while and Elliott made the case for keeping operations lean and efficient. The restart is an opportunity to do things better this time around, both said.
Business author Steve Shapiro gave a dynamic presentation on “Solving Difficult Problems During Difficult Times” that offered a positive outlook on how we can seek solutions. Jeremy Morrissey of the Kelly Anderson Group discussed driver recruitment and its role in the industry’s restart.
Tracy Fickett and Peter Shelbo from BUSBooks presented practical and efficient methods to manage your business incrementally day-to-day, despite the challenges facing operators. (You can download their presentation slides here.)
Iconic hotelier Harris Rosen’s inspiring speech about how the motorcoach industry saved his business underscores the benefits of turning to industry partners for support and help.
Several EXPO attendees described Rosen’s keynote address as worth the entire trip to Orlando.
UMA board member Mitch Guralnick shared the backstory of Rosen’s involvement with EXPO. The hotel magnate’s gratitude to the bus and motorcoach industry was expressed with special treatment for UMA during EXPO, hosting poolside events at the Rosen Plaza and providing great rates on superior accommodations.
The content, nine hours of education content along with bonus videos will be available to attendees for the next 30 days.
See more 2021 UMA Motorcoach EXPO coverage